10 Things You Should Never Do to Your Car’s Exhaust
Wed Aug 10 2022
Your car’s exhaust is one of the key components of your car that’s hidden from your eyes but still requires care for peak performance. To make sure that your car’s performance is optimal and its lifespan remains intact, its exhaust must be maintained properly. Here are 10 things you should think twice about before doing to your car’s exhaust system.
These 10 practices could damage your car’s engine and overall performance.
1) Ignoring the Check Engine Light
This could be the first sign of a bad exhaust system or an indication of an underlying fault. The majority of the faults are usually picked up by the car’s ECU and shown to the driver via the Check Engine Light (CEL). If you don’t get the fault diagnosed quickly and keep driving without getting the problem fixed, it could do irreparable damage to your car’s exhaust and ultimately, the engine, depending on what the underlying problem is.
2) Removing the Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter is a revolutionary device and it plays a crucial role in reducing emissions. Not only does it remove the harmful particles from the exhaust gasses, but it also reduces the potency of these gasses by converting them to a less harmful form.
Removing your catalytic converter does increase the output of the car, but doing so could damage the engine, as well as pollute the environment. It is also illegal to remove completely so you could get in trouble while getting your car checked during your car’s regular inspection. A better alternative is to purchase and install high flow catalytic converters. High flow catalytic converters allow the best of both worlds, they don’t restrict your car’s performance and they allow you to pass inspection.
3) Modifying your car's Down Pipe
The downpipe is the part of the exhaust system that extends from the exhaust manifold to the catalytic converter. It is the major part that connects the engine to the exhaust setup of the car.
People modify their down pipes by enhancing its diameter to increase the flow of exhaust gasses and increase horsepower. However, it’s important to properly size and fit any new downpipe you introduce to your car. Neglecting to find a quality performant part could lead to issues down the line.
4) Installing a EGR Deletion Kit
EGR, otherwise known as Exhaust Gas Recirculation, is a device installed in the exhaust pipes of the car. Its purpose is to send some of the exhaust gasses back to the engine to reduce the harmful emissions. Although it does reduce pollution, it also takes some toll on the health and performance of the engine, but very negligibly.
Aftermarket is flooded with EGR deletion kits that either bypass the device or get rid of it completely. Not only is this illegal, but it can also damage the muffler, and resonator and increase the production of heat inside the exhaust system.
5) Removing your car's DPF
Diesel Particulate Filter is a filtration system installed in the exhaust systems of diesel cars, and it’s meant to reduce the harmful particulates from the exhaust gasses. It is usually installed near the muffle tip and is designed to withstand high temperatures.
Removing the DPF for the sake of performance may sound enticing but by doing so you could open yourself up to tickets depending on what laws are applicable in your area. You would also fail any exhaust inspections if applicable.
6) Adding AdBlue to the Diesel Tank
AdBlue is a relatively newer technology. It is a fluid that’s added to diesel cars and it reacts with the exhaust gasses to convert them into less harmful byproducts and release safer gasses into the environment.
As its gas cap is located next to the diesel tank, you could accidentally mix them both up. AdBlue is fatal for the engine and could cause irreparable damage to all the mechanical parts and filters of your diesel powertrain. Be very careful when you go refueling and don’t mix them both up.
7) Installing a Flame Kit
To satisfy the need to look cool, some aftermarket manufacturers have produced flame kits to make your Honda shoot flames like a MKIV Supra. One might think that it looks awesome but in reality, It should be reserved for cars that can shoot the flames the old fashioned way. Not to mention that it could be really dangerous as well.
There are some unburnt fuel particles in the exhaust of every car and flammable gasses as well. Using a flame kit with your exhaust could result in a huge fire and could also damage the nearby vehicles. It is more of a fire hazard than anything else.
8) Adding a Louder Exhaust
Hear me out, after driving out of a workshop with a louder exhaust, if you believe that you’ve somehow miraculously added an extra 200 horsepower to your car or converted your inline-4 into a V8, you couldn’t be more wrong. Now this is only aimed at cars that shouldn’t have an aftermarket exhaust on it, you know who you are. Typically, this would be your teenagers driving their almost OEM Honda Civics with exhausts that sound like someone farting into a Folgers coffee can. Thankfully, the majority of people will come to their senses and grow out of this stage.
9) Removing the Heat Shield
Heat shield is a metal covering that’s meant to insulate the car’s body and passenger cabin from the heat generated inside the exhaust system. It is light in weight and fits snugly to the outer side of exhaust pipes. Removing the heat shield is the worst thing you could do to your car’s exhaust, as getting rid of it dissipates heat everywhere around the car and could even become a fire hazard.
It could damage the paint around the rear of the car, increase heat inside the cabin and make the passengers uncomfortable, melt plastic parts, damage wires, and can even start a fire by igniting tall grass and other flammable parts nearby. It is advisable to never remove the heat shielding from your car.
10) Not Using Fuel Additives
There are many engine and exhaust system cleaning solutions available in the market. Manufacturers recommend that you use them once in a while to keep the inside of your powertrain cleaner, and the only thing you’ve to do is to add the chemical in the gas tank of your car and let it do the magic. Be aware there is a lot of snake oil on the market so it’s important to do your research, but there are many really good products as well. These products help reduce carbon build up, which in return will make the car more performant and will extend the longevity of your car. Practicing this routine maintenance will help keep your car in pristine condition and possibly save yourself from hefty repair bills down the road.
The exhaust is an important component of your car and is the only portal through which waste gasses are emitted outside. It plays an important role in maintaining the performance and enhancing the fuel efficiency of your car. Hopefully you learned something about exhausts and have made note not to make some of these common mistakes.
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