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A defective exhaust system can hinder the performance of a vehicle; by decreasing its power output and increasing its fuel consumption and costing you more than it should. In the event of a ruptured pipe the car can become very noisy.

The silencer is the part of the exhaust that usually needs attention first. This is because it is the furthest away from the engine and is the most likely to be corroded by acidic moisture. This is because these parts remain relatively cold and give exhaust gases a chance to condense and form pools of corrosive acid inside the system.

You'll know that you have a problem with your silencer because your exhaust starts making a roaring noise.

Other noises to listen out for include hissing, which indicates a crack in the exhaust manifold, exhaust pipe or a leaking gasket. A chugging noise could mean a blockage in the exhaust system.

If you hear rattling under the car it could mean that the exhaust system has become misaligned. And if you can hear a loud metallic vibration, it usually means that something is touching the exhaust pipe or that a clamp, support bracket or mounting is loose. Hangers and brackets hold your exhaust in place. Corroded, fractured or missing hangers or brackets can cause extra stress, which can also lead to premature exhaust failure.

A leaking exhaust gives off poisonous gases that can enter the vehicle. So having an exhaust in excellent condition is essential.

If you hear any strange noises at all coming from your exhaust, the best advice is to bring your vehicle to us.

We supply and fit Exhaust Systems for all makes and models. We can get delivery of any exhaust within an hour from our suppliers and fitted to the vehicle by our trained and experienced fitters.

You then have to make a decision about whether to replace the whole exhaust or just parts of it. Often, if one part is corroded, it is likely that parts of a similar age could be corroded too. Sometimes the different parts of an exhaust fuse together because of heat and they are starting to corrode. That makes separation of the individual parts extremely difficult.

But when they haven't fused together, it's a matter of judgement and consideration based on vehicle usage, driving habits and distances travelled, that will dictate whether individual parts should be replaced or the entire exhaust assembly. Sometimes it can save you time and money to replace more than the corroded part.

Catalytic Converter

Their purpose is to clean the emissions from the engine and to remove harmful particles and carbon monoxide gas, so that the final gas from the exhaust pipe is predominantly carbon dioxide and water vapour.

It includes a core of ceramics riddled with pores that measure less than 1/1000 metre. The pores are coated with powdered catalysts that contain metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium.

Because the pores are close to the engine they heat up and the catalytic converter starts working soon after the engine is started.

The catalytic converters are so efficient that the difference in emission readings for cars with converters and those without are huge. The good news is that catalytic converters have a good life expectancy, but still need to be checked periodically for internal and external damage.

Another device that helps to reduce carbon emissions is the oxygen sensor. This monitors the percentage of oxygen present in exhaust gases and transmits information to the engine management electronic control unit (ECU).

The ECU (Electronic Control Unit) constantly adjusts the air/fuel mixture so that the cleanest combustion is achieved under all operating conditions.

Sometimes, a 'failed' catalytic converter may be due to a fault in the engine management system. In these circumstances a new catalytic converter may not rectify the problem and the vehicle may require further diagnostic.

Together with the catalytic converter, the oxygen sensor helps to achieve the lowest possible output of dangerous and polluting gases.

Emissions from vehicles are now a major part of the MOT test, and it is important that your engine and exhaust system is in good order, to prevent premature damage to the catalytic converter.

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