Things to Know About Your Vehicle's Exhaust System - Service Information you want to know in Salem, OR

The exhaust system in your Chevy may be easy to overlook, but it plays an absolutely vital role in your vehicle's functioning--not to mention your health and safety. At Capitol Chevrolet, we find that we get a lot of questions about the exhaust system. That's why we've put together this page with common questions and answers. It's one of our Chevrolet service information pages, which means that it's designed to help you better understand your Chevy and all that goes into making it work.

Fumes floating in air.

Question No. 1: What Does the Exhaust System Do?

Before we answer that, let's take a step backwards and look at the engine in your Chevy. As long as you're not driving an EV, your Chevrolet is most likely equipped with an internal combustion engine. A mixture of fuel and air combusts in the cylinders to power the vehicle--and when this happens, exhaust fumes are produced. These fumes can be dangerous, and could even lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The main purpose of the exhaust system is to make sure that you don't breathe these dangerous gases in by keeping them away from the cabin of your vehicle. Though this is a main purpose, a good exhaust system will benefit your vehicle in other ways, too. It will make the engine quieter, and can improve the gas mileage in your Chevrolet.

An engine with exhaust pipes and mufflers attached.

Question No. 2: What Parts Make Up the Exhaust System?

Though the exhaust system in your Chevy is complex, there are four main components that make up the system. The exhaust manifold is what connects to the engine and receives the exhaust gases. It moves them from the combustion chamber to the catalytic converter, which converts some of the more harmful gases into less harmful forms.

Once the gases have been converted, they travel along pipes that run underneath the vehicle. Eventually, they exit through the tailpipe--but first the gases pass through the muffler, which decreases the noise from the engine.

As we mentioned before, the system is a complex one, and there are many more parts than this--from oxygen sensors to joints and hangers. However, it's these four elements that make up a basic exhaust system.

A technician inspects the underside of a car. 

Question No. 3: What Are Some Signs of Exhaust System Problems?

Because the exhaust system in your Chevy has many components, there are several different ways a problem may present itself. If the muffler is damaged, you may notice that the sound of the engine is louder than it used to be. Other issues with the exhaust system could lead to decreased fuel efficiency or weaker acceleration. These should all be looked at immediately.

If you smell exhaust in the cabin of your Chevy, an exhaust leak could be to blame. Because of this, it's best to have your car towed to the dealership if you notice this problem.

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