The inside of your vehicle’s engine is an explosive place. Fuel is fed into your engine and that fuel is ignited to move the pistons that power the motion of your vehicle. The byproduct of these explosions some pretty dangerous gasses that would pose a danger to the vehicle’s occupants. It is the job of the exhaust system to neutralize the dangerous chemicals and also to reduce engine noise.
Your exhaust pipe, muffler, oxygen sensor, catalytic converter and the exhaust manifold all work together to “scrub” the dangerous chemicals and gasses to neutralize them and provide safety for vehicle occupants and the environment alike. The secondary role of the exhaust system is to limit emissions and protect the environment.
The process is looks like this. Your vehicle’s manifold traps the gasses that are coming from the engine and the catalytic converter cleans them. As you might expect this can be a very noisy operation so your muffler quiets things down before the cleaned exhaust is expelled from the exhaust pipe. This is over-simplifying it, but it is a good way to illustrate the process.
Telltale signs that you may have an issue that needs to be addressed include: loud muffler noise, loss of power when accelerating, decreased fuel efficiency or a strong exhaust smell. Bad O² sensor, clogged muffler, exhaust leaks caused by rust and catalytic converter issues are the most common causes of Exhaust system problems.
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