Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Does the Exhaust System Reduce Harmful Pollutants?

exhaust pollutants

Because your car’s engine operates on combustion (burning gasoline), it creates fumes. Those fumes must be removed from the engine so they don’t smother combustion, and must be vented as far from the doors and windows as possible because of high levels of carbon monoxide. Your exhaust also contains traces of many other chemicals, some of which become pollutants in the environment. Parts of your exhaust system are designed to reduce harmful emissions.

What parts?

First, understand that most of your exhaust is simply designed to transport exhaust gases from one point (the engine) to another (the muffler). Your exhaust manifold, down pipe, A pipe, B pipe, and muffler have nothing to do with reducing emissions. They’re all about getting gases away from the engine without exposing you and your passengers to them. The muffler’s only job is to dampen the sound of your exhaust.

So, what parts are responsible for reducing emissions? You can thank your EGR valve and your catalytic converter. The EGR valve (exhaust gas recirculation valve) sends exhaust fumes back through the combustion chamber mixed with fresh air in order to burn off more particulates (this also improves fuel economy by combusting minute particles of gasoline not burned during the initial combustion).

Your catalytic converter is the real star of the show, though. It sits between two of your exhaust pipes and its only job is to get hot. It gets so hot that it burns away most of the harmful gases that would otherwise exit the muffler and pollute the air.

In the end, your exhaust system actually does a very good job of reducing harmful chemicals that might pollute the environment (although it’s not 100% effective, and will degrade over time, which is why emissions testing is so important).

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance Related Trouble Codes: P2158: Vehicle Speed Sensor B P2160: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Circuit Low P2161:...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed Related Trouble Codes: P2441: EVAP Vent Valve Stuck Open EVAP trouble...


Related questions

Q: Check engine light stays on

Hello. In order to know why the light is on, I would need to know the codes from the computer. It can be anything for a computer issue to a bad gas cap. I usually scan the computer first to...

Q: Loud engine

Hello. There are several reasons that your vehicle may be sounding louder than normal. Typically it has to do with the airflow going into or coming out of the engine. Leaks can come in the forms of holes, cracks, gapped...

Q: Where do I find the emissions control label?

The emissions control label gives you important information about the emissions system in the car, and what regulations it meets. This information may be necessary during emissions testing. You’ll find the label on the underside of the hood, on the...