The main purpose of your exhaust system is to remove toxic fumes from your vehicle. When recalling the foul smell of exhaust, this probably doesn’t come as any surprise. But as simple as it seems, it’s made up of several complex parts that must work together to safely dispose of gases.
A Background on Exhaust and Emissions
When fuel is burned in your engine’s combustion chamber, the resulting toxic gases are carried away by your exhaust system. But this process has become more comprehensive in recent years. Following advances in technology and worries about effects on the environment, the government mandated emission control computers in 1990. So, your exhaust system now limits the amount of noxious gases that can be discharged.
Because it’s no longer just dispelling fumes but limiting them, the exhaust system’s computer components have added a lot of complexity. And because emissions ultimately affect air quality, keeping these systems maintained is very important. While Minnesota and surrounding states are not currently among those that require emissions testing, the system does protect you and your family from breathing in fumes while you’re driving.
Parts of Your Exhaust System
Your exhaust system is made up of many parts, assuring that the gases from your engine under the hood exit out the back of your car. Here are its main parts, starting from the engine and moving backward:
- Exhaust manifold: Collects exhaust from the engine cylinders and sends it to the exhaust pipe
- Catalytic converter: Changes carbon monoxide from the exhaust into carbon dioxide and water vapor, a safer alternative
- Oxygen sensors: Sends oxygen-to-exhaust ratio to onboard computer to assure maximum fuel efficiency
- Muffler: Quiets engine noises
- Tailpipe: Carries exhaust out of the car
Rust and Other Exhaust Damage Culprits
The biggest problem associated with your exhaust system is rust. Since water vapor is created through the catalytic converter, it often rusts nearby parts. Rain or snow, as is common in Minnesota, may also cause corrosion. The muffler is typically one of the first to go due to rust; something your ears will probably notice as your car will start sounding a lot louder. The hangars that hold your exhaust system in place may also break, allowing hot exhaust to damage other parts of your vehicle.
The catalytic converter isn’t immune to damage either; it may become clogged and need replaced. If your catalytic converter is clogged, you should visit us at Kennedy Transmission Brake and Auto as soon as possible. If the catalytic converter isn’t working properly, your vehicle will emit more carbon monoxide.
Kennedy Transmission Can Handle Your Exhaust Service
Most of the symptoms of an exhaust issue are obvious. If you have trouble starting your car, it runs rough, or is noisy, you might have a problem with your exhaust system. Your “check engine” light will typically switch on, notifying you that you need maintenance done – even if that maintenance isn’t directly to your engine. Apart from needed repairs, you should also consider appointments about every 10,000 miles to make sure your emissions system is running properly.
When a problem arises, you can count on Kennedy Transmission to fix it for you. Find your nearest service location to keep your exhaust and emissions system running efficiently.