In Mesa Arizona we have a huge variety of cars, but they all have something in common, an exhaust system. When you hear a sports car rev its motor and it sounds like it’s growling, that’s due to the type and configuration of the exhaust system, which likely has more air flow to maximize power and performance. Furthermore, when you are walking down the street and a luxury car passes by almost silently, that is also due to the type of exhaust system it has.
Your car’s exhaust system has numerous parts and functions that you may not be aware of until you are in need of exhaust repair. The most important of the functions is to transfer hot, poisonous, exhaust fumes from the engine away from the driver, through the rear of the car and out the tail pipe. In addition, the catalytic converter must convert unspent fuel into spent fuel and also function as an emissions control device, which through chemical reactions converts toxins in the exhaust to less toxic substances. Today, most cars are equipped with what is often called a three way converter as it converts the three main pollutants in exhaust. These main pollutants are carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, and nitrous oxide. And finally, the function you are probably most aware of, the exhaust system uses a muffler to reduce the noise created by the engine. A problem with your muffler can quickly grab your attention. When your family minivan begins to sound more like a race car, you know its time to head to one of the repair shops in Mesa Arizona.
In discussing your exhaust system, let’s begin with the exhaust manifold. It is bolted to the engine and its job is to take in gasses from the exhaust ports of the cylinder head and send them into the header pipe. It is connected to the head pipe by the exhaust flange. The exhaust manifold can be made of cast iron, aluminum, or stainless steel. In some types of exhaust systems the exhaust manifold contains the fuel management system’s oxygen sensor. The beginning section of the exhaust system holds the primary oxygen sensor while the secondary sensor is farther down past the catalytic converter. These sensors are used to measure how the motor is functioning and then send that information to the power-train computer that will adjust the air-fuel mixture accordingly.
The secondary exhaust system moves the exhaust from the catalytic converter through the muffler and out the rear of the vehicle through the tail pipe. The combustion process also produces small amounts of water which may be seen as drops of water or steam coming from the tail pipe.
Therefore, the function of the exhaust system is to move the exhaust from the exhaust manifold through the head pipe, into the catalytic converter, and out the tail pipe. The catalytic converter is covered by a heat shield to protect the floorboard and passengers from the extreme heat it produces. The tail pipe is the tube that is connected to the muffler that continues out the back of the car where it can be seen protruding.
The exhaust system is held in place by flexible exhaust hangers which help to allow the system to flex without breaking. Today most exhaust systems are made of stainless steel or aluminum to prevent deterioration due to rust.
The exhaust system must function properly as exhaust gasses can cause illness in passengers, with symptoms including; headache, blurred vision, light headedness and in worst case scenarios it can be lethal if allowed inside your car. That’s why it is imperative that you never leave your car running inside a garage and that you never run the car if the exhaust pipe is covered by anything. If you can smell exhaust fumes inside your car while driving, you are probably in need of exhaust repair.
Another word of caution, when the car is running and for quite some time after it has been shut off the entire exhaust system is dangerously hot to the touch.
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