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Tips to Maintain the Components of Your Car’s Exhaust System

Car Exhaust System

Your car’s exhaust system is complex and requires ongoing maintenance in order to function properly throughout the life of your vehicle. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of your car’s exhaust system and what you can do to keep it functioning well over time.

What is your exhaust system ultimately responsible for?

As your engine runs and burns fuel, it creates gasses that are to be released into the atmosphere, but not before traveling through a complex system of parts, called the exhaust system. The exhaust system is designed to carry gasses your engine produces away from the engine and into the atmosphere. In the process, it cleans the exhaust by converting the more harmful gasses into more atmosphere-tolerant gasses.

What are the basic components of an exhaust system?

The exhaust system is comprised of various components that have different jobs and responsibilities. The parts that make up your own car’s exhaust system will vary depending on the type of car you drive, year, model, and make; but generally-speaking, these are common core components of most vehicle exhaust systems:

  • Turbocharger
  • Headers
  • Muffler
  • Exhaust pipe
  • Manifold gasket
  • Catalytic converter

Maintaining these components will depend heavily on your vehicle’s specific recommended schedule of maintenance, as well as your particular driving habits and conditions.

How to spot the signs of exhaust system issues

It is important to remain aware of how your car behaves on a regular basis, as this can help you notice any concerning signs or symptoms of exhaust issues. Although less-than-desirable, these symptoms can alert you that your exhaust system requires maintenance or servicing. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a differential diagnosis should be performed to rule-out other possible causes of the symptoms, as some of them may indicate problems with other systems of your car.

Decreased engine power

The air intake and exhaust systems should flow smoothly together, optimizing the flow of air in and out of your engine. If you notice any decreases in engine power upon acceleration especially, the problem could be related to the exhaust system functioning.

Lowered fuel economy

If the exhaust system isn’t working properly, then your car usually compensates by exerting more power and energy. This can drive up your fuel usage significantly.

Concerning burning or fuel smells

Some of the components of your exhaust system, such as the manifold gasket, may be made of plastic, which at high temperatures and under specific conditions can warp and even burn, leading to concerning smells being emitted from your engine. You may also notice smoke coming from the exhaust if any leaks occur.

A droopy exhaust

Exhaust system problems can be more superficial than internal issues. If your exhaust pipe appears to be sagging or ratting around beneath your car, then this is certainly an issue that needs to be fixed right away; however, it is usually relatively easy to repair in comparison to some of the more technical issues that can occur with your exhaust. A droopy exhaust can occur from improper installation, vehicle age and wear, scraping the underside of your car on high speedbumps or road imperfections, or encountering an accident.

What else you can do to ensure your vehicle’s exhaust system is working well

Besides being aware of what the exhaust system looks like when its encountering issues, you can act preventively to keep your exhaust system in optimal condition at all times. Here are a few suggestions that may help:

  • Hire an automotive specialist that is familiar with your specific car type
  • Follow the service plan for your specific car
  • Don’t wait to diagnose troubling symptoms
  • Be vigilant of how your car is running on a daily basis

Sometimes despite the best preventive care, car exhaust systems encounter problems that cannot be predicted or prevented. In these instances, it’s important to seek out the best, most specialized care possible for your vehicle—as not all exhaust systems are the same.

How we can help you

Car Catalytic Converter Here at Pro Car Mechanics, we are proud to be called the leading independent European auto repair center in the areas of Gardena, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Glendale, and Anaheim, CA. It is our mission to provide the highest quality repair and maintenance services to our clients at a significantly more affordable rate than nearby dealerships and even general automotive shops. Exhaust system issues rarely indicate a one-size-fits-all approach; therefore, with a wide range of experience and a narrow focus, we service the following luxury imports: Audi, Bentley, BMW, MINI, Jaguar, Mercedes, and Land Rover. If you’d like to learn more about our shop’s qualifications, credentials, or experience, please contact us today.