What does my exhaust system do?
As you drive, your car’s engine burns fuel to power the vehicle and keep you moving. Once the fuel is used, it leaves exhaust gases that need to be expelled into the atmosphere. This is where the exhaust system comes in.
The basic parts of an exhaust system are the exhaust manifold, catalytic converter, resonator, muffler and tailpipe. All these parts work together to dampen engine noise, reduce harmful emissions and move exhaust fumes out and away from your vehicle.
The exhaust system also helps improve your vehicle’s fuel economy. Sensors built into the exhaust system measure the fuel burning in your engine. These sensors communicate with the other components in your engine to ensure the best fuel-to-air ratio is used in combustion, giving you the best fuel economy. This allows your gas mileage to stay down and your fill-ups at the gas pump to last longer.
How does the catalytic converter work?
Since 1975, all vehicles come with a catalytic converter that helps remove harmful emissions. When an engine burns fuel, it creates toxic gases like carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides and hydrocarbons (unburned fuel). The catalytic converter uses chemical reactions to eliminate these harmful pollutants and convert them into less dangerous gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water vapor. This helps reduce carbon emissions and makes cars more environmentally friendly.
Signs You Need Exhaust Repair
Loud Engine Noise
It’s hard to miss a car with a worn-out muffler; you can hear it coming from a mile away! The muffler’s job is to muffle engine noise. If there’s even a small hole or crack in it, it can cause a lot of noise.
Do you hear strange rattling noises when your car is running? It’s likely caused by a broken hanger. Best case scenario, your exhaust system is loose and rattling around. Worst case scenario, you’re dragging your muffler on the ground. Either way, it’s probably a good idea to pull over and check underneath your car.
Decreased Fuel Efficiency
One of the functions of the exhaust system is to help regulate the amount of fuel used in the engine combustion process. But when the exhaust leaks or a sensor malfunctions, your engine has to work harder than usual and your fuel economy decreases.
Check Engine Light
Your check engine light alerts you to any issues that may affect your engine’s performance, including exhaust problems. Common issues that set off the check engine light include a bad catalytic converter and failed sensors.
Foul Odors & Drowsiness
If you get unusually drowsy or smell something strange while driving, get your exhaust checked as soon as possible! It could be a serious indicator that harmful fumes are leaking into your car’s interior.
Leaks or holes in the exhaust system can release toxic gases, like carbon monoxide, into the atmosphere. This is not only harmful to the environment but also to you and your passengers if the gases infiltrate the car interior.
Exhaust System Services at Virginia Tire & Auto of Gainesville
Keep your vehicle running safely and efficiently with regular exhaust system maintenance. When you notice anything wrong with your exhaust system, visit Virginia Tire & Auto of Gainesville for the repair and/or replacement of:
- Air Temperature Sensors
- Catalytic Converters
- EGR Systems
- Engine Gaskets
- EVAP Components
- Exhaust Systems
- Oxygen Sensors
Schedule Exhaust System Repair in Gainesville, VA
Whether you are getting ready for your Virginia Emissions Inspection or are experiencing the sounds and smells of an exhaust system problem, let the ASE Certified Technicians at Virginia Tire & Auto of Gainesville inspect and repair your vehicle’s exhaust system.
Drop by or schedule an appointment today!