Can I drive with a broken exhaust?

While you can technically drive with a broken exhaust, it’s neither safe nor legal and poses a number of issues when you’re out on the road. Whether your exhaust is simply cracked, is partially hanging off or has fallen off completely, it’s an important part of your vehicle which needs your immediate attention.

Because it’s underneath your car, you may not be aware that it even requires your attention, but it’s worth making a mental note to check it regularly. Failing to maintain your exhaust could result in a number of further issues and risks, some of which we’ll highlight in the article below.

Exhaust being fitted

Failed MOT

A vehicle which has a severely damaged or broken exhaust will automatically fail due to emissions, but it can also fail if it produces too much noise – usually related to issues with the silencer. Either way, if you’ve left your exhaust to deteriorate over the years – whether due to damage or wear and tear – you’ll likely be facing higher repair fees.

Should your exhaust only be partially damaged, your car may pass its MOT, but you’ll no doubt be given an advisory notice which highlights that work may be needed on your exhaust sooner rather than later.


Higher fuel costs

As an essential part of the process for removing chemical fumes away from your car, any issues with your exhaust will likely see your fuel efficiency reduced. The pressure on the exhaust system is increased if toxic fumes are not channelled away from the engine which means your car won’t run as cleanly as your wallet may like. 

To ensure that you get the most miles for your money, have any exhaust issues checked out immediately by a professional.


Health hazard

Dangerous emissions from your engine are taken away from the vehicle to prevent you and your passengers getting ill. Breathing in carbon monoxide and other fumes can result in headaches, dizzy spells and nausea, something you obviously want to avoid when in your car, so keeping your exhaust in good repair is for the sake of your own health. The emissions leaking from your exhaust could also be a sign of something wrong with your catalytic converter too, which is both dangerous and would see your vehicle fail the MOT.


Trouble with the law

Whether you think you’re likely to be spotted or not, driving with a broken exhaust is actually illegal. As stated in the Road Traffic Act 1988, you’re guilty of an offence if you drive with the vehicle in a dangerous condition, which includes posing a danger to yourself or others. Your exhaust falls into the category of ‘The condition of the motor vehicle or trailer, or of its accessories or equipment’ and must, therefore, be kept in good working order to avoid being pulled over and penalised.


Wherever you are in the Lincolnshire region, at Auto Exhausts & Tyres we’re always happy to help when you have an issue with your exhaust or when your vehicle requires an MOT. We’re dedicated to making sure you not only get the most out of your vehicle, but that you also stay safe out on the roads. For more details or to discuss issues with your exhaust, please don’t hesitate to contact us today