How Long Does It Take to Fit a New Car Exhaust?

Replacing your car exhaust can seem like a daunting task, especially if you don’t know how long it will take or the cost involved. Before we dive into the time it takes to replace a car exhaust, it’s essential to understand the process and the different parts that make up your exhaust system.

Understanding the Basics of Car Exhaust Systems

A car exhaust system plays a crucial role in your vehicle’s overall functioning. It expels waste gases and other combustion byproducts from your engine, reducing emissions, controlling noise, and improving engine performance.

A typical car exhaust system is composed of several parts, each with its unique function. From the exhaust manifold that collects gases from the engine’s cylinders to the tailpipe that releases the gases into the atmosphere, each component works in harmony to keep your vehicle running smoothly.

A well-maintained car exhaust system is pivotal for ensuring optimal performance and fuel efficiency. It also helps to minimise your carbon footprint by ensuring that harmful gases are processed correctly before being expelled.

Car Exhaust System Components

Exhaust Manifold

The exhaust manifold acts as a conduit, gathering exhaust gases from the engine’s cylinders and guiding them into a single pipe. Made from cast iron or stainless steel, this component can withstand high temperatures and pressure.

Catalytic Converter

Ever wondered how your car minimises its environmental impact? The answer lies in the catalytic converter. This device reduces harmful gases like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons, transforming them into less harmful substances such as water vapour and carbon dioxide.


The muffler, often considered the silent hero of the car exhaust system, keeps the exhaust noise to a minimum. This contraption uses a series of chambers and tubes to bounce sound waves around, effectively cancelling them out and keeping your ride smooth and quiet.

Exhaust Pipe

Last in line in your car exhaust system is the tailpipe. It safely expels the treated gases into the environment, a final step in the exhaust process.

Signs Your Car Exhaust Needs Attention

Recognising the signs of a faulty exhaust can save you from costly repairs and keep you safe on the road. These signs could include a drop in fuel efficiency, unusual noises, or a strong smell of gas.

Overlooking the maintenance of your car exhaust system can lead to a myriad of problems, including decreased fuel efficiency, increased emissions, and potential health risks due to exposure to harmful gases.

Regular check-ups of your exhaust system can help identify potential issues before they escalate, keeping your vehicle performing optimally and sustainably. If you have any concerns over your exhaust system, visit your nearest Elite Garages where our expert and friendly technicians can perform a FREE Exhaust Check.

How Long Does A Professional Exhaust Fitting Take?

Every part of your car exhaust system has a specific function and needs to be correctly installed to ensure the system works optimally. When you visit a reputable service centre, the entire process of replacing your car exhaust can generally take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours but sometimes longer.

This is under the assumption that the system is being replaced with a similar one and there are no unexpected complications, such as rusted or fused parts. Remember, professionals like Elite Garages have the necessary experience and the right tools to help speed up the process and ensure everything is installed correctly.

Why Is My Exhaust Making Strange Noises?

Your car’s exhaust system can produce various noises, but it’s crucial to identify the warning signs from the normal ones. If you hear any of the following sounds, it may indicate the need for an exhaust repair or replacement:

  • A hissing sound may indicate a crack in the exhaust manifold or a leaky gasket
  • A chugging or roaring sound may indicate a blockage in the system
  • Rattling noises under the car may signify misalignment
  • If you notice loud vibrations, it could be a sign of a foreign object touching the pipes, a broken bracket or a loose mounting

If the silencer on your exhaust has corroded and worn away, you may hear a loud rumbling noise, which could be an indication of a potential problem. Numerous exhaust faults can adversely affect your emissions and miles per gallon (MPG), which is why it’s critical to have your exhaust checked regularly, particularly before an emissions check during your MOT.

What Causes High Exhaust Emissions?

Every car emits a certain amount of exhaust gases, but when these emissions are higher than normal, it could be a sign of a problem. High exhaust emissions not only harm the environment, but they can also indicate underlying issues that may affect your vehicle’s performance and efficiency. Here’s some additional information on excessive exhaust emissions.

Faulty Oxygen Sensors

The oxygen sensors in your vehicle play a vital role in controlling exhaust emissions. They measure the level of oxygen in the exhaust gases and send this information to the engine control unit (ECU). The ECU then adjusts the fuel-air mixture to ensure optimal combustion. If the oxygen sensors are malfunctioning, the ECU might not receive accurate information, leading to a suboptimal mixture and higher emissions.

Poor Fuel Quality

The quality of fuel you use can significantly affect your car’s emissions. Poor quality fuel often leads to incomplete combustion, which results in higher levels of harmful gases like carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons in the exhaust. Therefore, using high-quality fuel is crucial for maintaining low emission levels.

Worn Out Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is a critical component of your vehicle’s exhaust system that reduces harmful gases before they are emitted from your vehicle. Over time, catalytic converters can wear out or get damaged, which can lead to increased emission levels. Regular inspections and timely replacement can help avoid this issue.

Innovations in Car Exhaust Technology

The evolution of car exhaust technologies has made vehicles safer and more environmentally friendly. From high-flow catalytic converters to dual exhaust systems, the auto industry continues to innovate for better performance and sustainability.

As we look ahead, the future of car exhaust systems holds promise. From further reduction of emissions to harnessing exhaust heat for energy, the possibilities are exciting and endless.

How Much Does It Cost Fit A New Car Exhaust In The UK?

When it comes to replacing or fitting a new exhaust in the UK, costs can vary significantly. This is due to factors such as the type of vehicle, the exhaust system being installed, and the labour involved. On average, you might expect to pay anywhere from £100 to £500 for a full exhaust system while performance or specialist exhausts can cost significantly more. To find out what your car exhaust replacement might cost, contact your nearest Elite Garages for more information.


Understanding your car exhaust system is essential for maintaining your vehicle’s performance and ensuring it functions efficiently and sustainably. By being mindful of the state of your exhaust and keeping up with regular maintenance, you can ensure your vehicle remains in top shape for years to come.

If you feel vibrations when your car is running or experience a loss of power, bring it in and let our expert technicians know where you noticed the vibration – either the steering wheel, operating pedals, or the seat. These symptoms could be the result of a hole, disconnected part, or a leak in the exhaust system.

We supply all the leading UK brands of standard and performance car exhaust systems for all makes and models. If we don’t have it in stock, we’ll order it for you.


Click the + to read any answer or visit our most FAQ page to review the most frequently asked questions across all our Elite Locations.

If you click on a ‘Category’ or ‘Tag’ link, the page will ‘refresh’ and reload the page showing the top of the page first, you’ll then just need to scroll down to the FAQ section to see the results for the Category or Tag you selected.

Category: Car Exhaust Guide

The cost of a new car exhaust in the UK varies depending on the model and make of your vehicle. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from £100 – £500 for a standard grade exhaust system. Performance or stainless steel systems may cost more due to the higher quality materials and construction. Contact your nearest Elite Garages who will be able to advise you on specific costs.

Category: Car Exhaust Guide

No, driving with a broken exhaust is not recommended. A broken exhaust can lead to dangerous leaks of hazardous gases such as carbon monoxide, which can be fatal if inhaled in large amounts. Additionally, a defective exhaust system may also cause excessive noise pollution or even damage your car’s engine.

Category: Car Exhaust Guide

A car exhaust system can last anywhere from 5-7 years with regular maintenance. However, it may need to be replaced sooner if the vehicle is exposed to harsh driving conditions on a regular basis. Additionally, certain components of the exhaust system (such as catalytic converters and mufflers) will need to be replaced more frequently than others due to their high rate of wear and tear. It is important to have your vehicle’s exhaust system inspected regularly in order to keep it in good condition and prevent costly repairs or replacements down the line.

Category: Car Exhaust Guide

Signs of a faulty car exhaust can include:

  • Loud and/or strange noises coming from the exhaust system. These can include grinding, rattling, or rumbling noises.
  • Decreased fuel efficiency as a result of reduced airflow.
  • Visible smoke or fumes emitted from the exhaust pipe when the engine is running. This can be white smoke, which indicates a coolant leak; blue smoke, which signals burning oil; or black smoke, indicating an overly rich fuel mixture.
  • Rusting on the underside of the car due to exhaust pipe leakage.
  • Vibrations and shaking from the exhaust system while driving.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to consult a professional technicians right away.