When it comes to picking a reliable type of piping, exhaust flex pipe is a reliable option. If you’re wondering what they are, they’re flexible sections of pipe that are used in applications where flexible pipes are required.
One of the best examples is in automotive applications. Automotive exhaust pipes often get very, very hot as exhaust gases pass through and ultimately out the tailpipe. As a result of the heat, the exhaust system needs to be able to bend and exhaust flex pipe is useful for just that.
Since exhaust flex pipe has to flex, it is constructed of woven metal strips, usually of stainless steel and are build to withstand the heat. Forged steel 150# flanges are rated for pressures up to 285 psig at 100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to ASME B-16.5 flange specifications. The allowable pressure is then reduced to 65 psig at 850 degrees.
When it comes to cars in motion and in use, exhaust flex pipe also allow a vehicle’s engine to move and not to crack from piping that doesn’t move. The last thing you want is for the engine to move with unmoving piping and cause a leak in the exhaust system. If you’re looking at a car’s parts, exhaust flex piping can be found where that car’s exhaust manifold meets the downpipe, in essence the exhaust pipe connector.
As essential as exhaust flex pipe can be, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs that the piping might be breaking down. These signs include:
- Smells: if you’re driving around and your notice a gas smell coming from your car, chances are good that you might have a flex pipe exhaust leak. A leak in exhaust flex pipe can cause gas fumes to seep into your vehicle’s cabin and make it smell like raw gas.
- Loss of power: Another sign of exhaust flex pipe problems is performance issues with your engine. This includes a loss of power when you accelerate and also decreased fuel efficiency.
- Noise: One of the first indicators of exhaust flex pipe problems is a lot of noise or loud noise. A noisy engine means there’s likely a crack in the piping. Another indicator you find is that noise increases as you accelerate.
- Hanging exhaust pipe: This one is pretty self explanatory. It happens when a crack forms, gets larger and causes part of your exhaust pipe to drag or hang from your car. An exhaust flex joint replacement can help you fix this problem.
If you notice any of the problems listed above, it’s imperative that you deal with them and replace your exhaust flex pipe immediately with a new exhaust flex joint.