Explaining the Exhaust System
It’s an important component of your vehicle, but do you understand all of the things that your exhaust system does? First Gear explores the three major jobs of the exhaust; control noise, carry gases away, improve engine & fuel consumption. We will also explain all the main parts of the system and why it is important to look after them all. This system also effects your car’s overall performance so it matters how well it is working to both you and your wallet.
Carrying Gas Away
Every vehicle produces six types of gas. Three of these are toxic (carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, nitrogen monoxide). Your exhaust system is the only way of converting and removing these fumes. These gases start in the engine, they are collected from the cylinder head by the exhaust manifold. This is the first part of the exhaust system. The manifold acts as a funnel taking the gases from each cylinder of the engine and releasing them through one single pipe called the front pipe. The gases then go through a catalytic converter which converts the harmful elements so they are no longer toxic. It breaks down the gases using reduction and oxidation. Next, the gases pass through the muffler, which job is to silence or “muffle” the sound. Finally the exhaust fumes exit through the tail pipe at the rear of the vehicle which carries the gases away from the vehicle.
As we just learned the muffler is responsible for making sure that your car doesn’t sound like a jet while you are driving. We have all heard a vehicle with a hole in the muffler. This makes you realize what an important roll your muffler plays. Many vehicles also have a resonator. If you drive a hatchback, truck, luxury vehicle or SUV you will have a resonator. While mufflers reduce the volume of the sound, the resonator changes the sound. Also decreasing the amount of noise that can be heard from your exhaust system.
Improve Engine & Fuel Performance
The longer it takes for exhaust gases to leave your vehicle, the longer it takes for oxygen to get in to generate more power. Having an exhaust system that is in good working order will allow your vehicle to breathe better which means more power and better performance. Similar to engine performance, the faster the exhaust leaves your vehicle, the better fuel economy you will have due to the fact that the engine is able to take in more free oxygen. Most exhaust systems have oxygen sensors that are mounted to the manifold. The oxygen sensor measures how much oxygen is present in the exhaust and adds or subtracts fuel based on this. Too much oxygen means the car isn’t using enough fuel and too little oxygen means fuel is being over used.