Comprehensive auto care involves the maintenance of your vehicle from top to bottom, including its exhaust system. It also plays a role in your car’s overall health and performance. Not only will a failing exhaust system make your vehicle run less efficiently, but it can also be harmful to you as a driver or passenger.
What Is the Exhaust System?
Whenever the engine runs, it produces fumes and loud noises as by-products from simultaneous internal combustion. The exhaust system works to reduce the noises while directing harmful emissions like carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxide away from the passenger cabin and out of the vehicle. Moreover, it also functions to lessen the hazards of expelled gases, considered as pollutants, for cleaner air.
How Does It Work?
Most exhaust systems consist of the following parts:
Exhaust Manifold: The exhaust manifold is directly connected to the engine, collecting and channeling toxic fumes, excessive heat, and noises out of the vehicle. It is prone to damage since emissions are at their most poisonous state when they enter the manifold.
Oxygen Sensor: Found in the exhaust manifold, the oxygen sensor keeps track of the unburned oxygen levels relative to the exhaust gases to measure the correct fuel mixture. It helps in controlling the fuel level based on the amount of oxygen needed to burn it.
Catalytic Converter: As a major component of the exhaust system, the catalytic converter breaks down toxic fuel emissions such as carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, and hydrocarbons into less harmful substances like carbon dioxide and water vapor. It aims to reduce the amount of contaminants.
Muffler: Aside from being a nuisance, loud noises are also considered as pollutants. The muffler reduces the sound waves by acting as a resonance dampener, bouncing the noises around until they cancel out each other.
Exhaust Pipe: The exhaust pipe is designed with a long metal tube that funnels emissions out of your vehicle and into the air.
When Does It Need Repairs?
Because of the toxic nature of emissions, some components of the exhaust system fail faster than others. Visit an auto care specialist if you notice vibrations in the steering wheel, gas pedal, or driver’s seat. Increased engine noise could be an indication that you need repairs for a damaged manifold, muffler, or catalytic converter. If you’re consuming more fuel than usual, the problem may be with your exhaust system.
Keep your exhaust system in check with regular visits to Professional Automotive. Located in Anchorage, AK, their Automotive Service Excellence®-certified mechanics provide a range of auto care and repair services using a top-of-the-line computer diagnostics system. Call (907) 562-2471 to schedule a routine maintenance appointment with one of their trusted auto care technicians, or view their full list of services online.