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What Are the Parts of an Exhaust System?

Good question! You already know that your exhaust system is composed of more that one part (for example the exhaust). That’s why they call it an exhaust system! There is also more than one function of the exhaust system (like: keep your car quiet).


The basic components of an exhaust system are: O2 sensors, catalytic converter(s), exhaust pipe, muffler and tail pipe. The basic functions of the exhaust system are: to safely get the hot exhaust from the engine out the tail pipe, remove harmful pollutants and muffle the engine noise to acceptable levels. We all have heard a loud exhaust… quite harmful to the ears!


First, the catalytic converter “scrubs” the harmful pollutants and particles from the exhaust gas that is created when the engine is running.

Next, the exhaust gas runs through the exhaust pipe, then the muffler and out the tail pipe. You will notice that the exhaust pipe is curved. This is so that the pipe can fit around the different parts of the under-body.

From here the exhaust passes through the muffler and exits the tail pipe. The muffler’s job it to quiet the exhaust noise level before it exits the car. How much noise the exhaust creates will depend upon the type of muffler you put on. Some people want it whisper quiet, others prefer a little rumble or a low roar.

Most importantly, you want to make sure the catalytic converter(s) is doing it’s job. It will eventually wear out and need replaced. They’re expensive, so you want to keep the fuel system clean and replace the air filter when needed. A service technician can test the converter with an emissions test to see if a new converter is needed.

It’s very important that if you smell exhaust coming inside your vehicle, to have the exhaust system evaluated immediately. Exhaust gas is harmful and can make you sick or worse….

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