Your vehicle’s exhaust system serves many purposes. The most notable purpose is the sound reduction provided by the muffler. The muffler quietens the literal explosion going on under your hood that happens as your engine is running, firing on all cylinders. There are several other integral parts of your exhaust system that serve to make your vehicle operate as it was designed to.
Keeping your exhaust system in good working condition is vital for fuel mileage, the environment and your safety. Your car’s exhaust system carries away the gases created when the fuel and air are burned in the combustion chamber. These gases are harmful to humans and our environment.
Frequent checks of your exhaust system is imperative for you and your family’s safety. The basic parts of your vehicle’s exhaust system are the exhaust manifold, the oxygen sensor, the catalytic converter, the muffler and the exhaust pipe. Listed below are the functions of each of these.
The exhaust manifold attaches to the cylinder head and takes each cylinder’s exhaust and combines it into one pipe. The manifold can be made of steel, aluminum, stainless steel, or more commonly, cast iron.
All modern fuel injected cars utilize an oxygen sensor to measure how much oxygen is present in the exhaust. From this, the computer can add or subtract fuel to obtain the correct mixture for maximum fuel economy. The oxygen sensor is mounted in the exhaust manifold, or close to it in the exhaust pipe.
This muffler like part converts harmful carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons to water vapor and carbon dioxide. Some converters also reduce harmful nitrogen oxides. The converter is mounted between the exhaust manifold and the muffler.
The muffler serves to quiet the exhaust down to acceptable levels. Remember that the combustion process is a series of explosions that create a lot of noise. Most mufflers use baffles to bounce the exhaust around dissipating the energy and quieting the noise. Some mufflers also use fiberglass packing which absorbs the sound energy as the gases flow through.
Between all of the above mention parts is the exhaust pipe which carries the gas through it’s journey out your tail pipe. Exhaust tubing is usually made of steel but can be stainless steel (which lasts longer due to it’s corrosion resistance) or aluminized steel tubing. Aluminized steel has better corrosion resistance than plain steel but not better than stainless steel. It is, however, cheaper than stainless steel.
As you can see, your vehicle’s exhaust system is much like any other system on your automobile. It is a set of individual parts that make up the entire system. If one part wears out or fails to function properly, it can make the whole system fail to work is it was designed to work.
TAG Automotive has been diagnosing and repairing exhaust systems for almost thirty years. We can make sure your vehicle’s exhaust system is functioning like it was designed to function.