We all heard a car or truck in our neighborhood that needs a new muffler. However, there is more to the exhaust system than just the muffler. The exhaust system has three main functions:
Exhaust gas is poisonous and contains carbon monoxide, so you do not want exhaust in the passenger compartment and never run your engine in a closed garage. If you have a leak in the exhaust system, exhaust could get into the passenger cabin and can cause illness or even death.
If you smell exhaust in the vehicle, roll down your windows and get the exhaust system inspected. You may smell or see exhaust coming from the engine compartment or under the vehicle if you have a leak. Sometimes the sound from an exhaust leak is loud and obvious. There may be a ticking sound when you start the engine, but goes away as you drive. That could be from a small crack or bad fitting, which leaks in cold weather, but seals when the metal heats and expands.
The catalytic converter scrubs some of the harmful pollutants and particulates. Diesel vehicles have exhaust fluid systems to deal with soot. Catalytic converters eventually wear out and need to be replaced. These can be expensive, so you want to help them last as long as possible by cleaning the fuel system and replacing your engine air filter. These components need to occasionally be tested for function with an emissions test.
- To safely eject hot exhaust gas from the engine,
- Treat the exhaust to remove harmful pollutants,
- And muffle the engine noise.