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Do you know what your exhaust does?

Bradley Jando | Thursday 3rd September 2020 4:17pm

Underneath if a car showing the exhaust

Your car exhaust system is a vital part of your vehicle. After all, for just one part of your car, the exhaust is in charge of several different tasks - with each task either impacting how your car performs, or affecting the safety of you and anyone else in your vehicle.

If you donít know much about your car exhaust, it can be quite a surprise that for a seemingly small section of your vehicle, itís responsible for many things that keep your car running smoothly. The exhaust even has a direct relationship with your engine, the very thing that keeps your car moving! If youíre not sure about what your exhaust does, or really what it is, keep reading, as we cover some exhaust basics.

What is an exhaust system and what does it do?

A common misconception about the exhaust system, typically by those who donít know much about it, is that itís very small and located at the back of your vehicle. In actuality, the exhaust system of a car is made up of several parts and spans almost the entire length of your car.

Your car exhaust system has four jobs to do, all of which can have a great effect on your car if they arenít achieved. Your exhaust controls and minimises noise, redirects exhaust fumes created by the engine, improves the engineís overall performance and improves fuel consumption.

How does it work?

Your car exhaust system is made up of several different components, depending on the make of your vehicle. Thatís the exhaust manifold, oxygen sensors, catalytic converter, diesel particulate filter, silencer(or muffler) and exhaust pipe (or tailpipe).

The most important functions of the car exhaust system is that it redirects dangerous gases away from passengers. While your engine is running, it creates leftover gases which are made up of dangerous chemicals like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons. Your exhaust system reroutes these gases away from the engine compartment so they donít make their way into the cabin and towards you.

These gases then travel down the car through the exhaust system until they reach the catalytic converter. This component then manipulates and removes the harmful elements of the gases, so that as they finally exit through the exhaust pipe at the rear of your car, the outside air isnít exposed to the dangerous gases.

For a more detailed explanation of how each of the car exhaust systemís components work and a helpful video diagram, have a look at our page on how exhausts work.

How do I know my exhaust is working properly?

As such a crucial part of your car, youíll want to ensure that your exhaust system is always running smoothly. However, if youíre not sure of the warning signs, here are some things to look out for in the event that you might need an exhaust repair or replacement.

If your exhaust system emits a rattling, roaring or any other type of unusual noises, this is an indicator that your exhaust system may have an issue - and that you should take it in to be looked at by a professional.

If you can visually see any damage, such as cracks or holes when looking at your exhaust, particularly where the different sections of the system meet, you should get your vehicle checked by a professional. If you also spot rust when inspecting your car exhaust system, this might not automatically be an issue, but is worth getting checked to be on the safe side.

Itís recommended that you get your exhaust checked at least twice a year for any damage that could occur. Please be aware that if you frequently use your car for short trips, youíre more likely to experience exhaust corrosion in a shorter amount of time and travel distance, compared to carís used to travel long distances.

Exhausts with Kwik Fit

If youíre concerned about your exhaust system or would like to ensure that itís working as it should, weíre here to help. At Kwik Fit, we offer a free exhaust check where our technicians will complete a no-obligation inspection. You can book your exhaust check appointment online today.


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