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Exhaust System

Photo of La Palma Mobile Mechanic service call to replace an exhaust manifold gasket in La Palma, California.

The exhaust system is comprised of a number of components that collaborate to reduce exhaust noise and provide a channel for exhaust gases to exit the engine by making their way out below the automobile. This path is utilized to keep hazardous gases from going into the car and making occupants sick. Oftentimes, the exhaust system will make the expelled fumes cleaner in an effort to decrease emissions and protect the environment from further damage. Some parts consist of a series of pipes, clamps, sensors, and hangers. However, in every vehicle you'll discover these elements that comprise the exhaust system:

Exhaust System Components

Exhaust Manifold

The exhaust manifold gathers exhaust gases from each cylinder from the combustion chamber of the engine and directs them into the exhaust pipeline.  They are generally made of cast iron or steel with special bends to increase performance.

Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter converts the harmful emissions from the engine's combustion chamber into water vapor and co2. Oxidation converts carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide and water. Although these gases are still hazardous to the atmosphere, they are less harmful than gases produced by the engine. These parts typically last for about 100,000 miles however frequently fail due to an exhaust leak, becoming filled with unburned fuel, engine misfire, or external damage. When the catalytic converter starts to fail, you may notice a rotten egg smell and the check engine light will trigger. Changing your catalytic converter can get costly due to its makeup of valuable metals such as cerium, platinum, rhodium, or manganese.


The muffler minimizes or muffles sound that is produced by the engine while taking full advantage of exhaust gas circulation.  A better flow rate translates to better efficiency in all functions of the automobile.  Nevertheless, even a tiny hole in the muffler can impact its capability to stifle the sound or its performance of flow rate.


The resonator modifies the sound vibrations from the engine and can be positioned either prior to or after the muffler in the exhaust system.  The main job of the resonator is to tune and arrange vibration noises however it also plays a big role in improving exhaust circulation effectiveness.  Similar to a well-designed muffler, this can lead to better efficiency and fuel effectiveness.

Tail Pipe

As the last piece of the exhaust system, the tailpipe comes out of the muffler and extends past the rear bumper of most cars, directing exhaust gases out and away.  On many modern-day cars, it also works as a decorative feature and might be dipped in chrome.

Call us right away if you're having exhaust system, cooling system, or electrical system problems.