Just think about all the nasty chemicals and gasses that come out of your car, they are harmful and dirty, which is why it’s so important to give your car exhaust system the proper care it deserves. So, find out which device helps clean car exhaust and what are extra steps you can take to clean and maintain your car exhaust.
What Is the Car Exhaust System and What Does It Do?
The car exhaust system is one of the most important systems in your car. It’s made out of many components that create a system that is meant to keep you safe and healthy while driving. Have you ever noticed a really loud used car that releases black clouds of exhaust gas behind it and wondered what is wrong with it? The answer is – its exhaust system isn’t working properly. So, what does the car exhaust system actually do?
It Protects Against Harmful Gasses and Chemicals
Each time you sit behind your steering wheel and start your car, you can even hear the mechanisms and internal combustion processes happening on the inside of your car. A lot of complicated mechanisms and chemical reactions are required in order to keep your car running. All of these internal combustion processes create thousands of tiny explosions that produce the energy the car needs to work.
However, these reactions don’t just produce energy, they produce harmful and toxic chemicals and gas at the same time. These chemicals are extremely dangerous for people and their respiratory health, which is why the car exhaust system was invented. It takes these harmful emissions away and releases them on the outside of your vehicle.
Without a car exhaust system, the inside of your car would pretty quickly fill up with harmful gasses, and you would be forced to breathe in stuff like carbon monoxide and dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons.
The Car Exhaust System Has a Major Effect On Your Car’s Fuel Efficiency
Even if you’re not a big car lover and enthusiast, you need to know that every part and system in your car is connected to each other, and they all work as one big whole system. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your car exhaust system is somehow related to your car’s fuel efficiency. But how are the two connected? The car exhaust has a major impact on the car’s overall fuel efficiency.
The simple reasoning behind this is oxygen flow. When the car exhaust system is working properly, it allows the exhaust gas to leave the vehicle, and the engine can take in a larger amount of oxygen, making your fuel consumption better. Oxygen is extremely important for the internal combustion process, and more oxygen means more energy. That’s why modern cars today have oxygen sensors that measure the levels of oxygen. So, the car exhaust system doesn’t only improve your fuel economy, it improves your engine performance as well.
A Good Exhaust System Reduces Noise
Throughout the evolution of cars, you could notice that the first car was incomparably louder than the cars men and women drive today. So, what changed between now and then? For starters, car components have vastly improved and progressed, and that includes the car exhaust system. Modern cars have car exhaust systems that contain silencers and mufflers that help reduce the noise coming from the engine and exhaust.
The car’s internal combustion process produces a lot of noise, not just gasses and chemicals. Thankfully to the sound suppressors in the exhaust system, that noise is reduced by 20-35 dB. Cars with higher price tags have better-quality exhaust systems and are able to suppress more noise.
Which Device Helps Clean Car Exhaust Automatically?
A car exhaust system is a well-oiled machine, and it comes with an already built-in cleaning device – a catalytic converter. A catalytic converter is the single most important part of any car exhaust system. This component reduces harmful air pollutants, which means it automatically makes the car exhaust cleaner. A catalytic converter, also known as the “cat,” has the biggest impact on the environment and pollution reduction, and that is why a new law was introduced back in 1986. stating that all newly manufactured vehicles are required to have a catalytic converter.
How Does the Catalytic Converter Work?
The catalytic converter filters emissions that come from the engine’s combustion chamber. It reduces hydrocarbon emissions by more than 98%. As the name says, this component transforms, or converts, harmful gasses such as NOx, carbon monoxide, and unburnt hydrocarbons into nitrogen, water vapor, and carbon dioxide, which are a bit better for the environment. The chemical reaction that allows this to happen is oxidation.
Catalytic converters work by using catalysts like platinum, palladium, rhodium, or some other element that can facilitate redox. In order for the chemical reactions to work, the catalyst has to be some kind of element that can make other chemicals react without changing their own makeup and integrity. This combination creates chemical reactions that transform carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons into water vapor and carbon dioxide.
What Types of Catalytic Converters Exist?
Catalytic converters are a mandatory part of the car exhaust system, and ever since they came out, they have improved and progressed drastically. Today, there are many types of catalytic converters, but the two most popular and commonly used ones are two-way and three-way catalytic converters. Two-way catalytic converters are the simpler version, and they resemble a two-way oxidation where carbon monoxide turns into carbon dioxide, and hydrocarbons turn into carbon dioxide and water.
Three-way catalytic converters are more complicated and advanced – they do everything the two-way converter does, but they also transform nitrogen oxide into less harmful nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water. The three-way converter uses a combination of rhodium, platinum, and palladium and is more common in newer, modern car models. Unfortunately, catalytic converters often get stolen because of their worth and easy accessibility, especially the three-way kind.
An Electrostatic Precipitator Also Has a Major Role in Cleaning the Car Exhaust
Besides the catalytic converter, there is another component that filters through the harmful emissions – the electrostatic precipitator. This component is the one that’s responsible for removing and filtering through the soot from the car exhaust gasses before they exit the exhaust pipe. This component doesn’t just filter through the soot, it also filters through other fine particles, such as dust and ash.
The electrostatic precipitator takes the lead when it comes to keeping your car exhaust clean since it doesn’t allow soot or dust to collect in the exhaust pipe. It also collects wet impurities, if there are any, and it doesn’t allow either wet or dry impurities to exit through the exhaust pipe into the environment.
Why Is It Important to Clean and Maintain Your Car Exhaust and How Do You Clean It?
One of the most expensive parts of the car is definitely the car exhaust system. That’s why it’s so important to take care of it in time, so it can last longer. You need to regularly check up on your car exhaust and clean it properly if you want it to last and if you want to avoid extremely expensive trips to the mechanic.
The biggest issue you will face if you don’t carefully clean your exhaust pipe is rust settling in. Cleaning your car exhaust is actually pretty simple and hassle-free. There are just a few steps you should follow in order to do it correctly. Of course, you can always drive your car to the mechanics and ask them to do it for you. But here is a simple guide on how to clean your exhaust pipe all on your own.
For starters, I would recommend upgrading to a stainless steel exhaust since it’s the easiest to upkeep and it’s the only way to truly prevent rust from settling in. Another disclaimer before we get into the step-by-step guide is that no matter how hard you scrub, your old, used, and loved exhaust full of rust will never be able to look new and shiny again, but you will definitely see a big change, and difference even after the first clean.
The cleaning process is fairly simple, so let’s start with a list of things you will be needing:
- Many rags, the older and more worn out, the better (you will most likely toss them once you’re done cleaning),
- Gloves (always protect your hands when cleaning and using strong chemicals),
- A bucket, sponge, soap and water,
- Steel wool,
- A brush that can easily fit inside the pipe,
- A microfiber cloth,
- A degreaser of your choice,
- Some kind of metal polish.
Step 1 – Use Soap and Water
The first step is pretty straightforward – grab your bucket, dip your sponge or rag, and start scrubbing the outside of the exhaust pipe. Once the outside has been cleaned from all the hardened dirt and smoke deposits, take the brush and wash the inside of the pipe as detailed as you can.
Step 2 – Read the Instructions On Your Degreaser and Apply It
The next thing you need to do is take another rag and apply your degreaser on the outside and inside of the exhaust pipe. Read the instructions, and after the intended period of time has passed, you need to remove the degreaser – take the steel wool and scrub it off.
Step 3 – Polish the Exhaust Pipe as a Final Touch
The final step of this cleaning process is to polish your exhaust pipe. This is where the magic happens and where you will see the biggest difference. For starters, take the microfiber cloth and wipe down the exhaust pipe. Once all the dust and moisture have been removed, take the steel wool and apply a small amount of the metal polish on both the inside and the outside of the pipe. Let it sit for a while (read the instructions,) and then buff it off with the microfiber cloth, and voila – you’re all done.
How Can You Know If Something Is Wrong With Your Car Exhaust System?
If there is an issue with your car exhaust system, it shouldn’t be too hard to notice. For starters, it’s one of the mandatory things your mechanic will check once you take your car to get checked up. Your mechanic won’t just add more brake fluid and fix your U-joints, they will do a full inspection of your vehicle. A full inspection should be done at least once a year, if not more often.
When you take your car to the mechanics, you can specifically ask them to take a look at your exhaust pipe and clean it. And, of course, if there are any issues with your car exhaust system, your mechanic will notice and let you know. But of course, if some issues turn up between your two appointments, you will definitely be able to notice it all on your own. Here are the signs you should be on the lookout after:
- Your car exhaust pipe is broken or damaged in some other way,
- You will notice an unusual smell coming from the engine or the exhaust pipe,
- You will notice you can hear a louder noise coming from your car than usual.
Remind Yourself to Regularly Take Care of Your Vehicle and Clean Your Car Exhaust
Car maintenance is no joke, and it doesn’t just require you to keep the exterior of your car clean and nice. The point of car maintenance isn’t in changing your windshield wipers from time to time or even regularly switching from summer to winter tires. The point isn’t even in fixing already broken or damaged parts like flat tires. The point of car maintenance is taking care of your car and treating it with respect, which includes regular maintenance and cleaning of the car exhaust. By doing so, you’re keeping your car in perfect condition for longer and yourself safer on the road.