Warning: It is dangerous to continue driving in a vehicle with a damaged or broken exhaust system. For an exhaust and muffler repair, please contact AAMCO Colorado, where our experienced mechanics can either make repairs or replace your seystem if need be.

An exhaust system is the piping that is used to guide exhaust fumes away from a controlled combustion inside of an engine. The system of pipes must be specifically designed to carry the exhaust gas away from both the driver and vehicle. If it is not properly vented out of the vehicle, carbon monoxide could build up inside of the vehicle cabin, which is not only dangerous, but can be deadly as well.

The piping system must be heat-resistant, as the gases expelled are extremely hot. It is also important that the pipes do not pass through or near anything that can potentially burn or be damaged by the high levels of heat. A vehicles exhaust system also has to be tuned in order to function fully and properly. There are state emissions regulations that must be met for older vehicles, as well as newer ones. Though for newer vehicles, a test is not needed until the vehicle has aged a few years. A faulty exhaust would cause you to fail these tests, which makes your vehicles unfit for use. If a vehicle cannot pass the emissions test, the owner will either have to visit a specialized auto mechanic for repairs, or attempt to make the fix themselves. It is recommended that for a failing exhaust, you visit an auto repair shop as it can be dangerous if the system is incorrectly installed, or insufficiently repaired.

Exhaust Terminology

Manifold: The manifold is designed to take the gas from the engines cylinders, and send them into the pipes. Since these cylinders fire off at different times, gases are created at different times as well. This creates pressure waves as gas from one cylinder is released, which means that gas may still remain behind in others. This creates pressure within the exhaust system and can restrict a vehicles overall performance. There are different designs for manifolds, but generally mass produced ones are created with the idea to save money and space. So performance ends up being less important.

Header: A header is a manifold that is specially designed to increase performance. Designers worry less over weight and cost, and more on how to create optimal air flow to expel the exhaust gases from the system. Headers gather the gases form the cylinders more efficiently, which thus allows for optimal performance. Headers tend to be made by after market manufacturers, though at times they can be purchased specifically for high-performance vehicles from a dealership.

Header-Back: A header-Back is the section of the exhaust system that connects the outlet of the header to where the exhaust gas is finally expelled into open air. Just as Headers, they are generally manufactured by after market companies for vehicles that do not contain turbochargers.

Turbo-Back: If your vehicle has a turbocharger, the Turbo-Back is the part of the exhaust system that connects the outlet of the turbocharger to where the exhaust gas is finally expelled. As suspected, these as well are produced primarily by after market manufacturers for performance vehicles.

Cat-Back: A Cat-Back is the portion of the exhaust system that that attaches to the outlet of a catalytic converter, if the vehicle has one, to the vents expelling the exhaust gas. This includes the pipe from the converter to the muffler. Cat-Backs generally uses larger pipes than those that are simply stock to allow gases to escape with as little remains being left behind as possible.

Muffler: The Muffler is a device used for reducing the amount of noise that is emitted by the exhaust of an internal combustion engine.

Tailpipe: Depending on where the vehicle was produced, the tailpipe can be found on either the left or right side of the vehicle, in relation to where the driver side of passenger vehicles would be. The Tailpipe is the final length of pipe that extends underneath the vehicle where it vents into open air for gases to escape. Big Rigs and certain trucks will often have the TailPipe pointing up to the sky, sticking out from either the bed of a truck, or behind the cabin of Big Rigs. Often times on high performance vehicles, there will be two tailpipes. This is because they require gases to be expelled more quickly, which could not be done with a single pipe.

By now you should have the fundamental knowledge to understand an exhaust system, it’s purpose as well as the parts that comprise it. If you are in need of exhaust repairs, please visit AAMCOColorado.com to schedule an appointment. There are countless AAMCO Locations so it will be easy to find one near you. You can schedule an appointment online¬†here.