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Information About the Car Exhaust

One of the main functions of a silencer is to control the exhaust emission and to quieten the engine. The exhaust emission system extends from the engine in the front to the rear of the vehicle. The exhaust manifolds connect to the cylinder heads where exhaust gases are pushed out of the engine.

As gases flow through the exhaust system, they are analysed by oxygen sensors, refined by a catalytic converter inside the exhaust and excessive sound is muffled. By the time the gases leave the vehicle, the emission system has made the vehicle run smoother, cleaner and quieter.

For turbo vehicles, the turbo-back is the section of the exhaust that extends from the outlet of a turbocharger to open air. Turbo-back systems are generally produced as aftermarket performance enhancements for cars with turbochargers. Some turbo-back systems replace stock catalytic converters to provide less flow restriction. To help keep your car running smoothly, quietly and efficiently, it is important to have your exhaust system checked out at least once a year.

Common Signs of Wear

Exhaust manifolds and gaskets: cracks or small holes could cause exhaust leaks, affecting safety, performance and noise. Oxygen sensors: Cracks, damaged wires or blocked intakes could cause incorrect fuel/air mixture adjustments and poor fuel economy. Catalytic converters: Overheating, dents, clogs or corrosion could cause air pollution, excessive noise and rough idling. Pipes, hangers, clamps and brackets: Excessive rust or broken bolts could cause exhaust components to hang dangerously low, resulting in a hazard for other road users.

The function of the exhaust components is as follows:

  • The exhaust manifold allows engine gases and heat to flow into the exhaust system
  • The catalytic converter reduces pollutants from the exhaust emissions
  • The resonator and muffler reduce noise
  • Assorted pipe configurations connect the components including the exhaust tailpipe

Major exhaust components are designed to last long, but there’s no way to predict their true lifespan. This is because they are subject to many of factors that affect durability. They are made primarily of metal, which corrodes easily since they are under extremely high temperatures.

Dry-rotted gaskets can allow corrosive gases to seep in and slowly destroy the catalytic converter, which is indicated by a rotten egg/sulfur odour. If an exhaust manifold gasket gives way, you’ll probably hear a blowing noise. Exhausts should be regularly checked and inspected for corrosion or impact damage from rocks, speed bumps or general road debris.