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When your car’s engine is running, it draws in fresh air from the air cleaner assembly through the air filter and expels dirty air through the exhaust system. Main parts of your exhaust system usually include the exhaust manifold(s) where the system meets the engine. The exhaust pipe, catalytic converter, muffler and tail pipe are remaining parts of the exhaust system. Some systems also include a second muffler called a resonator which help “tune” the note coming from the exhaust system. The emissions control portion or catalytic converter, restricts the release of harmful emissions into the air. Oxygen sensor can also be part or your exhaust system, helping control the amount of fuel being introduced to the engine by sniffing the exhaust for unburned fuel.

If there’s a loud noise coming from the muffler, the muffler or pipes may be worn or rusted and will need to be replaced or repaired. A noise closer to the engine area may mean there’s an exhaust manifold leak or crack, which can be dangerous so close to the passenger compartment. The “CAT” or catalytic converter can also create exhaust problems since it can clog or overheat due to bad engine condition, fuel or a host of other reasons. Adding cleaners or octane boosters to your fuel tank can also affect the life of the catalytic converter as well as the exhaust system.

If you hear an exhaust leak such as a loud muffler, or hole in the pipe you should get it looked at as soon as possible. If you smell strong exhaust in the passenger compartment, you should probably quit driving that vehicle right away and either drop it off, or have it towed to your local mechanic or muffler shop. Mr. Mechanic Auto Repair can repair or replace any exhaust system parts, emission parts and fuel injection parts such as the oxygen sensors.