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What are the Parts of Your Exhaust System?

Your engine works by creating thousands of small explosions that push against the pistons, which in turn rotates the crankshaft and eventually drives your vehicle’s wheels.

These explosions produce leftover gases, known as exhaust gases, that are made of potentially dangerous chemicals such as carbon monoxide, hydro carbons and nitrogen oxide.

In order to keep drivers and passengers safe, these chemicals need to be guided away from the front end of the car so they don’t enter the interior and cause harm. An exhaust system involves a series of parts and piping that redirects these toxic exhaust gases to the rear of your vehicle.

Exhaust Manifold

The exhaust manifold is a cast-iron piece bolted directly to the engine block and is the first section of your vehicle’s exhaust system. Its function is to collect the exhaust gas from the engine cylinders into one pipe and send it through the catalytic converter.

Signs of a bad or damaged exhaust manifold include excessive engine noise, decrease in power, fuel efficiency and acceleration and a burning smell coming from the engine.

Catalytic Converter

The next piece of your vehicle’s exhaust system is the catalytic converter, which is designed to reduce air pollution by changing unburned hydrocarbons, nitrogen and carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and water.

It works by creating a chemical reaction when these harmful toxins come into contact with the “catalysts”, substances that can change a chemical’s composition without being consumed in the process.

Over time, catalytic converters can become contaminated, overheated, clogged or physically damaged. This may cause issues with the performance of the engine or complete engine shutdown.


The exhaust system runs from the front of your vehicle to the back and require hangers to ensure that the parts and piping are held in place. Hangers are made of rubber and stretched between hooks in order to secure the exhaust system. The rubber also reduces noise and friction.

Hangers have a universal design, meaning that you do not need a specific “model” for your vehicle. If a hangar is damaged or missing, your tailpipe or exhaust pipe may end up dragging on the ground.

Exhaust Joints

Exhaust joints are used to secure the hangers and slip-fit pipe connections (such as the piping to the muffler). There are 4 types of exhaust joints: U-bolt, ball and socket, flat band and V-band clamps.

Exhaust joints, and hangers, do not require welding like most parts of the exhaust system. Therefore, they are fairly easy to replace. Without them, pieces of your exhaust system will become loose or disconnect.


As mentioned above, your engine creates power by causing thousands of explosions. Unfiltered, these explosions are loud.

Mufflers are designed to reduce this engine noise by routing the sound waves through a series of tubes or chambers. As the noise bounces around in the muffler, its volume is greatly reduced.

Damaged or missing mufflers will cause higher-than-normal engine sounds – while a louder vehicle may be desirable, there could be by-laws in your area that restrict how loud a vehicle can be.

Exhaust Pipe

Throughout your vehicle’s exhaust system, from the manifold to the tail pipe, the exhaust pipe carries the exhaust gases from the engine to the back of the vehicle.

The end of the exhaust pipe is usually capped with a tail pipe. This is the piece that protrudes from the back of your vehicle and releases the exhaust gases into the atmosphere.

Damage to an exhaust pipe may cause an exhaust leakage that could cause harm to surrounding components or fire.

Have questions about your vehicle’s exhaust system? Feel free to contact us!


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