The exhaust system has three main functions:
- Direct harmful engine exhaust gases away from the inside of your vehicle.
- Reduce pollutants released into the atmosphere.
- Minimize engine exhaust noises.
There are five main parts in a typical exhaust system, and they all need to be functioning in a proper way to ensure your safety:
Catalytic Converter, which reduces the car's harmful emissions by converting carbon monoxide and other gases into carbon dioxide and water vapor.
Exhaust Manifold, which moves engine gases and heat into the exhaust system.
Exhaust Pipes, carries exhaust through the entire system, from the manifold at the front to its exit at the tailpipe.
Oxygen Sensor, which sends oxygen level readings to the car’s computer, which then regulates fuel for optimal efficiency.
Muffler, which reduces the volume of the exhaust system’s loud combustion noises.
It's recommended having your exhaust system checked out at least once a year. It's easy for you to tell when your muffler needs repair. But your emissions system can have other, more serious problems that aren’t quite so obvious to detect. Pinholes, stuck valves, loose brackets, and catalytic converter malfunctions in your exhaust system could allow deadly carbon monoxide to leak into your vehicle.
Watch for the following exhaust symptoms:
- Excessive engine idle or run noise
- Rattling noise, especially under acceleration
- Change in engine note under acceleration
Maintaining routine exhaust system services will help keep all your exhaust components, like the exhaust manifold, front pipe, downpipe, catalytic converter, and muffler, working efficiently. Routine maintenance on your exhaust system will save you from having to replace the entire exhaust system down the road.