6 Surprising Facts About Car Exhaust Systems
Fri Oct 14 2022
Everything you do in your car, whether it’s turning the ignition key, or pressing down on the gas pedal all eventually connects to your car’s exhaust system. This system is responsible for removing hot gases from your engine, so there are several components that go into making it function properly. An exhaust system has a number of important functions including reducing the noise levels of the engine, improving fuel efficiency and preventing environmental pollution. An exhaust system is much more than some pipes with holes in them! It is a complex series of interconnected tubes that remove unwanted gases from the engine while simultaneously keeping them separate from the rest of the car. So read on to discover six things you probably didn’t know about car exhaust systems…
1. $3 Billion worth of rare metals were reclaimed from recycled catalytic converters in 2010 alone
The catalytic converter is a crucial part of any exhaust system because it turns harmful emissions from your car into less harmful substances like carbon dioxide, water vapor, and nitrogen. However, it also contains the noble metals platinum, rhodium, or palladium, which are incredibly expensive and very difficult to find. Over the years, thieves have targeted catalytic converters because of the precious materials inside them. In fact, the price for these metals has drastically increased due to high demand from the technology sector.
2. Most modern car exhaust systems are stainless steel
The exhaust system of a car will eventually rust, but when you look at the statistics, you’ll see that only a small percentage of vehicles will have this problem. Stainless steel is the most popular material used in manufacturing exhaust systems. The reason for this is that stainless steel is corrosion-resistant. There are many different grades of stainless steel, and certain grades are better for exhaust systems than others. For example, 316 stainless steel is used because it contains molybdenum, which prevents it from corroding. However, even stainless steel will eventually corrode and rust. The best way to prevent this is to regularly clean the outside of your exhaust system.
3. Exhaust gases can be more than 1100 degrees Fahrenheit
The exhaust system works to remove excess heat from your engine. Some of this heat is transferred to the nearby parts of the car such as the catalytic converter. This is why you should never touch or get too close to your exhaust system when the car is running. It’s extremely hot! If you’re not careful, you could get some very nasty burns. When you turn on your car, the exhaust system isn’t ready to take in the gases. Specifically, the Catalytic converter isn't warm enough yet. So there’s a small but very important delay while the engine warms up. Typically your engine runs at a higher RPM for this brief time period to make sure the engine is warming up whether it's your engine's viscous oil or it's catalytic converter(s).During this brief period, the exhaust system is not hot enough to properly handle and convert the gases from bad to better via the catalytic converter. This means the cat(s) don't work at full effectiveness until properly heated, once heated, the RPM of your engine will fall to a lower state and your exhaust gasses will be optimal.
4. A poorly functioning exhaust system can cause problems with your engine.
An exhaust system that doesn’t work properly can cause many issues with the engine. For example, it can cause an increase in fuel consumption. This happens because the engine is not operating at the correct temperature. If the engine is too cold, it’s less efficient and produces more emissions. This causes the exhaust system to work harder and increases fuel consumption. If an exhaust system isn’t properly vented, the engine can overheat. This is because the gases inside the engine are not being removed quickly enough. The longer the gases stay inside the engine, the more heat they produce. So, if the gases aren’t flowing through the exhaust system quickly enough, the engine can overheat and make the performance of your engine worse.
5. The design of your car’s exhaust system plays an important role in its efficiency and performance.
As we’ve seen, the exhaust system is responsible for removing unwanted gases from your engine. However, it also plays an important role in the performance of your car. The architecture of your exhaust system can affect the pitch of the engine sound, as well as its torque and horsepower output. In terms of efficiency, there are two types of exhaust systems: an open system and a closed system. An open system is designed for low-powered engines, like those found in lawnmowers. A closed system is designed for high-powered engines, like those found in sports cars. Closed systems equipped on highly performant cars are extremely complex. All of the bends in the piping are optimal, lengths of pipes are optimized for sound and performance, and are typically made from super high quality materials.
6. The smell from your exhaust could mean there’s a problem with your car
Some people think that a strange smell from your car's exhaust is normal. However, it might actually be a sign of a problem with your car. Certain types of engines, like diesel engines, produce a very strong smell. This is because they run on Diesel a more crude fuel, which produces a really strong smell. However, there are many other reasons why car engines can produce a strong smell.
One of the most important to watch out for would be exhaust leaks. If an exhaust pipe becomes damaged whether it be from blunt trauma, rust, etc it can let gas fumes escape into the passenger cabin of your vehicle. This can result in quite the noxious smell of fumes and should be fixed as soon as possible. Other potential causes of noxious exhaust could be a failing catalytic converter whether it's been stolen off your car, clogged, or damaged, it's important to replace or repair to ensure your vehicle is running optimally.
The car’s exhaust system is one of the key systems of a modern vehicle. The exhaust system is responsible for removing unwanted gases from the engine while simultaneously keeping them separate from the rest of the car (especially the cabin). The system is much more than some pipes with holes in them. It is a complex series of interconnected tubes that removes harmful gases and often releases some pretty good sounds if you ask us. There are very expensive rare earth metals inside catalytic converters, which is why they get stolen so often. Most modern car exhaust systems are actually stainless steel, and exhaust gases can be more than 1100 degrees Fahrenheit. A poorly functioning exhaust system can cause problems with your engine. The design of your car’s exhaust system plays a pivotal role in its efficiency and performance.
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