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What do exhaust tips do?

What do exhaust tips do?

What are exhaust tips used for?

The exhaust system is made up of several components, including the manifold, catalytic converter, silencer, and particulate filter. The exhaust tip is at the end of the exhaust line.  The exhaust tips are a central part of the car, enabling the engine to run smoothly. The role of the exhaust tips is to evacuate the gases produced by engine combustion. The exhaust collects the gases leaving the cylinders and carries them to the outside of your car. It must not be obstructed, as this can have serious repercussions on all the parts in the exhaust system.

First and foremost, the exhaust system controls combustion within the engine. It controls the speed of exhaust gases. Thus, a long exhaust line will favor engine torque over power, while a short exhaust line will do the opposite.

The exhaust tips also play a major role in the car's noise emissions. The exhaust tips limit the combustion noise generated by the engine. Without this soundproofing, cars would make an unbearable noise in your ears.

Finally, the exhaust system limits the release of polluting gases and particles. Thanks to the exhaust tips, catalytic converters, and particulate filters, cars today pollute much less.

Types of exhaust tips

Their shape can vary from one model to another: they can be round, oval, rectangular or adjustable. Powerful cars often have a double exhaust tip. Exhaust tips can be made from 4 different materials:

  • Stainless-steel exhaust tips: with their high strength, which explains their heavier weight, they require frequent maintenance;
  • Chrome exhaust tips: a highly aesthetic model, often made of steel with chrome-plated metal;
  • Steel exhaust tips: despite their rustproof characteristics, they deteriorate rapidly with corrosion and humidity;
  • Titanium exhaust tips: renowned for their lightness, they have a good capacity to manage the heat present within them.

Exhaust tips - What are they made of?

The catalytic converter

The catalytic converter, catalytic converter, or oxidation converter is a component of the exhaust tips. It also reduces pollutants in exhaust gases. Catalytic converters have been compulsory on gasoline-powered vehicles since 1993, and on diesel-powered vehicles since 1997. In fact, these two types of vehicle have different catalytic converters: 3-way for petrol and 2-way for diesel.

Catalytic converters reduce emissions of CO, NO, and unburned hydrocarbons, considered highly toxic. The catalytic converter transforms a large proportion of these elements into harmless gases and H2O through chemical reactions.

The particulate filter

Located just after the catalytic converter on diesel-powered vehicles, the particulate filter filters out small particles considered carcinogenic. These particles are mainly composed of carbon resulting from diesel combustion. The particulate filter plays a complementary role to that of the catalytic converter, filtering the polluting particles from the latter.

Lambda sensor

Found in most vehicles, the lambda sensor measures the air-fuel mixture and eliminates pollutants by measuring the oxygen content of exhaust gases. It is located between the catalytic converter and the exhaust manifold. The lambda sensor also ensures certain fuel savings by optimizing the combustion and injection process.

The silencer

Since exhaust noise is unbearable to the human ear, engineers have installed silencers in the exhaust tips. The aim is to reduce noise pollution. It dampens the sound waves produced by the expansion of exhaust gases. The exhaust silencer consists of an enclosure located between an inlet pipe and an outlet pipe.

The muffler

Vehicles powered by two-stroke engines have a special exhaust tip: the expansion muffler. This device transfers fresh gases to the combustion chamber for improved performance.

When to change an exhaust tip?

Exhaust tips can last the life of your car. It's not a wearing part, so there's no need to change it every few years.

However, we recommend that you check your exhaust system every 20,000 kilometers or so, to make sure it's working properly.

You should change your exhaust tips if you notice any leaks due to oxidation. Condensation and high gas temperatures can damage your exhaust tips. You may also need to replace your exhaust tips in the event of a major impact.

Finally, if your catalytic converter or particulate filter is no longer functional, you should consider repairing your exhaust tips. If you encounter this problem, your engine diagnostics light may come on.

It's worth mentioning that if your exhaust tips are not in good condition, your vehicle may fail the technical inspection following anti-pollution checks. It's important to maintain it properly to avoid any unforeseen problems. If you notice any abnormal exhaust tip noises, be sure to visit your garage.

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