What does my exhaust system do?

Your exhaust system removes toxic burned gasoline fumes from your vehicle. It is comprised of a series of pipes, catalytic converters, mufflers, and a resonator, as well as several other emissions devices.


Your vehicle's muffler reduces the noise your engine makes when it's running. If you're reading this out loud while your car is running, and you can't hear yourself, there's a problem with your muffler.

Exhaust manifold and heat riser

Burned gases exit the engine through the exhaust manifold. The heat riser (or heat control valve) closes during start-up to allow the engine to warm up on.


A resonator is a type of muffler that further reduces the noise your vehicle makes.

Exhaust pipes

Exhaust pipes carry gases to other parts of the exhaust system.

Tail pipe

Exhaust leaves your vehicle through the tail pipe. Careful, it's hot! You may see water dripping from the tail pipe from time to time, but don't worry it's normal condensation from the hot exhaust.

Catalytic converter

You vehicle's catalytic converter converts harmful pollutants in the exhaust to harmless gases. Your catalytic converter should last at least 50,000 miles, and it's required by law, so don't mess with it.

Brackets and hangers

All the components of your exhaust system are suspended from the bottom of the car using brackets and hangers. These are usually flexible, so they bounce around a little with the movement of the car. But, if you hear a scraping noise while you're driving, or if you can see your muffler touching the ground, one of these brackets or hangers may need to be replaced.