How Does The Volvo Exhaust System Work?

You must have heard or read how emissions from cars pollute the environment. The weight or seriousness of the matter may not seem heavy until you consider what happens when thousands of cars emit heavy smoke all at once. The cumulative effects will simply be enormous. This enough should make you think twice about how your exhaust system affects the environment. Is it in a good condition? How much smoke does it emit? You may not have ready answers to these questions. But you’ll be surprised how simple the solution is. First off, ensure your exhaust system works well. This shouldn’t worry you so much if you drive a modern Volvo model. They are after all, designed and built with the environment in mind. It doesn’t hurt though to know a thing or two about how the Volvo exhaust system works.

The Design

The exhaust system starts at the exhaust header which is sometimes referred to as the exhaust manifold. Made of heavy duty and sturdy cast metal, the header resembles a series of adjacent tubes fitted next to each other. Its main work is to collect the exhaust directly from the car engine. Each opening on the header connects with one of the exhaust ports at the engine. The header also has flanges that form air tight seals to prevent the exhaust from escaping. Note that this is where the exhaust begins its flow through different pipes and other components that make up the system.


They are fitted between pipes so as to form flawless metal to metal seals. This explains why they are sandwiched between different connections. Their design and position also make sure that poisonous gases do not escape to the air prematurely. It is also important to note that gaskets are made of fiber as well as a number of heavy duty and heat resistant materials. The materials are flexible enough to slightly compress when the pipes clamp together tightly. This creates a tight seal which is necessary in a flawless exhaust system.


It is found at the rear of the car. It looks like an oval or round chamber, so it should be easy for you to identify it. Its design is somewhat complex, a fact which explains why the muffler can easily silence most of the car engine’s noise as it allows the exhaust system to continue flowing.

Catalytic Converters

They became popular in the 1970s shortly after their invention.  They are the primary and most reliable or efficient means of reducing toxic emissions from the exhaust. Each converter features innards which are coated with metals.

 Remember that there are different types of converters. Each type uses different classes of rhodium, palladium and platinum. The exhaust contains lots of potent and toxic combination of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and other forms of hydrocarbons before it reaches the converter. As a matter of fact, these are the chemical levels that get tested when you take your car for emissions test. When all these toxins come in contact with the metals that coat the inner side of the catalytic converter, a chemical reaction takes place. This reaction makes all these toxins harmless to the environment and to humans once they are released into the air.