A common repair for a Mercedes Sprinter van is an exhaust pipe that begins to leak or break entirely. The Sprinter is often used as a work or construction van. Even though it is made by the reputable Mercedes manufacturer, repairs may still need to be made and maintenance certainly is a necessity.
A flex pipe, sometimes called the exhaust pipe or the exhaust flex pipe, connects the exhaust system to the engine. The pipe is strong, usually made from durable materials such as steel alloy. A flex pipe also absorbs vibrations, which help the other parts of the exhaust have a longer life.
Can you drive with a bad or broken flex pipe?
It is possible to still drive a vehicle with a bad flex pipe, but it is not advisable. There could be different side effects of driving the vehicle before replacing this pipe. For instance, driving may be more challenging. It can be noisy as it drags across the ground during driving. It may even release sparks and ignite fuel vapor. The bottom line is you can drive like this, but you may cause further damage to your vehicle.
How to Know if the Flex Pipe is Broken
If your flex pipe is broken or leaking, you may notice some signs and symptoms. Here are four of the most common signs that your flex pipe is in need of repair:
- A Foul Smell: You will either notice a strong smell of exhaust or another bad smell that was not there before. The reason you have this new strong odor coming from your vehicle is that the exhaust pipe is leaking and cannot do its job properly. You will not want to breathe this smell in, so once you notice it roll down your window until you can pull over in a safe spot.
- Loud Noises: You may also notice loud noises. When we say loud, we mean obnoxious to the point where it may even sound like roaring. This is a sign that the exhaust is damaged. The noise will come from the rear of your vehicle. You may also hear a loud, throaty growl as soon as your start the engine.
- The exhaust pipe is hanging down: The exhaust pipe hanging down is a common sign that something is amiss. You may notice this from the rear of your vehicle, or you might hear a scraping sound when driving. This sound is the flex pipe being dragged against the road.
- Loss of efficiency: Finally, you may notice an overall loss of efficiency with your vehicle. This will be especially true during acceleration. It may not accelerate as quickly, or while accelerating, you may hear new sounds that you never heard your vehicle making before.
Causes of Flex Pipe Problems
Now that you know the signs to look for, you may also want to know what can cause this to occur. Understanding why a part breaks can help you avoid the same problem in the future. Here are the top 3 things that contribute to a broken flex pipe in a Mercedes Sprinter:
- Construction: Sometimes the issue happens during the manufacturing process where it is brittle for a construction reason. The flex pipe shakes and is often jarred during regular driving, so if it is not constructed correctly, it may break easier than others.
- The Climate: The weather of where the vehicle is traveling can have a lot to do if this part of the vehicle may need replacement before others. If your Mercedes is stored and travels in places with an icy or very cold winter, it may need to be replaced more than vehicles that primarily travel in the southern region. Snow, ice, and salt can work together to create rust, weakening the flex pipe.
- Accidents: Finally, sometimes this part is damaged during a collision and will need to be replaced due to the accident.
Call The Experts at Diesel Pickup Pros
If you are looking for a new automobile technician to work on your truck with a diesel engine, call Diesel Pickup Pros today. We take care of trucks and customers in Floyds Knobs, Georgetown, Jeffersonville, New Albany, IN. We are experts for the Mercedes Sprinter, the Ram Cummins, the Chevrolet Duramax, The Dodge Cummins, The GMC Duramax, and the Ford Powerstroke, and more. We offer full maintenance and repairs on these popular brands of Diesel pickup trucks, work trucks, and Sprinter vans. Contact us today for an appointment!
* Mercedes-Benz Sprinter image credit goes to: Aliaksandr Litviniuk.