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A Guide to the Components of Your Vehicle's Exhaust System

Last updated 4 years ago

As you look at your car when it’s parked, the only visible part of the exhaust system is the tailpipe. Beyond the tailpipe lies an advanced automotive system that increases performance, reduces noise, and limits harmful emissions. Below is a list of the components that make up an automotive exhaust system.

Exhaust Manifold

When you’re driving down the street, your car’s engine is constantly burning a mixture of fuel and air. This results in a lot of harmful gases being emitted from the cylinders. To keep these gases from entering the cabin and harming passengers, the exhaust manifold collects the gases and sends them to the catalytic convertor.

Catalytic Convertor

Invented in 1975, this component of your exhaust system is one of the most important automotive parts for reducing harmful emissions. After your car’s catalytic convertor receives the gases from the exhaust manifold, it adds several specialized chemicals to the gases, and then oxidizes them. This process helps to reduce nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide. If your vehicle fails an emissions test, it’s quite possible that you need to have this component repaired.


Your car would be a lot louder if it weren’t for your muffler—an automotive component that cancels out engine and exhaust noise—and the resonator, a component that helps the muffler. Essentially, the muffler has a system of tubes, chambers, holes, and baffles that route the sound waves from the exhaust system in such a way that they cancel each other out.

Exhaust Pipe and Tail Pipe

To expel the remaining gases, your car’s exhaust system must route the gases away from the vehicle. Most exhaust pipes route the gases to the back of the car to the tail pipe, the automotive component that releases the gases.

If you are experiencing problems with your exhaust system, come to Dekalb Tire. With locations all over Atlanta and over 45 years of automotive service experience, our family-owned shop is both qualified and pleased to help you. Just call us at (404) 252-9895 or visit our website for more information.


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