underside view of car

In addition to offering Layton car repair services such as alignments and tune-ups, Master Muffler also provides standard and custom exhaust replacement and upgrades.

Did you know your exhaust system does more than just remove toxic emissions from your car’s engine? 

Functions of the Exhaust System

In addition to funneling gases and fumes away from the cabin of your car, your exhaust system performs a number of other functions. Whether you’re working with the standard emissions system that came with your car or customizing it for performance, it’s good to know the ins and outs of your exhaust system. Our Layton car repair team shares the basics of your exhaust system below.

The Exhaust System Reduces Noise

Have you ever heard a car coming and wondered why it was so loud? It probably lost its muffler somewhere, and the exhaust system is no longer muted. The muffler consists of a set of tubes that manipulate soundwaves, acting as a silencer. Normal wear on a muffler can reduce its effectiveness, but it can be patched with products specifically designed for the job. 

Some auto enthusiasts fine-tune their exhaust to get the exact sound, or exhaust note, that they want. Whether it’s a low rumble or a rat-a-tat-tat, the shape and size of exhaust pipes can make a difference.

Improve Engine Performance

Your standard exhaust can promote your engine’s performance simply by taking exhaust gases away from the engine. Higher performance exhaust systems can more efficiently release emissions, allowing the engine to run smoother. The faster emissions can exit the engine, the faster the engine’s intake process can draw in fresh air and fuel and begin the process all over again. A restrictive exhaust system can prevent airflow into and out of the engine, in turn negatively affecting horsepower. 

Improve Fuel Economy

An after-market or custom exhaust system may offer better fuel economy for your vehicle. By increasing airflow, less fuel is used during the engine’s combustion process. As a result, your miles per gallon see an increase. It may only increase fuel economy by 2-10%, but that can quickly add up.

Funnel Emissions 

When your vehicle is running, the engine produces a number of gas emissions. 

  • Particulate Matter
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Nitrogen Oxides
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Sulfur Dioxide
  • Greenhouse gases

Of these six emissions, three of them are particularly toxic: Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and nitrogen monoxide. A properly functioning exhaust converts these harmful gases into inert gases or those which no longer react chemically with other gases.

In addition to funneling those fumes away from the car’s driver and passengers, the exhaust system also collects particulate matter and greenhouse gases to prevent them from entering the atmosphere.

Parts of the Exhaust System

Working together, the following parts of your vehicle make it safe, and sometimes fun, to drive your vehicle.

Exhaust Manifold

This is the element that connects directly to the engine. When the combustion process produces emissions, the manifold directs those gases into the rest of the exhaust system. Larger vehicles may have more than one exhaust manifold, which is usually made from steel, aluminum, stainless steel, or cast iron. The manifold is a series of curving pipes or chambers through which the emissions flow.

Oxygen Sensor

Fuel-injected vehicles have oxygen sensors to make sure your engine is drawing in the proper amount of air to aid in combustion. A computer analyzes the data to determine how much oxygen is present in not only the fuel injection process but in the exhaust as well. 

Catalytic Converter

As mentioned before, the catalytic converter reduces the amount of harmful emissions in your vehicle’s exhaust. Typically, the converter is situated between the exhaust manifold and the muffler, where it can harness heat and metal to help with the conversion process. Any harmful chemicals or particles in the exhaust will react with the catalytic converter and be neutralized. Carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons convert to water vapor and carbon dioxide, which is less damaging to the atmosphere.


Think of the resonator as a miniature muffler. It’s essentially an echo chamber in the exhaust system; as sound bounces around the chamber, it gradually deadens. When sound leaves the resonator, it has been changed to a more acceptable decibel level before exiting the car.

Exhaust Pipes

A series of pipes are also responsible for muffling sound and conveying emissions away from the engine and cab. Since some elements under the hood and body of the car are sensitive to heat, exhaust pipes strategically funnel hot engine fumes to avoid contact. These pipes are usually made of steel, aluminum steel tubing, or stainless steel. Pipes are connected to one another with clamps, gaskets, or welding.


Before or after exhaust fumes reach the resonator, they enter a muffler. Mufflers perform the same function but can do so in two different ways.

One type of muffler uses a baffle chamber, which is a chamber the changes the direction of engine emissions. Doing so reduces the velocity of the gases, as well as their sound. Another type of muffler uses a perforated pipe that absorbs sounds. Metal and/or fiberglass are in the perforated part of the muffler to absorb sound, and this style of muffler also reduces backpressure in the exhaust system.


Engine emissions are directed out of the muffler via the tailpipe. This pipe is usually the largest one found in the whole exhaust system, and it can be seen near the bumper of your vehicle. Some vehicles have more than one tailpipe, and customizations can include angled cuts.

The most common Layton car repair needs we see for the exhaust system are related to corrosion. Road salt and moisture are harsh on the undercarriage of a vehicle, promoting rust on the metal parts of your exhaust. Besides having your exhaust looked at if you notice a change in sounds or smells, we recommend ensuring you wash the underside of your car as well as the rest of the body to prevent corrosion. 

Categories: Automotive Info

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