GMC K1500 Exhaust System: Some Common Problems That You Need to Check
The primary function of your GMC K1500's exhaust system is to efficiently transfer toxic gases from the engine to the tail pipe. Since the exhaust system works under high temperature, it will eventually wear down and malfunction. Rattling or roaring noises can be one of the early signs of a poor exhaust system. If these symptoms are already present, then you have to look under your vehicle and perform a troubleshooting. Here are some common problems you might encounter with a malfunctioning GMC K1500 exhaust system.
Irregular exhaust noises
Your truck's engine usually produces a loud, revving sound when the vehicle accelerates under load. That's one of the reasons why it is tuned correctly to dampen irritating, high-pitched tones. Some vehicles even have a second muffler or resonator to control the noise. When the parts of the exhaust system, particularly the exhaust pipes are already in poor condition, the annoying high-pitched noise becomes audible, and the sound will become louder as it exits through it tail pipe. You should immediately inspect the pipes for holes or cracks, and check if it is possible to weld them. Otherwise, buying new replacement parts is the only solution.
A bad exhaust system can result to backpressure because exhaust gases aren't effectively removed. This will decrease your truck's performance and increase fuel consumption. To measure your truck's backpressure through the exhaust manifold, an air pump check valve or pressure gauge can be used. The reading in the check valve should be less than 1.5 psi. If it goes further than 3 psi at 2,000 rpm, then there's already a restriction present. An 18mm pressure gauge can also detect backpressure, but it won't be able to determine where the backpressure originates.
If you step deeply on the gas pedal of your truck, but the vehicle fails to accelerate with force, then it may be sign of a plugged catalytic converter. The poor acceleration is caused by the unburned fuel that is present inside the converter. A good way to check the converter is by removing it from your truck and aiming a flashlight through its tube. If the light doesn't pass through to the other side, then it means that the converter is plugged, and has to be cleaned.
GMC K1500 Exhaust System: Easy Tips on How to Keep It in Good Condition
To ensure that your truck gives optimum performance, it is not enough to focus only on the engine. You should also maintain the exhaust system of your vehicle. A malfunctioning exhaust system can be very dangerous because toxic gases can easily escape through the atmosphere or penetrate the cabin area of your truck. To help you avoid this critical problem, here are some maintenance tips to help you.
- Check the braces that hold the pipes and other parts.Since the exhaust system is located underneath your pickup, metal braces are used to hold the parts of the exhaust system to the vehicle. These braces are prone to damage or breakage from continuous vibrations and road spray that may hit them. It is very important that you check the condition of the braces periodically before one of them snaps and causes a part of the exhaust to fall or malfunction.
- Look for signs of corrosion.Through time and constant use, exhaust pipes weaken and become more prone to corrosion. There are also other elements like rocky roads and muddy areas that can cause the pipes to rust. The best way to avoid this is by washing the pipes regularly. There are tar removers and metal-polish products available in the market today. When you wash the exhaust pipes, make sure that you dry them completely, and remember to use the right type of polish for aluminum or chrome pipes.
- Avoid driving in short distances.If you choose to drive just to go a few blocks down the road, then there's a possibility that the exhaust system will not burn the fuel effectively. You should remember that your car's engine and exhaust system has to reach the optimum temperature before it can burn fuel. Otherwise, soot will be produced that can block the flow of the exhaust gases. To avoid this problem, choose a healthier alternative like walking or biking than using your vehicle.
Other maintenance tipsWhen you can already notice a foul smell coming from your vehicle, check the exhaust system immediately. You can do an ocular check-up in your garage, but be sure that the parts have already cooled down. A repair job is good for a minor damage, but a new replacement part is the best solution for serious cracks or holes.