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The exhaust system has three main functions:
Safely get hot exhaust gas from the engine out the tailpipe
Exhaust gas is poisonous. You don’t want it getting into the passenger compartment. For example, carbon monoxide can be deadly. That’s why you should never run your engine in a closed garage. If you have a leak in the exhaust system, exhaust could get into the passenger cabin and make you sick or even kill you.
If you smell exhaust in the vehicle, roll down your windows and get it inspected. You may smell or see exhaust coming from the engine compartment or under the vehicle if you have a leak. Sometimes the sound from an exhaust leak is loud and obvious. Sometimes it’s a ticking sound when you start the engine that goes away as you drive. That could be a small crack or a bad fitting that leaks when it’s cold but seals up when the metal heats and expands.
Now, let’s address the environmental issues for our own communities. Exhaust gas contains a number of pollutants and particulates. The catalytic converter scrubs some of those harmful substances. And diesel vehicles have systems to deal with soot.
Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths. It’s a dangerous and potentially lethal toxin. Excessive exposure to auto exhaust can cause brain damage and even death. If you see, smell or hear exhaust anywhere but the tailpipe, get an auto inspection right away.
Catalytic converters eventually wear out and need to be replaced. They’re expensive so you want to help them last as long as possible by keeping the fuel system clean and replacing your air filter. These components need to be tested for function with an emissions test from time to time.
And that leaves the muffler. The beauty of getting a new muffler is that you can suit your taste: Some want whisper quiet and others like a little rumble and some like a roar when they cruise down our area highways.
Your exhaust system is more than a muffler. In some ways it works like a chimney in your house, directing the byproducts of burning fuel away from the people inside. The exhaust system also controls noise and funnels the dangerous carbon monoxide away from the passenger. Your exhaust system also incorporates a catalytic converter which Is used to control harmful emissions generated by the burning of fuel. The exhaust system also provides a certain amount of back pressure that is required by the engine to improve its fuel burning efficiency and increase low RPM performance. Key components of your exhaust system include:
Designed specifically for each model, this pipe is used to properly route exhaust to the back of the vehicle.
Acting like a funnel, the exhaust manifold collects the gases from all cylinders and releases them through a single opening. Some engines have two exhaust manifolds.
The catalytic converter reduces harmful emissions and transforms pollutants into water vapor and other less harmful gases.
The muffler is a metal container with holes, baffles, and chambers that reduces exhaust noise.
The resonator works with the muffler to reduce noise.
Found at the back of the car, the tail pipe carries exhaust gases away from the vehicle.