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Ford F150 Exhaust System

Four Tips to Maintain the Looks and Performance of Your Ford F150 Exhaust System

More than good looks and powerful roar, the exhaust system contributes a lot in drawing out more horses from the beast that's long been lurking under the hood of your Ford F150. So if you don't want to compromise these three factors, you had better take good care of your truck's exhaust. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Periodically check the exhaust system for signs of damage.

The longevity of your truck's exhaust components depends on the material they are made of and their exposure to damaging elements. But even under normal driving, exhaust components will suffer from regular wear and tear. So just imagine how much your exhaust has to go through if you usually take your F150 for some rugged tasks like towing or serious off-roading. If you feel guilty by now, you'd better do your exhaust system a big favor by regularly inspecting it for leaks, rust buildup, dents, loose connections, missing hardware, and other signs of damage. If you notice any problem, have it fixed immediately.

  • Replace a bad catalytic converter as soon as possible.

The catalytic converter makes the exhaust less toxic by removing up to 90% of the toxins. If it becomes bad, your ride will run rough, and there will be a visible smoke coming out of the tailpipe. If the "check engine light" on your dash turns on, have your F150 checked immediately. And if the problem is caused by a bad converter, don't think twice in replacing it to prevent the issue from causing a more serious problem that's costlier to repair.

  • Deal with exhaust system leak right away.

Inefficient seal, loose connections, or corrosion can cause leaks in the exhaust system. A leak in the area before the catalytic converter expels toxic fumes into the environment, so it should be acted upon immediately.

  • If the truck will not be used for a long period, rustproof the exhaust system.

Planning to store your Ford F150 for an extended period? Then you have to provide the exhaust system with some kind of rust-proofing. Prevent the floor or ground's moisture from finding its way into the exhaust by parking your car over a huge sheet of tarp or plastic. Clean the headers and wipe them dry, then coat them with WD-40, paying attention to the welding points and the areas where two components meet. You can also put on a breathable car cover.

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  • How to Troubleshoot Some Issues with Your Ford F150 Exhaust System

    Issues with the Ford F150 exhaust system, no matter how simple, could put the entire truck in trouble. Not only will your mileage and performance suffer, but it will also allow toxic fumes into the environment. A bad exhaust system will also cause your truck to give out unusual engine noise. If you want to spare yourself from such hassles, you'd better pay attention to the early signs of exhaust system failure. Here are some of the common problems you are likely to encounter with your Ford F150 exhaust system and the ways to troubleshoot them:

    Chugging noise

    Such noise coming from the truck's exhaust indicates a blockage in the system. The easiest and, sometimes, the only way to determine the location of the blockage is to do a pressure test. Start off by removing the downstream oxygen sensor, which can be found after the converter. In the sensor's place, temporarily screw in an exhaust pressure gauge. The typical reading would be 1 to 1.5 psi to as high as 2.5 to 3 psi of back-pressure at idle. Bring the engine rpm to 2,500 and notice the change in pressure. If it noticeably increases, it's more likely that you've got a blockage in the muffler or resonator.

    If there's no rise in pressure, put back the downstream O2 sensor, and do the test with the upstream sensor placed before the converter. If the back-pressure reading goes more than 2 psi at idle or rises at higher rpm, it's possible that the noise is caused by a damaged catalytic converter.

    Noisy leaks

    Such leaks, which are usually located upstream of the muffler, are easy to find especially if the vehicle is on a shop lift. The tip here is to pay attention to the sharpness and loudness of the leaks. In general, sharper and louder noise indicates a leak that's closer to the engine. If the noise seems deeper, then the leak is larger. An extremely loud exhaust leak that's characterized by popping and cracking sound is most likely to originate from the manifold gasket. On the other hand, a low-key exhaust leak with deeper tone can possibly come from a loose pipe behind the muffler.