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My Engine Is Hissing Like a Cat

Young Automotive can help if your engine is hissing like a cat. There are two primary reasons why the engine will make a hissing noise. We are going to discuss these reasons below. We will include additional signs of both problems so you know what to look for in your automobile.

Cracked Exhaust Manifold

The first reason why your engine will start to hiss is that you have a cracked exhaust manifold in the exhaust system. The manifold can crack if it is exposed to excess heat. In other words, don’t drive your car if the engine is overheating because you may crack the exhaust manifold.

Aside from the hissing noise, a cracked exhaust manifold may also make a tapping or popping sound. Usually, the best time to hear the sounds is when the engine has first fired up. This is when the manifold is cold and the metal has not expanded to seal the crack.

In addition to the strange noises just discussed, you may also have a cracked exhaust manifold if your vehicle

  • Struggles to perform
  • Uses too much fuel
  • Has strong burning odors
  • Draws the exhaust into the cabin
  • Has an illuminated check engine light

It’s important that you bring your vehicle to our shop as soon as possible so we can inspect the exhaust manifold and replace it if it has cracked. In addition, the exhaust manifold gasket may also be the problem. If it is, do not worry. We can replace it, as well.

Leaking Vacuum Hose

Your engine may also make hissing noises if you have a leaking vacuum hose in it. The combustion chamber produces vacuum pressure that is used throughout the engine to power components. For example, the power steering pump uses vacuum pressure for its power.

This pressure is routed through the engine using a series of hoses. If any of the hoses crack, the vacuum pressure will leak out of it. This is what makes the hissing sound. As an aside, if you have a large crack, you may hear a suction noise instead.

Aside from the strange noises coming from the engine, a leaking vacuum hose will also

  • Reduce your engine’s performance
  • Reduce the fuel efficiency
  • Cause component malfunction
  • Create sporadic engine RPMs

As with the leaking exhaust manifold, we would be happy to inspect your engine to find the leaking vacuum hose. Once we find it, we will replace it. This will not only stop the hissing but also restore your engine’s performance.

We are Young Automotive in Sturgeon Bay, WI, and we are here to help. Call us today to schedule a service visit.

Photo by Aigars Reinholds from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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