How Exhaust System Components Work Together

How Exhaust System Components Work Together

To help drivers understand this system better, the ASE-certified technicians at Christian Brothers Automotive are going to explain the components of your vehicle’s exhaust system.

Exhaust Manifold

The exhaust manifold connects to the cylinder head and takes each cylinder’s exhaust, collecting it into one pipe. The size of your car’s exhaust manifold will depend on the number of cylinders your engine has.

Oxygen Sensor

All modern vehicles have at least two oxygen sensors (O2 sensors). Just as the name says, it senses how much oxygen is in your exhaust and sends that information to your car’s computer. From there, the computer can then add or subtract fuel to achieve maximum fuel economy.

The first O2 sensor was used by Volvo in the late 1970’s. Due to federal emission laws in 1981, oxygen sensors became virtually mandatory in all vehicles' exhaust system components.

Catalytic Converter

This vital part of your exhaust system converts harmful carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons into water vapor and carbon dioxide. Some catalytic converters also reduce harmful nitrogen oxides.


For your exhaust system’s overall health, even a single broken hanger can be dangerous. When one hanger breaks, there’s increased pressure on the others. Furthermore, a broken hanger will cause the exhaust system to shift when the vehicle is driven. This, in turn, creates a type of whiplash effect that travels through the clamped and welded joints, which loosens them. If your exhaust system has a broken hanger, it needs replacement immediately by your San Antonio auto repair shop.


Clamps and joints can be damaged when there’s a lot of movement in the exhaust system. Fortunately, cracked welded joints at a muffler or resonator joint can be replaced. In other cases, clamped joints may not be cracked, but are leaking exhaust fumes. In this case, exhaust pipe sealer can be applied to the affected area.


The muffler may not seem essential to your car’s exhaust system, but all of your neighbors are happy you have it. That’s because the one thing that keeps your car running quietly is the muffler. Remember, the combustion process is basically a series of small explosions that create a lot of noise.

Your car’s exhaust system is immensely important. Frequent checks of your exhaust system components are essential to ensure the safety of you and your family. Put your faith in the hands of the friendly auto repair experts at Christian Brothers Automotive.