Can a beer can be used to plug holes in an exhaust pipe?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Dec 01, 2006

Dear Tom and Ray,
My mechanic told me that the exhaust pipe on my '78 Datsun pick-up has holes in it. He says he fixed it by welding a beer can around it. He says this will take care of it. Is he right?


TOM: Well, as long as it's Japanese beer, it ought to work. The Datsun will reject a Bud or Miller can like the body rejects a transplanted organ.

RAY: I think my brother has inhaled too much carbon monoxide, which, unfortunately, is probably what you're doing. First of all, the beer can won't work. Second, if your tailpipe is full of holes, there may be holes elsewhere--including the floor of your cab. In that case, the CO could leak out of your exhaust pipe, into your cab, and into your lungs. Carbon monoxide is dangerous for two reasons. First, it can kill you, and as if that's not bad enough, it can sneak up on you and kill you. You won't even notice you're being poisoned until they find you and your beer can at the bottom of some ravine.

TOM: Tomorrow morning, drive out--with the windows wide open-- and get yourself a brand new exhaust pipe. And don't go back to that beer can of a mechanic...even if you are married to him.

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