We all would like to save money on the auto repairs we need.  For beginner mechanics and people lacking confidence in their auto repair skills, the decision between DIY and take it to the shop can be tough.  There are auto repair tasks that can be safely and easily completed at home by anyone with the drive and time to read our basic instructions. If you feel that you’re not confident in your ability to complete the job even after seeing the instructions, NEVER try to do it anyway! You can always bring your car or truck by the auto repair shop to professionals that can safely complete the job.  Safety should always come first, and on the road, it could mean your life!

Today’s Job: Fix a Broken Exhaust Strap

Clunk, clunk, clunk…you can hear the muffler clunking beneath the car.  Or worse yet, it’s dropped significantly and you’re leaving a spark trail like a race car as you drive down the road at night.  Your muffler strap or exhaust hanger is only made of thick rubber, almost like a super-sized rubber band.  Like any rubber band, elasticity gets compromised over time, loosening its hold on your muffler.

Locating the Exhaust Strap(s)

If your muffler strap has started to come loose, you can likely see it by taking at look under the car.  Visually trace your exhaust pipe back to the muffler.  There will be one or more exhaust straps or exhaust hangers made of black rubber.  If any have broken, it will be quite evident.  Be sure to make sure to check for other hangers as well.

Removing the faulty exhaust strap

Now that you’ve located the problem, it is time to remove the old strap or hanger.  Remember that it may be in more than one piece as you start to remove it.  You will simply need to remove the old strap from the top mount, which attaches to the car, as well as the mount to the muffler itself.  You will want to be sure that you have removed all piece of the faulty exhaust strap.

Installing a new exhaust strap

You’re ready to put the new exhaust hanger in place now.  You should start by attaching it to the top exhaust mount.  Again, this is the one attached to the car itself. At this point, let the exhaust strap dangle where it is while getting ready to attach the muffler.  This is the point at which having a helper would make things much easier.  Ask your helper to hold the muffler securely in place while you attach it to the new exhaust strap.  If you are without a helper, this can still be done alone.  You will just need to slip the muffler into the hanger while holding the muffler up.

Mechanic tip for one person exhaust hanger installation:

When installing a new exhaust strap with one hand, make a helper using a crescent wrench.  You will need a crescent wrench that has a hole in the handle to do this.  You can slide the handle’s end through your exhaust hanger, and then you will place the hole in the handle on the exhaust mount.  Now you can simply use the crescent wrench to slide the exhaust hanger right over the mount!  And with that, you are done and the muffler shouldn’t be clunking around under there any longer.