Your exhaust system is a vital part of the health and safety of your car. It ensures toxic exhaust fumes stay out of your car cabin and works to make your engine run correctly. Your exhaust system helps your car achieve fuel efficiency and cuts down on harmful emissions that pollute the air. Built-up exhaust fumes can ultimately cause engine deterioration, which makes it important to have your exhaust pipe regularly inspected.
There are many components to the exhaust system. Each one serves a unique and important purpose along the exhaust system. The exhaust system works by carrying 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 are a must to provide for you and your family’s safety. At All Auto, we make sure there are no holes in the exhaust system or in the passenger compartment where exhaust fumes could enter. By regular checks of the exhaust system, we can make sure your car is running efficiently and safe. Here are the major components that comprise the exhaust system:
• Exhaust manifold
The exhaust manifold attaches to the cylinder head and takes each cylinder exhaust and combines it into one pipe.
• Exhaust Pipe
This is a pipe connected to the exhaust manifold. It is also connected to the catalytic converter between the exhaust manifold and the muffler connecting the system together.
• Catalytic Converter
Located between the exhaust manifold and the muffler along the exhaust pipe, the catalytic converter converts harmful carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons to water vapor and carbon dioxide. Some converters also reduce harmful nitrogen oxides.
• Oxygen sensor
The oxygen sensor measures how much oxygen is present in the exhaust. The oxygen sensor tells the computer to add or subtract fuel to obtain the correct mixture for maximum fuel economy. The oxygen sensor is usually mounted in the exhaust manifold or close to it in the exhaust pipe.
The muffler serves to quiet the exhaust down to acceptable levels. Remember that the combustion process is a series of explosions that create allot 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. Resonators serve a similar purpose but typically have less baffling and don’t reroute exhaust gases as much as a muffler. This reduces back pressure, potentially freeing up a few horsepower.
As you can see your exhaust system has different parts along the system that can potentially cause your vehicle to have issues. Although the symptoms are not always noticeable, in the long term, any failures of the system can cause your vehicle to not perform at peak levels. Here are some symptoms that will indicate a problem in the exhaust system:
• The Check Engine Light is On
If you see the little yellow picture of an engine on, you most likely have an issue with your exhaust system. This warning light will illuminate when errors are recorded by the onboard diagnostics of your vehicle. Most check engine lights will come on if there are problems with your catalytic converter, the oxygen sensor, or a failing fuel cap.
• If You Hear a Vibration
If you hear vibrating when your car is running or if it experiences a loss of power, brings it in for a free exhaust inspection. Let our experts at All Auto know where you noticed the vibration coming from: the steering wheel, operating pedals, or even the seat. This symptom could be a result of a hole, disconnected part, or a leak in the exhaust system. A vibration can sometimes include a rumbling sound depending on the size of the damaged area.
• Decrease in Fuel Efficiency
If it seems like a tank of gas doesn’t take you as far as it used to, bring your car in to All Auto for an inspection. As with vibrations, a loss of fuel efficiency might indicate a problem in exhaust system. Leaks in the exhaust system make your motor work harder, which will burn more gasoline in the process.
• A Failing Catalytic Converter
While the catalytic converter helps with converting harmful fumes into water vapor and carbon dioxide, it is the most costly part of your exhaust system. When the catalytic converter begins to fail, you will hear loud sounds like someone shaking a metal box filled with pennies while your car is in idle. Most likely, the check engine light will be illuminated.
• Increase in Exhaust Volume
A deep rumbling noise coming out of your exhaust pipe is an obvious signal that you have a muffler or exhaust issue. Having it repaired quickly is the best option. Delaying needed muffler or exhaust repairs causes other exhaust and engine problems that make repairs more expensive.
• Common Problems:
The worst enemy of your exhaust system is corrosion, or more commonly known as rust. Rust can eat away at the exhaust system and create unwanted and unseen holes in the various parts of the system. When rust eats away at the metal in the exhaust system, the only solution is a replacement. It is rare that rust will eat away at the entire system at once, so a replacement of only one part of the system may be needed.
At All Auto, we have seen every kind of exhaust problem and can quickly fix any issue in the system. We use OEM parts for all exhaust repairs and have the expertise to diagnose problems with low cost solutions. We want our customers back on the road, enjoying life as quick as possible and can source parts quickly. Come in today if you suspect you have an exhaust system issue, we will be happy to give you a free evaluation and estimate if we find a problem.