Your vehicle’s exhaust system is more than just a tailpipe and a muffler. In fact, it is one of the most complex systems in your vehicle. The manifold is attached to the vehicle engine. It collects exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe.
The exhaust system has three main functions:
- To safely get hot exhaust gas from the engine out the tailpipe
- Treats the exhaust to remove harmful pollutants
- Muffle the engine noise
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.
Gaskets seal the connection of the manifold to the engine and to other joints. A cracked or loose manifold or a leaking or damaged gasket can allow dangerous gases to enter the passenger compartment of a vehicle. One of these gases is carbon monoxide, which is colorless, odorless, and deadly. For this reason, it is important Des Moines residents keep their exhaust system in good repair. The pipes that connect the various parts of the exhaust system can rust or be damaged by rocks or other road debris. Such damage can cause dangerous gases to leak into the air.
The catalytic converter is the next component of your vehicle exhaust system. It sort of looks like a muffler. Its job is to change dangerous gases into harmless carbon dioxide and water. The catalytic converter doesn’t require any regular maintenance, but it can wear out. If it fails, you will need a new catalytic converter to pass an emissions test in Iowa.
Now, let’s address the environmental issues for our Des Moines community. 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.
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.
Oxygen sensors in the exhaust pipe monitor the oxygen content of the exhaust. This helps the vehicle engine’s computer keep the fuel-to-air mixture at optimal levels.
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 drive down our Des Moines streets. The muffler is also part of your vehicle exhaust system, but it deals with a different kind of emission. It keeps your vehicle from emitting bad sounds. Mufflers act like finely tuned musical instruments. They create feedback of sound waves to absorb or decrease the noises made by your engine. Different mufflers can create different sound waves, so you can actually “tune” your car to produce a particular sound, anything from whisper to rumble.
The entire exhaust system is attached to your vehicle by hangers and clamps. These fasteners can rust, come loose or break. The components of the exhaust system can get very hot, so when the hangers or clamps fail, these hot components can come into contact with other parts such as wires and hoses. These can melt, causing serious damage to your vehicle. Good car care requires that you have your exhaust system inspected regularly.
Caring for your vehicle exhaust system at All Pro Servicenter yields cosmetic benefits like quieting your engine sounds, but also may impact your health and safety. Your life, or the life of a loved one, may actually be on the line.