Older vehicles had simplistic exhaust systems. The last two decades have introduced ever more complex systems that integrate Emissions Control Systems into the exhaust plumbing. Sensors, computer controls, catalytic converters, turbo-chargers and other sub-systems have increased the expertise required to service these systems.
The emission control system, in automobiles, are designed to limit the discharge of noxious gases from the internal-combustion engine and other components. There are three main sources of these gases: the engine exhaust, the crankcase, and the fuel tank
Is your ‘Check Engine’ light on? Common causes of a Check Engine light:
- Gas filler cap is loose
- Oxygen sensor is faulty
- Spark plugs may be fouled or failing, ignition system issues
- Catalytic converter is faulty
- Mass airflow sensor is bad
There are many other reasons for your Check Engine light to be on, or flicker, or blink in a steady pattern. The above lists items related to the emissions control system.
The Plumbing Side
Although your muffler system is more than a muffler to control engine noise, it’s a series of pipes that are routed under your car connecting your engine to the catalytic converter and muffler. The exhaust system controls noise and funnels toxic exhaust fumes away from the driver and passengers. Components of the exhaust system are exposed to water (inside and outside), road salt, and are repeatedly heated and cooled. Therefore, they’re vulnerable to rust and deterioration. They are considered a regular wear item of any vehicle.
Ultimately, a good exhaust system and a maintained emissions control system will keep your car running smoothly.