A Bunch Of Hot Air
What are the signs, sounds and smells that indicate a car or truck's exhaust system needs repaired or even replaced? If your fuel efficiency has taken a plunge, an exhaust leak could be to blame. If exhaust gases are escaping prematurely, through a crack in the exhaust manifold for example, you might hear a ticking sound that gets louder or faster when gaining speed. A leak can cause an oxygen sensor to incorrectly tell your car to burn more fuel, which impacts the engine's timing and combustion intervals. Most leaks on modern systems are related to flex failures or gasket failures, which are caused by bad powertrain mounts or exhaust hangers.
A failing exhaust system will push all your vehicle's components to work too hard, which might result in your engine emitting a rumbling sound that rises and falls with the RPMs. A muffler that's past its prime will also get louder as the interior chambers (sound-reducing materials) break down. Every part of the exhaust system is linked using brackets, connectors and flanges, which can easily become loose due to corrosion and general wear. Gaskets, hangers and exhaust clamps, including ball and socket, U-bolt, flat band and V-band clamps, are the most common replacement parts for a typical internal combustion engine exhaust system.
Exhaust issues don't always produce a lot of racket. Whether you drive a Toyota Highlander, Chevrolet Equinox or Hyundai Sonata, NAPA AUTO PARTS can help you diagnose the reasons behind sluggish engine performance or a check engine light turning on. A free-flowing aftermarket exhaust kit will better expel spent gases and draw an improved fuel-air mix into the engine, a process called scavenging. From exhaust headers, adapters and reducers to installation kits and mounting kits, general maintenance can be done with hand tools and no welding.
An Exhausting System
A properly functioning exhaust is the key to a high-performance system. Because most parts of an exhaust system are bolted underneath the center of the car, truck or SUV, these components can be damaged by debris, crack and dislodge over time. The majority of exhaust upgrades are labeled as 'cat-back,' because they address everything after the catalytic converter to the tailpipe. Your vehicle's exhaust pipe (or tailpipe) is where gas emissions pass out of your vehicle, near the muffler. An exhaust flange seals the exhaust pipe to the exhaust manifold.
In the front end, connected to the cylinder head, the cast iron exhaust manifold (sometimes called a header) collects gases from the engine compartment and funnels them into a single outlet. A smooth exhaust flow and an efficient engine is the goal, which involves many components like spark arrestors, an exhaust plug, control heat tab, control spring, control valve and the exhaust brake fuel pipe.
Catalytic converters change harmful exhaust gases, carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide and hydrocarbons, into carbon dioxide and water vapors. Failing an emissions test is a clear, or sometimes foggy, sign that it is time to repair or replace your catalytic converter. Converters don't fail on their own, so it is important to identify and correct the root cause. Complete a full exhaust system inspection, and resolve any issues prior to replacing the converter. Otherwise, the same issue could occur with the newly installed product.
Exhaust mufflers help to quiet the sound of emissions leaving your vehicle's exhaust system. Many mufflers come with bolt-on installation, making it an easy purchase as an aftermarket part. A resonator serves a similar purpose to the muffler, and can often be built in as one unit. The exhaust resonator uses perforated tubes and baffle chambers (which cause rattling if broken loose) to 'tune the exhaust' by enhancing desirable sounds, while diminishing undesirable ones.
It's Your Pipe Dream
Turbocharged and supercharged engines boost the power in a car, truck or SUV by forcing extra compressed air into the combustion chamber. To maximize this efficiency, DIY aspiring mechanics should pair these high-revving engines with customized exhaust systems. Increasing the size (diameter) of an exhaust pipe can increase horsepower.
Upgrade from a factory-installed exhaust to a better performing one with aftermarket auto parts. An X-pipe is added to a dual exhaust system to tie both sides together, which if done properly can improve the torque curve. An X-pipe can be used with turbochargers, if the engine is equipped with twin turbos. Embrace the deep rumbling created by an H-pipe, which makes great use of any amount of torque in a muscle car. Keep in mind, the effective working rpm range of an H-pipe is much more limited than an X-pipe. A Y-pipe is typically used on v-6 or v-8 engines with factory single-exhaust systems, which in general are not performance enhancing.
NAPA AUTO PARTS carries all the standard auto replacement parts (stainless steel or aluminized steel tubing, exhaust elbows, flex joints, pipe extensions and pipe tips) and the advanced performance parts that you can handle, from top brands like Holley, Magnaflow, DynoMax and the Bosal brand BRExhaust. Shop online for entire systems, like the Borla Cat-Back Touring Exhaust System with a split rear exit and rolled angle-cut tips, maintaining maximum flow with a throaty growl while still being street legal!
And don't forget. High radiant heat levels can kill components under the hood and increase the temperature of incoming air into the engine. One of the best ways to reduce this heat is with an exhaust heat wrap and straps, which traps the heat inside the exhaust. Also consider purchasing heat shields for the manifold and muffler.
Don't search online for 'cheap muffler shops near me.' Order all the parts you need, and connect to our professionals, from the palm of your hand. Download the NAPA KNOW HOW App today!