Volkswagen Tiguan:  Exhaust Leak → Symptoms & Diagnosis


One of the most common automotive problems is an exhaust leak.  Leaking exhaust can be loud, smelly, and (depending on where the leak is coming from) dangerous.  If your Volkswagen Tiguan has a leaking exhaust system, it should not be ignored.

Exhaust Leak Volkswagen Tiguan


Leaking Exhaust Symptoms:  Volkswagen Tiguan

A leaking exhaust system affects your Tiguan in many ways.  Here are the most common symptoms of an exhaust leak:

  • Loud Rumbling Sound– As the exhaust leak escapes through holes in the exhaust, it will let out a deep rumble sound.  This is the sound of unmuffled exhaust, and is the most obvious symptom of an exhaust leak.
  • Smell– Leaking exhaust smells terrible.  If your Tiguan has leaking exhaust, the bad smell is more than just an odor, it contains carbon monoxide. Even a light amount of Carbon Monoxide can make you sick.  If you smell your exhaust leaking, you need to roll your windows down and get fresh air in your cabin right away.  Fixing the exhaust leak is vital.
  • Check Engine Light– There are many trouble codes related to the exhaust oxygen content and catalytic converter(s). If the exhaust is leaking bad enough, the oxygen sensors are going to pick this up and trip the check engine light, giving you a trouble code.
  • Poor Fuel Economy– Another symptoms of an exhaust leak is lackluster fuel economy.  If your Volkswagen Tiguan goes less distance between filling up, that’s a good indication that there is something wrong.
  • Gas Pedal Vibration– The fuel pedal can feel like it’s vibrating.  Really, the whole vehicle can feel like it is vibrating as the exhaust leak throws off the entire balance of the vehicle, and it runs rougher.

Volkswagen Tiguan Exhaust Leak Diagnosis

If you go too long without fixing your Tiguan’s exhaust leak, it is possible for it to do damage to the catalytic converter.  Replacing the converter is expensive.  Ignoring the leak can cost you way more in the long run.


Is It Safe to Drive With Leaking Exhaust?

It is not safe to drive with an exhaust leak if the exhaust smell is making its way inside of the vehicle itself.  While exhaust does smell, Carbon Monoxide doesn’t.  


Volkswagen Tiguan Exhaust Leak Causes

If your Tiguan has leaking exhaust, it can only be caused by some form of damage to the exhaust system itself.  It’s always a good idea to take a look at the gaskets and connections in the exhaust system before looking for a failing pipe, manifold, muffler, or catalytic converter.

  • Exhaust Manifold Gasket–  There is a gasket that connects your Tiguan’s exhaust manifold to the cylinder head.  This gasket is one of the highest exhaust system failure points.  Look at the bolts that connect them.  Are they all still intact?  Are they still torqued to the proper torque specs?  Gaskets are cheap if you end up needing one.
  • Manifold to Exhaust Gasket–  On the other side of your exhaust manifold is the gasket that connects it to the rest of the exhaust system.  Check to see if the sound is coming from there.
  • Cracked Manifold– If your Tiguan’s exhaust manifold has cracked, it will no longer be able to do its job, and exhaust will leak.
  • Rusted Out Exhaust– It is entirely possible that the exhaust system has rusted to the point that exhaust can now escape from it.  If this is the case, you’ll need to bring it into an exhaust shop and have it repaired.


Conclusion:  Volkswagen Tiguan Exhaust Leak

Driving around with an exhaust leak can be loud and dangerous.  Good luck diagnosing your Volkswagen Tiguan.  If there is anything that you would like to add, please leave a comment below.