The tailpipe of my 1988 Toyota pickup truck was rusted and it broke off of the muffler (the muffler itself is fine), so now the exhaust leaves out of a pipe that is near the rear axle and underneath the bed of the truck (not underneath the cab).

I am planning on driving around 200 miles soon, so my questions are:

What are the risks of driving that distance without repairing the tailpipe?

If it is safe to make that trip without delaying for the repair, how much urgency should this repair receive after the trip?

Is there any damage or negative effects that could happen to the vehicle by the exhaust exiting under the vehicle instead of behind the vehicle?

My feeling is that this isn't a big deal, but I want to make sure I'm not mistaken.

2 Answers 2


It's not a big deal. The worst it's going to do is dirty things up near where the exhaust is coming. Just make sure it's not near the fuel or brake lines, because of the heat. Definitely get it fixed, after your trip.

  • I agree. If it is near gas/brake lines, consider just putting in a down turn at the end of the muffler. This will push all the heat and fumes away from the truck and at the road. No worries at that point and an easy fix. Sep 18, 2016 at 11:59
  • It's not a big deal unless you spend a lot of time idling. Exhaust gasses can pool beneath/around the car and make their way into the passenger compartment if the vehicle is stationary and doesn't have a proper exhaust. Sep 20, 2016 at 1:22
  • If you want to make a temporary repair, it is possible to cut the top and bottom off a tin drinks can. Cut the can along it's length and you're left with something that can be wrapped around the two bits of broken exhaust. You can then use a couple of jubilee clips or metal fixing clamps to secure it (do not use plastic as they may melt). A good temporary fix but not strictly needed. Sep 26, 2016 at 9:42

In addition to what others have mentioned, depending on your area, you may be violating noise and emission laws. You may get a ticket.

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