Keeping your exhaust system in good working condition is vital for fuel mileage, the environment and your safety. Your car's exhaust system carries away the gases created when the fuel and air are burned in the combustion chamber. These gases are harmful to humans and our environment.
Exhaust Manifold The exhaust manifold attaches to the cylinder head and takes each cylinders exhaust and combines it into one pipe.
Oxygen Sensor All modern fuel injected cars utilize an oxygen sensor to measure how much oxygen is present in the exhaust. From this, the computer can add or subtract fuel to obtain the correct mixture for maximum fuel economy. The oxygen sensor is mounted in the exhaust manifold or close to it in the exhaust pipe.
Catalytic Converter This muffler like part converts harmful carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons to water vapor and carbon dioxide. Some converters also reduce harmful nitrogen oxides. The converter is mounted between the exhaust manifold and the muffler.
Muffler The muffler serves to quiet the exhaust down to acceptable levels. Remember that the combustion process is a series of explosions that create a lot of noise. Most mufflers use baffles to bounce the exhaust around dissipating the energy and quieting the noise. Some mufflers also use fiberglass packing which absorbs the sound energy as the gases flow through.
Exhaust Pipe Between all of the above mentioned parts is the exhaust pipe which carries the gas through and out the tail pipe. Exhaust tubing is usually made of steel but can be stainless steel (which lasts longer due to its corrosion resistance) or aluminized steel tubing.