Water Dripping from the Tailpipe – Should it Worry You?


Water leaking from your tailpipe is not a big issue so it should not worry you that much.  A result of the combustion process of the engine, leaking water is not an indication that there is a build-up of water in your exhaust and muffler.  Water is emitted from the exhaust system the same way as carbon monoxide and other waste gases are ejected.  When carbon and hydrogen from the fuel mix with oxygen, hydrogen oxide is formed and comes out as evaporated steam.

When the evaporated steam travelling via the muffler and exhaust system becomes cold and condenses into liquid, a little amount of liquid forms inside the tailpipe.  This usually happens on cold weather conditions although it usually happens when you take short trips.  The reason behind this is because the engine is not allowed to run longer to attain the required temperatures that will disperse all of the water.

Leaky Exhaust

Will the presence of water in the exhaust system break your exhaust system?

The muffler and exhaust system will easily wear off if water regularly leaks from your tailpipe because water is a corrosive element.  Alternatively, occasional condensation drips from the tailpipe will not cause serious problems on your car.  However, build-up of water in the muffler and exhaust system will cause the metal elements to rust.  Some highly acidic substances from the fuel that must be emitted are also trapped.  Catalytic converters and exhaust pipes have no drainage hole unlike the muffler so excess water is pushed out.

As explained above, taking short trips is the main reason why water leaks from your tailpipe.   Those who have the modern models of cars need not worry about this anymore, as most of these cars’ engines easily reach the highest operating temperatures in only 30 minutes.  Cars with only one exhaust system will attain its adequate temperature in 15 minutes.

Catalytic converter problems, leaks on the head-gasket and other engine troubles are some of the other reasons why water drips from the tailpipe.  Solve these problems by seeking the assistance of a professional mechanic.




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