Educational Guide on Automotive Exhaust Systems

There are many things the common person doesn’t understand about the mechanics of an automobile. Most people aren’t interested, but it can’t hurt to learn since investing in a car is something most of us will do at some point. In this guide I’ll discuss how an exhaust system functions and things you should know about an exhaust system.

There are several parts to your car that you can actually inspect yourself; the exhaust system is one. I always recommend searching for any holes in the exhaust system, since this can be extremely dangerous as it allows fumes to enter your car. If you find any holes, you should bring the car in immediately.

An automotive exhaust system is made up of five different parts. There’s the exhaust manifold, the exhaust pipe, the oxygen sensor, the catalytic converter and the muffler. Each of these parts has their own duties to allow the exhaust system to run smoothly.

The exhaust manifold is responsible for releasing the gases. This is done through one pipe. The manifold is attached to the cylinder head where the emissions take place. This part can be made from different materials, but most commonly made with cast iron.

Any car that requires fuel injection must have an Oxygen sensor. This part is usually located in the exhaust manifold, but can also be found by the pipe. An O2 sensor is responsible for evaluating the ratio between air and fuel. It’s specifically looking for oxygen levels in the ratio and during this process the computer will determine the amount of fuel required to get the most efficient levels for fuel economy.

Then there’s the catalytic converter which is responsible for converting carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. It takes these chemicals and converts them to carbon dioxide and water. This process takes place between the muffler and the manifold. Usually a catalytic converter is made with a honey comb filtration system.

Most people have heard of a muffler before, but that doesn’t mean most know what it does! It’s actually there for noise pollution. It takes the noise from the exhaust and keeps it quite by dissipating the energy from the noise.

The last part of the exhaust system is the exhaust pipe. It’s often made from steel products, like stainless steal or even aluminized steel tubing. The exhaust pipe runs from the tail pipe through all the parts mentioned above.

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