The purpose of the Exhaust System is to silence and neutralize the hot poisonous gases produced by the engine of your vehicle so that you enjoy a clean, quiet and efficient ride.
The exhaust system does all this as it hangs precariously under your vehicle, exposed to all kinds of weather and road conditions. It is therefore important to have the exhaust system of your vehicle checked at least once a year. Our Autotech Performance technicians will be pleased to do this for you!
Main components of the Exhaust System
- Exhaust Manifold
- Catalytic Converter
- Oxygen Sensor
- Helmholtz Tuning Chambers
How does the Exhaust System work?
The exhaust system starts at the front of your vehicle, right behind the engine. The exhaust manifold is connected to the cylinder head and collects the exhaust gases of the engine. The exhaust manifold reduces combustion noise and transfers heat downstream – toward the rear of the vehicle – to promote the oxidation of unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. The emissions control process is therefore initiated within the exhaust manifold.
Then the exhaust gases reach the catalytic converter located further down in the system. This device is designed to convert the toxic exhaust gases – carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons – into harmless carbon dioxide and water vapor through a chemical reaction involving platinum and palladium catalysts. Lead-free gasoline must be used in vehicles equipped with a catalytic converter to prevent lead from coating the catalysts and rendering them ineffective.
The oxygen sensor detects the oxygen content within the exhaust stream which is in turn read by the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) that constantly adjusts the fuel/air ratio to an optimal level. As the values of several variables – RPM, engine temperature, air temperature, coolant temperature, etc. – are constantly changing, the oxygen sensor is an essential component that optimizes your vehicle’s efficiency and performance.
Engine noise is a collection of firing frequencies combined to an extended range of noise caused by the resonance of various components. The muffler silences the exhaust by channeling it through compartments called Helmholtz tuning chambers. These resonating chambers are specifically tuned to cause destructive interference, meaning that opposite sound waves cancel each other out.
From their passage through the entire exhaust system, the temperature, pressure, toxicity and noise of the exhaust gases are significantly reduced when they come out of the tail pipe.
Signs of troubles related to your vehicle’s Exhaust System
- The engine won’t run smoothly
- Low fuel efficiency
- Loud exhaust noise – rusted and pierced elements of the system
- Low engine power
- Rotten egg odor
- Parts of exhaust system hanging low