A vehicle's exhaust system removes toxic exhaust fumes, gases and steam away from the engine. An exhaust system working in peak condition allows the engine to run smoothly, reduces the risk of engine breakdown, reduces the engine's noise, and decontaminates harmful emissions (such as carbon monoxides, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons) resulting in less pollution.
The major parts of a vehicle's exhaust system include the exhaust pipe, oxygen sensor (which measures the amount of oxygen in the exhaust), catalytic converter (which reduces harmful gas emissions), cylinder head, turbo charger (which enhances engine power), and a muffler or silencer.
Here are the some tips for repairing and servicing vehicle exhaust systems:
- Install exhaust headers. Exhaust headers can be installed if you want to improve your vehicle's function and efficiency. They are able to work with optimal efficiency through a better exhaust pipe system. An additional advantage is that exhaust headers can be customized depending on how the car will be used: if you desire better acceleration and more power in normal driving conditions you may opt to have a low performance exhaust header installed; if you're a race car driver for example and you'd like to drive your vehicle at maximum speed then you can opt for a high performance exhaust header. A professional must install an exhaust header since improper installation could cause leaks, which may then cause potential carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Clean the exterior of your muffler. First, wipe off as much soot and grime as possible using a dry rag. Afterwards, combine warm water and about a teaspoon of dishwashing soap. Use this solution to remove the remaining grease and grime. Dry the muffler with a clean, soft rag; afterwards you may choose to polish it.
- Know the possible warning signs. Being aware of the signals that your exhaust system is not working properly will greatly help you in its maintenance. Different signs could be manifest depending on which part of your exhaust system is damaged. For example, a decrease in gas mileage could possibly mean you need to check your oxygen sensor; if you experience power loss on your vehicle, a hot car floor, or a sulfur smell from your car engine, you may need to have your catalytic converter replaced. A noisy engine could indicate a defective muffler; also watch out for excessive holes and rust in your muffler.
- Do some minor repairs. If you have found that your exhaust system does indeed have some minor damage then see if you can undertake some little do-it-yourself repairs. One example is if there are leaks to the system. With the motor running, you may walk around your vehicle to check for the misplaced sound of exhaust gas. Once you've determined the source of the leak, you could examine it in closer detail, using a jackstand to lift your car. You want to look out for loose clamps, physical damage or rust. If the source of the leak is a small hole then you could use epoxy to patch it up; if damage is more extensive then you would probably need to replace that particular section. Ask for help from your local automotive shop to get a careful match to the parts that need to be repaired. Then, carefully cut away (using a hacksaw or a power saw) the damaged part; replace it with the new part and use clamps to secure the new part.
- Purchase high quality exhaust systems. If damage to your exhaust system is quite extensive then it may be better that you have it professionally serviced, or replaced with a high quality exhaust system. Some systems to consider are Pacesetter systems, Flowmaster systems, or Manifold systems.
Make sure that you do comparisons among different automotive centers in your area to get cheap and affordable rates and discount prices.