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The Anatomy of an Exhaust

When you think of essential parts of your vehicle, does the exhaust system spring to mind? Probably not, but it should. A vehicle’s exhaust system is in charge of funnelling all of the carbon monoxide created during combustion safely out the vehicle through the tailpipe. The quality of your exhaust system can have a huge impact on the overall performance of your vehicle, and this month, we’re going to be discussing how such a system fits together and show you the anatomy of an exhaust system.

Tyres Northampton - Exhaust System

  • Exhaust manifold

The exhaust manifold can be seen as where your exhaust flow begins. The manifold is fitted right over the cylinders onto the head of your engine, with each cylinder having its own pipe which eventually all joins into one. The number of exhaust manifolds your exhaust system has will depend on the size of your engine.

  • Exhaust down pipe

The role of the exhaust down pipe is fairly simple: it links the exhaust manifold to the muffler/silencer. In most systems, a catalytic converter may be fitted between these two points.

  • Catalytic converter

Catalytic converters are commonplace in all exhaust systems these days. The role of a catalytic converter is to reduce the amount of harmful chemicals that your system creates. We won’t bore you with the science here, just think of them as environmental air fresheners.

  • O2 sensor

Most modern exhaust systems have at least two oxygen sensors. As the name suggests, oxygen sensors detect how much oxygen is in the exhaust system, before sending that information to your vehicle’s onboard CPU. From there, the CPU will determine how much fuel needs to be added in order to optimise your vehicle’s fuel economy. Pretty clever, if you ask us.

  • Muffler

Your muffler’s role might not be integral to the proper functioning of your exhaust system, but it certainly saves your neighbours a headache. If you hadn’t guessed, your muffler minimises – or muffles – the amount of noise created by your engine. Given that the combustion process is essentially a series of small explosions, it’s safe to say it does a pretty good job.

  • Tailpipe

Finally, the tailpipe. It runs from the muffler and out the back or side of your vehicle. It’s the only part of your exhaust system that’s visible, and for that reason is what most people think of when they consider an exhaust.

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Signs That Your Exhaust May Need Replacing

Think you might have a problem with your exhaust? Here are three telltale signs that there’s something funky going on with your exhaust system:

    • A rumbling noise: If there’s a loud rumbling noise coming from your engine that gets louder during acceleration, this could be a sign that your exhaust system is leaking. This is because smoke is escaping through a crack in your exhaust pipe.
    • Poor fuel economy: A marked decrease in your vehicle’s overall performance could mean that you have a problem with your exhaust. This is because if your O2 sensors can’t take accurate readings, they might end up adding more fuel to the system than usual, resulting in more fuel being burnt.
    • Vibrating pedals: If your accelerator pedal is vibrating, this could be a sign of an exhaust issue. This is because, if exhaust fumes aren’t being emitted properly, the impact is felt throughout your entire vehicle.

If you think that you might have a problem with your exhaust system, the experts here at Tyres Northampton can help. We will be able to quickly identify and fix any problem you might have with your exhaust in our performance centre, and you can relax in our newly-refurbished waiting area while we do so. For more information, or to book in a repair today, all you have to do is get in touch.


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