Why your car needs a spring break – Part 3
In the third part of looking at how cars suffer from infrequent use, Rob Marshall focuses on the exhaust system
While exhaust systems are out-of-sight, they should not be out of mind. Their main enemy is corrosion. With last winter being somewhat colder than usual, much of the country saw plenty of road salt spread on our highways. While good for road safety, salt is highly corrosive and attacks the car’s underside, especially the exhaust system.
As a double-whammy, cold weather, especially when combined with short and low-speed trips, causes the exhaust to fill with water. This is because, when an engine burns petrol, it creates almost the same quantity of moisture. Therefore, the exhaust also corrodes internally. Interestingly, diesels suffer less from this, because the exhaust gases coat the inside of the exhaust pipes with an oily deposit, which forms a protective barrier.
When your car visits a garage, ask the technician to check the system for corrosion. Should you notice any knocks/bangs from beneath the car, the cause might be the exhaust system moving about excessively; weak mountings might be responsible. The entire exhaust then becomes more vulnerable to fracture, especially if weakened by corrosion.
Therefore, while most service schedules gloss over the exhaust system, ensure that it receives extra attention this year, to ensure that it survives another winter, at least.