How Does Your Car’s Exhaust System Work?

Your car is equipped with multiple systems that work together to form a functioning car. One of those systems is the exhaust system. It is responsible for diverting gasses away from the engine so that they do not get into the cabin and into your lungs. Take a look at some of the parts that make up the exhaust system.


Exhaust Manifold

For most cars, the exhaust system begins with the exhaust manifold. It is usually made of metal and it connects the engine to the rest of the exhaust system. One side of the manifold has individual tubes that connect to each of the engine cylinders. In the manifold, these individual tubes merge and come out on the other side as a single tube.

Oxygen Sensor

Another part of the exhaust system is the oxygen sensor. This part measures how much oxygen is in the waste gases. In a perfect world, the car’s engine would use exactly the right amount of oxygen needed to completely burn the fuel, and none would be leftover. However, since we do not live in a perfect world, the greater the difference in oxygen levels between the exhaust and outside air, the higher the voltage reading will be. 

Catalytic Converter 

Another major component of the exhaust system is the catalytic converter. Its job is to “clean up” three types of dangerous exhaust waste products. Once the waste products reach the catalytic converter, they undergo a chemical reaction and produce “catalysts”. This results in reduced car exhaust emissions.


A car muffler is one of the more well-known parts of the exhaust system. Its main job is to reduce noise pollution. It is usually equipped with sound-absorbing materials, and it cancels out sound waves as they flow through the tubes and chambers. The remaining sound waves are turned into heat. It is easy to tell if a car has a bad or missing muffler. 

Having Problems With Your Exhaust System?

Now that you know about the parts of your car’s exhaust system, you will be able to help explain any problems you are experiencing to a mechanic. If you are having problems with your exhaust system, Westside Transmission & Automotive can fix it for you. We have been the go-to shop for auto repair and auto maintenance in Los Angeles, CA. Contact us today at 310-473-2235 to schedule an appointment.