At times, truck exhaust pipes become terribly noisy. Components can work loose and they need to be fixed fairly quickly. Banging and rattling can become very annoying but a noisy truck exhaust pipe is easy to diagnose. Leaving problems to chance can be dangerous as a leaky exhaust means that odorless, deadly gases can end up in the truck cab. You will also be running a risk of getting a ticket if you don't resolve exhaust problems straight away.
Step 1 - Emergency Repair
The most common problem with trick exhaust pipes is that the tailpipe becomes lose. This happens when an exhaust clamp rusts and falls off. This often happens when you’re driving and could lead to an emergency repair at the side of the road.
Don’t do anything until the exhaust has cooled otherwise you’ll run the risk of burning your hands. Allow around 30 minutes before starting a repair. You should always keep a wire coat hanger in your truck for problems like this. Straighten out the hanger and crawl under the back of the truck. Loop the hanger under the tailpipe and the secure it to the frame. Allow for a little clearance between the tailpipe of your truck exhaust pipe and the body. Drive the truck for a few minutes then pull over to check the repair. Tighten the wire a little more if necessary. Remember that this is only a temporary repair and a proper clamp should be fitted as soon as possible.
Step 2 - Muffler Clamp
A more permanent repair for a loose and noisy tailpipe is a new muffler clamp. This clamps the tailpipe to the body of the truck. If the old clamp is loose or rusted, it's highly likely to be the cause of the noise. The clamp will be bolted to the truck body so you’ll need to remove it with a wrench (loosen with penetrating oil if necessary). Fit the new bolt through the holes and tighten fully.
Step 3 - Exhaust Holes
Another source of noise in truck exhaust pipes is when the muffler itself is cracked or has a hole. This can be very dangerous since gases are escaping from the muffler.
Much depends on the size of the crack or the hole. Where the seam is leaking or there’s a small crack, you can use muffler putty to fix it. The muffler needs to be completely cold to do this. Apply a thick layer of the muffler putty along the seam or the length of the crack. It will have the consistency of toothpaste and is usually orange in color. You’ll need to give it several hours to dry completely. Once it’s cured, run your engine and see if the muffler noise has been eliminated.
Epoxy is ideal for larger holes in the muffler but there are limits to the size it can cover. A moderate sized crack is about as far as it will extend. Like most epoxies, it will be in two parts that you’ll need to mix together before applying it to the crack. Make sure the muffler is cold first. Once the epoxy has been mixed and applied, leave it to dry fully before running the engine to test your truck exhaust pipe.