Although you should replace an exhaust system that has a hole in it as soon as you can, it is possible to patch the hole if you have a tight budget or it is Wintertime. It is fairly common for parts of the exhaust system to weaken, and holes to develop. Two popular ways to fix a hole in the exhaust is to use either a foil exhaust patch or muffler repair putty.
Both methods of patching are simple to do, but you will need to have the products available before beginning. Take a look at both ways of patching a hole in an exhaust system.
Muffler Repair Putty
Again, start by cleaning the hole and the area around the hole with a wire bristled brush. Mix the repair putty into the proper consistency based on the instructions. Once ready, dampen the hole with a light spray of water. Then, take a putty knife or similar flat headed tool and push the putty into the hole.
Press as firmly as you can, making sure that the putty is packed into the hole, and then spread a thin layer around the area of the hole. If you happen to have a large hole to repair, you should use wire or mesh to support the hole before administering the putty. When done, start the engine of the vehicle, and allow to idle for a few minutes. This will start to dry the putty, and when you drive the vehicle more, it will fully harden the putty.
Foil Exhaust Patch
These patches are widely available, fairly inexpensive and easy to apply. Once you have located the hole, you should clean it out before applying the patch. Use a wire brush to remove any particles and dust. A good bond between the metal and the patch is reliant on a clean area around the hole.
Next, start the vehicle and allow it to idle for a few minutes; this will heat the exhaust pipe. It should be warm to the touch in order to proceed. Open the patch, and wrap the foil tape around the hole. Overlap the foil several times and press on it to mould it to the shape of the exhaust. Then, secure it in place with some wire. Lastly, let the vehicle idle for another few minutes, so that the heat can fuse the foil to the exhaust.
Both methods should only be considered temporary fixes; it is recommended that you replace the exhaust system as soon as you can. When ready, you should take your vehicle to repair centers like Mufflers To The Max.