How do I check for an exhaust leak?

My brother said if I shove a banana in the tailpipe of my Toyota, it will help me find the exhaust leak. He is always messing with me, is this really how to check for an exhaust leak?

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Answer provided by
Shannon Martin
Answered on May 18, 2022
Yes, he is messing with you—however, the concept of shoving bananas in a tailpipe isn’t as crazy as it sounds, but more on that later. If you aren’t a car expert, the best way to check for an exhaust leak is to leave it to professionals.
Exhaust leaks can make a loud hissing sound, but there is a good chance you might not hear it with how noisy cars are. Small gaps or rust holes can cause the exhaust to leak carbon monoxide every time you start the vehicle.
You can’t taste, smell, or see carbon monoxide, so this could be very dangerous if you have a long car trip. This is why it is best to take your car to a mechanic shop.
Now back to the bananas. Some people think that if you stuff the tailpipe with bananas, potatoes, or rags, this will force the exhaust gasses back through the exhaust pipe and escape through the problematic hole. This is untrue.
In actuality, it will cause the gasses to go back into the engine and cause the engine to choke and stall. Having your engine checked every two years as part of your routine maintenance will help prevent unexpected issues.
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