Hangers, Clamps, & Brackets
Exhaust hangers can be made of synthetic rubber, or a combination of synthetic rubber and steel. Exhaust clamps are usually made of steel and come in different sizes to accommodate varying sizes of exhaust pipes and connections. Brackets are usually made of steel and mount to various locations.
Exhaust hangers suspend various parts of the exhaust system, yet isolate those same parts from contacting points underneath the car such as the frame or unibody, axles, or floor. Exhaust clamps provide a tight connection between pipe sections and other components, like the connection between the intermediate exhaust pipe and muffler. Brackets are another type of hardware used to help locate parts of the exhaust system. Brackets generally don't use synthetic rubber as part of their design. Depending on the application, there are some combination brackets/hangers serving both purposes.
Have your vehicle's exhaust system inspected periodically to keep your car safe. Loose, missing or damaged hangers or brackets can allow the exhaust system to shift around, causing a possible clunking or rubbing sound while driving. A loose exhaust system, when hot, can also melt wiring, nylon lines or rubber hoses. Broken, damaged or missing clamps can allow exhaust leaks at their connections and may even allow connections to separate. Exhaust gas, especially carbon monoxide, can be deadly if it enters the interior of the car. The symptoms of an exhaust leak may include a louder than normal exhaust sound, the sound of exhaust coming from unusual places on your car, a “ticking” noise when accelerating, and the smell of exhaust. However, don't rely on your sense of smell as a conclusive means of determining if there's an exhaust leak. Carbon monoxide has no odour. If you suspect any problem with the exhaust system, have it inspected immediately by a professional technician. Another symptom of a potential exhaust leak is a failed emissions test. A leak not only lets exhaust gas out, it also allows oxygen to enter the exhaust stream, which can be detected during an emissions test. You will usually be required to make repairs before retesting, so have the leak checked by a professional technician.