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Why is an Exhaust System and Muffler so important?

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-02-28      Origin: Site


Why is an Exhaust System and Muffler so important?


So that vehicle owners understand the importance of an exhaust system and the connected muffler here is some basic information to explain the purpose of two main components, the Emissions Control System and the Catalytic Converter!

Automotive emissions are controlled for three reasons: 1) to promote more complete combustion so that there are fewer by-products; 2) to reintroduce excessive hydrocarbons back into the engine for combustion, and 3) to provide an additional area for oxidation or combustion to occur (the catalytic converter).

Emissions Control System:

Because it became necessary to control the emissions from automobiles, today’s automobiles have become highly computerized. Gases, such as hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen are created during the combustion process and then are emitted into the atmosphere through the muffler and tailpipe. Hydrocarbons are also emitted as a result of vaporization of gasoline and from the crankcase of the automobile.  Governmental regulations have set limits as to the number of pollutants that can be emitted from an automobile. In order to meet these limits, automobile manufacturers have added certain pollution control devices and created a self-adjusting engine. As the computer systems in automobiles became more advanced, they were able to adjust ignition spark timing as well as operate the other emission controls installed on the vehicle. The computer is capable of monitoring and diagnosing itself, which assists mechanics in determining the proper repair when it fails.

Catalytic Converter:

The catalytic converter looks like a muffler and is located in the exhaust system in front of the muffler.  Simply stated, hydrocarbons or carbon monoxide in the exhaust are converted to carbon dioxide and water as they pass over the catalyst.  Heat is generated in the converter as it works to clean the exhaust. The dirtier it is, the harder the converter must work and the more heat that is generated. This is the main reason that our fuel is now unleaded, which is cleaner to burn and thereby reducing heat buildup in the catalytic converter.

Although an exhaust system is complex and generally causes vehicles to be less fuel efficient, they have been made proficient in controlling the poisonous pollutions and are vital to the quality and protection of our atmosphere, the air we breathe!