How the Exhaust Works and Why You Should Maintain It

Many drivers only think about their exhaust system when it is time for their annual emissions check (smog check). However, a properly functioning exhaust system is a vital part of the overall engine system and must receive regular automotive care in order to avoid reducing the vehicle’s performance and fuel economy.

Processing the Vehicle’s Exhaust

Car Exhaust

In general, a car, bus or truck exhaust system carries out the following functions:

• Divert engine waste products away from the driver and passenger compartment.
• Process the waste in order to remove polluting contaminants.
• Reduce the noise of the engine.

In addition, the exhaust system must perform these functions without harming the engine’s power output or fuel economy. In fact, a common sign that a vehicle’s exhaust related systems require auto maintenance is a loss of power or the need to continually refuel the vehicle.

Keeping the Exhaust Outside


Exhaust products include a range of dangerous chemicals such as carbon monoxide. The exhaust channels these products away from the passenger compartment. In addition, the system is designed so that even if the vehicle’s doors and windows are open, a running engine’s exhaust will not flow back into the vehicle.

If the components are damaged or blocked, the exhaust may enter the driver’s compartment. In this case, the driver and passengers may become ill or even face the possibility of asphyxiation. For this reason, receiving regular automotive care at a qualified Pittsburgh facility is a very wise choice.

Processing Engine Waste Gas


When compared to older vehicles, modern cars and trucks produce very little pollution. While some of this is due to more efficient engine technology, the vehicle’s exhaust system plays a major role in reducing pollutants. All modern vehicles have a catalytic converter, which converts the exhaust into benign compounds such as carbon dioxide and water vapor.

Although catalytic converters are durable, they should be checked on a regular basis. Without proper automotive care, a catalytic converter may become nonfunctional, which not only can reduce engine efficiency, but can also result in expensive auto maintenance bills when it is time to renew the vehicle’s registration.

The Muffler


Finally, the muffler works to reduce the amount of noise pollution the car produces. Without a muffler, a car or truck would be noisy while operating. In some jurisdictions, it may be illegal to operate a vehicle without a muffler. However, a poorly maintained muffler may cease to function, resulting in increased noise pollution. In addition, by restricting the flow of exhaust gases, damaged mufflers can reduce the vehicle’s fuel efficiency and in some cases, damage other parts of the emission control system. For this reason, regular automotive care is required for the muffler.

Ultimately, the best way to ensure that a vehicle’s exhaust system is operating effectively is to only use high quality components and ensure that the car, truck or motorcycle receives regular auto maintenance. For those vehicle owners who wish the best possible equipment and service for their auto maintenance needs in the Pittsburgh, PA area, Pro Trucks & Cars provides excellent service for routine maintenance and custom exhaust installations alike.