Skip to main content

How Does Exhaust Back Pressure Affect Your Engine?

Your car's engine consists of various essential components that manage exhaust gas emissions. Did you know that these components can create exhaust back pressure affecting the engine's performance? Keep reading to learn more about exhaust back pressure and how it can affect your engine.

vehicle exhaust pipe

What is Exhaust Back Pressure?

Exhaust back pressure refers to the pressure buildup within the vehicle exhaust due to exhaust gas flow restriction. The flow restriction arises when several components in the exhaust system prevent the direct flow of exhaust gases. The resulting pressure buildup affects the piston's movement during the exhaust stroke phase and can potentially lead to issues such as power loss from the crankshaft.

How Does Excessive Exhaust Back Pressure Affect Your Vehicle?

Exhaust back pressure affects engine performance in several ways. Some significant effects include:

1. Increased Pumping Work

Exhaust back pressure leads to an increase in your engine's pumping work. This effect emanates from overcoming the flow restrictions when expelling exhaust gases. When your vehicle has excessive back pressure, you'll realize that your engine works harder than average, which may use more fuel and cause engine overheating.

2. Turbocharger Problems

A turbocharger is a secondary system that boosts your car's engine power. The turbocharge may be affected by excessive back pressure, mainly due to oil leaks from exhaust gas buildup in the engine. When this happens, the vehicle will start producing blue or grey smoke due to the turbocharger burning off.

3. Cylinder Scavenging and Combustion Effects

Exhaust back pressure also leads to portions of the exhaust gas becoming trapped inside the engine. When this happens, there will be less oxygen concentration during scavenging (or the fresh flow of fuel/air mixture). This can lead to combustion problems because the fuel doesn't release the maximum energy required, making your engine less effective.

What are the Signs of Excessive Exhaust Back Pressure?

Several signs can help you point out excessive exhaust back pressure, including:

1. Decrease in Power and Acceleration

Excessive back pressure can affect the engine output due to poor fuel combustion. You'll notice a decrease in the engine's power output and acceleration.

2. Poor Fuel Economy

Excessive back pressure forces the engine to work harder to expel exhaust gases, resulting in more fuel consumption. You'll, therefore, require more fuel to sustain the engine.

3. Engine Overheating

This results mainly from your engine working harder to expel exhaust gases. Your engine will heat more quickly, often after driving short distances. Is your vehicle exhibiting any of these excessive back pressure signs? At Custom Complete Automotive, we can help you with any of your exhaust system issues. To learn more about our exhaust repair services, or to schedule an appointment at one of our locations in Missouri, contact us today!

Share This Article

Find an Auto Repair Shop Near You

We have multiple auto repair shops throughout Missouri located in Columbia, Jefferson City, and St. Louis.

About the Author
Eric Riddles

Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.

Read Eric Riddle's Full Bio

Related Posts

For UNBEATABLE prices, visit any Custom Complete Automotive today!
Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Youtube Follow on Instagram Follow on LinkedIn
Request Appointment