The exhaust system is a complex system pipes and chambers. The pipes begin at the engine and run all the way to the tail pipe. That is why a glitch at the engine can also affect the exhaust system. That fact aside, it is important to know what the exhaust system does and how it works. Only then will you be able to figure out the system’s main functions. You will also be able to troubleshoot the system and fix minor problems. Do note that in most cases, the exhaust system will not fail until it sends a few red flags that there is a problem somewhere. The best you can do is to take these red flags as serious warnings of a problem that may be worsening as time goes. Such red flags include:
Smelling Exhaust Fumes
Noxious fumes easily get into the passenger compartment anytime the exhaust system develops a glitch. The most likely culprit here is the catalytic converter. Its metal coating may have been tampered with or it could have succumbed to wear and tear like most exhaust components do. The coating is usually made of platinum, rhodium or palladium. These metals react with nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide and other forms of hydrocarbons that come off the exhaust system. This reaction results into harmless emissions that make the environment safe. A stinking exhaust fume can very well mean that the metal coating has a problem. It can also mean that the catalytic converter has failed. Examine the system then replace the catalytic converter.
Hissing And Popping Noise
Any hissing or popping noise coming from the underside of your car indicates that there is a problem with the exhaust system. The problem could be a leak or the muffler. You do not have to worry about leaks as they are easy to fix. The muffler, whose main job is to silence the loud noises coming from the exhaust system during combustion, is also easy to replace. The whole exercise should be done with precision though. You must also ensure the muffler you go for is a genuine one especially if you drive a Volvo.
Decrease In Fuel Efficiency
This is usually a clear indication that your car’s oxygen sensor has failed. It is easy to understand the how and why here. The sensor measures the account of oxygen available in the exhaust system. It then sends signals to the engine, which in turn sends signals to your car’s Engine Control Unit. This forces your car to appropriately adjust the fuel mixture delivered to the engine. It won’t take long before the engine light comes on. This will be accompanied by erratic jerking when the car is at a steady throttle. The car may also have hard starting problems. The only solution you have here is to have an expert replace the oxygen sensor.