The exhaust system directs fumes from the engine towards the rear of your vehicle, reduces the noxious chemicals in the fumes to reduce harmful emissions, and lessens the noise made by your car's combustion engine. It is important to keep the exhaust system in tip top condition to protect both yourself and the environment from unnecessary pollutants.
Following are the main components of the exhaust system and common problems that each part can develop.
The exhaust manifold is a housing connected to the engine. It removes the gases from the cylinder heads and directs them through the exhaust system, preventing toxic gases from entering the car.
As the exhaust manifold is subject to extreme heat from the combustion process, it can develop cracks which can progress into small holes. The mountings holding the manifold in place can also break putting the structure under extra pressure.
The gases travel from the manifold and through the exhaust pipes. The exhaust pipes link all the components of the exhaust system, and function to direct the fumes towards the tailgate at the rear of the vehicle.
Exhaust pipes have a tendency to rust and to develop holes as condensation accumulates once a vehicle is stationery. The brackets that hold the pipes and other components in place can become loose; if you hear rattling when driving make sure to have the exhaust system checked.
As the fumes continue their journey through the exhaust pipes, they encounter the catalytic converter which is located between the manifold and the muffler. The catalytic converter's job is to reduce the harmfulness of the pollutants emitted by the engine so as to reduce toxic emissions.
The converter can become blocked. Signs of this are a loss of power when driving, heat emanating from the car floor, and an odor of sulfur or rotten eggs.
These are usually positioned on the side of the catalytic converter; they measure the volume of oxygen in the exhaust system. This information is used to adjust the quantity of fuel entering the cylinder heads of the engine to get the most efficient fuel to air mix during the combustion process.
These sensors can wear out over time and provide less accurate readings. However when it is malfunctioning, you will usually receive an alert via your dashboard. It is Important that the sensor is functioning well to get the best fuel economy from your vehicle.
Muffler or Silencer
After exiting the catalytic converter, the fumes travel down the exhaust pipes toward the muffler before exiting out the tailgate at the rear. The muffler reduces the noise made by the combustion engine through an internal structure that creates opposing sound waves that work to cancel each other out.
Sometimes the muffler can rust and develop holes, and this will be evident as you will soon notice a different engine noise when driving.
If you have any concerns about your exhaust system, you would be wise to visit a mechanic, such as Western Suburbs Automatics, to check whether any auto repairs are necessary. It is a small price to pay to reduce emissions that harm the environment.
I've always driven used cars, and when I first started driving, I made some costly decisions and bought a couple of cars that just weren't worth the money I spent on them. I knew I needed to learn how to inspect a car's engine and how to spot warning signs when I was buying a used car, so I started reading everything I could find on the topic, including basic car mechanics and maintenance. I started this blog to share what I've learned over the years, and I hope my tips will prevent other new drivers buying used cars that will drain their wallet and sap the enjoyment out of driving. I hope you find my posts informative and useful.