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What Does an Exhaust Do?

Your vehicles exhaust and emissions system is designed to funnel harmful emissions away from the engine and make them less toxic before channelling them away from the vehicle. In addition, it works to reduce engine noise and maintain fuel efficiency.

How Does the Exhaust Work?

The exhaust system is a series of pipes and chambers which channels fumes away from your car

The exhaust system is basically a series of pipes and chambers which channel noxious fumes away from your vehicle so that you and your passengers are not exposed to them. The main parts of your exhaust system are:

  • The engine manifold produces gases such as carbon monoxide whilst driving and these get drawn away.
  • Pipes connect the exhaust components and force gases and fumes away from the engine and the cabin of the vehicle.
  • The catalytic converter works to reduce harmful gases by forcing chemical reactions and transforming them into inert gases.
  • The muffler then reduces the sound waves that pass from the engine, lowering the noise emissions from your vehicle.
  • The exhaust that you can see at the rear of your vehicle then emits the gases away from the vehicle.

The exhaust system is the only component of your car that works to filter harmful fumes and channel them away from the driver and passengers, so it is important that yours is working correctly.

If an exhaust system fails, gas can be drawn in to the cabin of the vehicle, exposing the occupants to the hazardous gases. These gases, including carbon monoxide, can cause drowsiness and could even lead to more severe health problems.

In addition, your engine will need to work harder if your exhaust is not fully working and this means that your fuel consumption will be increased.

Identifying Problems with the Exhaust

Fortunately, most problems with the exhaust system can usually be identified easily. Here are the signs that you should be aware of:

Listen Out For…

  • A hissing noise which indicates that there could be holes or cracks in one of the pipes or exhaust components. This could be dangerous as it may mean that hazardous fumes are leaking from your exhaust.
  • A loud roaring noise could mean that there is a problem with your silencer. This most likely means that your silencer has started to corrode and needs to be repaired or replaced.
  • Chugging noises tend to signify that there is a blockage in the exhaust system, you must have this checked to ensure that nothing is preventing your exhaust from working effectively.

Look Out For…

  • Discoloured emissions such as blue or black smoke which potentially indicates that there are leaks somewhere in the exhaust system.
  • Corrosion or rust anywhere on the exhaust system means that it is time to have your exhaust checked. Although you can’t see most of your exhaust system as it is located underneath the car, you should check the part which is visible every few weeks.

Check the part of your exhaust which is visible at the rear of the vehicle

The exhaust pipe is located at the rear of the vehicle and will be visible. This is the part of the exhaust that you should visually inspect to ensure that it is in good condition.

Inspect your exhaust for corrosion, rust, splits and cracks

This exhaust shows the early onset of corrosion. Look out for signs of corrosion and rust which will be visible. A heavily corroded exhaust may show signs of cracks or splits, and any damage should be inspected by a specialist.

Get a FREE Visual Exhaust Check at Setyres

If you have noticed any of the symptoms listed above, you should make an appointment at your local Setyres branch to have your exhaust checked.

Even if you have not noticed any of the signs listed, it is advisable to have your exhaust system checked at least once or year, or around 6,000 miles.

A healthy exhaust and emissions system is vital to the overall health of your car and will ensure that your car runs quietly and that harmful gases are converted and disposed of safely.

The annual MOT test includes checks on the level of harmful emissions that your car discharges, so you will need to ensure that your exhaust and emissions system is working correctly in order to pass.