The Anatomy of Healthy Cars: A Service and Repair Blog

Car Service | 4 Steps To Clean Your Dirt-Laden Car Exhaust Pipe

by Brittany Marshall

Your car exhaust is often overlooked, but keep in mind that it is a vital component used to direct harmful exhaust gases away from your car to protect it from overheating or getting damaged. Dirt-filled or broken exhaust systems will cause harmful fumes to enter the passenger compartment, which can cause injuries and poisoning. To prevent this from happening, you must ensure that you properly clean your dirt-laden car exhaust pipe. If you notice any other damage, be sure to head to a car service immediately.

Remove Loose Grime With Steel Wool Or Wired Round Brush With Soap And Water

Grime is bound to settle on the exhaust pipe over a period, so begin by using a wired round brush or steel wool mixed with a soap-water solution to remove loose or caked on grime from the exhaust pipe surface. This action will help you remove the loose grime from the surface, but take care not to scrub too hard or you may end up damaging the exhaust steel.

Apply A Chrome Cleaner

Once you have removed the surface-level dirt and grime, you will need to apply a specialised chrome cleaner, available at any car service retailer. You can also get chrome cleaning polishes at regular home improvement stores that double up as a cleaner and polisher for a shiny finish to your cleaning job. Apply the chrome cleaner on the exhaust pipe and allow it to sit for a while based on the recommended instructions of the manufacturer. Make sure you apply the chrome cleaner to the interior and exterior surface of the exhaust pipe.

Scrub The Exhaust Pipe

Once the chrome cleaner settles into the exhaust pipe, use a wired brush or a steel wool pad to scrub it thoroughly. Take care to work on the interiors and exteriors for a comprehensive cleanup job. This action will remove the residual dirt, tarnish, carbon and small rust flakes. Rinse off with some water to remove the chrome cleaner from the surface.

Apply Chrome Polish

If the chrome cleaner is combined with polish or even if the polish is separate, your last step is to gently apply the polish to the exhaust pipe. Polishing will give your exhaust pipes a brand new and clean look. Chrome polish is also available at car service retailers or home improvement stores. Follow the drying instructions provided before using your car once again.

While these exhaust cleaning steps are relatively easy, many vehicle owners prefer to leave the cleaning task to a professional car service because any damage will also be taken care of in the process.