Protect Against Moisture in Your Exhaust System

Here’s a simple car repair tip that’s easy to implement – keep moisture out of your exhaust system and thereby reduce its corrosive effects. By its very nature, exhaust fumes contain moisture. Some systems contain a drip hole to vacate puddles of water that would otherwise accumulate in mufflers, resonators, cross-overs and other parts of the system. Other systems rely on heat to drive out moisture.

Moisture accumulation in automotive exhaust used to be a big problem with older cars, but improvements in materials have reduced the problem considerably. Even so, it still presents a potential for unnecessary repair if you’re not careful and allow moisture to accumulate.

The most simple way to reduce moisture accumulation in the exhaust system is to minimize brief operation of the vehicle and use it only when you know you’ll be running it sufficiently to heat up the exhaust system and drive out moisture. A good rule is 10 miles of travel. That generally is enough to warm up the car completely.

The idea is to minimize the number of times you start the car up just to move it around in the drive or on the street, and start the car up primarily when you’re really going to use it. It can save on unnecessary moisture accumulation in the exhaust, and it’s one way to save on fuel as well.

Think about all the car exhaust vapors you see in the winter. Cars with steam coming out of their exhaust pipes are still warming up and driving out moisture. Cars with relatively steam free exhaust emissions have been running a while and have already driven out the bulk of excess moisture that would otherwise accumulate in the exhaust system.