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Do I need a new exhaust?

9th January 2024

What is an exhaust system?

An exhaust system is complex, made up of pipes that are a key component to your vehicle. It serves four main functions: 

  • Improves fuel consumption  
  • Controls noise 
  • Redirects fumes from the exhaust away from passengers 
  • Improves engine performance 

But how does it work and what signs indicate you need a new exhaust? Read our guide to find out more. 

How does an exhaust work? 

An exhaust system consists of several parts, all of these components need to be functioning properly in order for your exhaust to work correctly. They include: 

  • Exhaust pipe 
  • Silencer  
  • The manifold 
  • Sensors  
  • Catalyst converter  

As you drive, the manifold picks up harmful gases that are emitted as the engine burns fuel and transfers them to the catalytic converter, which removes environmental pollutants such as hydrogen and carbon monoxide from the fumes. This gas is then moved through to the silencer that lowers noise levels before reaching the end of the exhaust pipe.  

How long does an exhaust last?

In general, your exhaust should last around the same lifetime as your vehicle – typically thousands of miles. However, this can vary depending on certain factors, including: 

  • The amount of miles you drive  
  • Your style of driving 
  • The make and model of your vehicle  

Signs you need a new exhaust

There are many ways to identify exhaust problems, though three are the most common: 

  • Louder noise than usual – If your vehicle is making more noise than usual, such as a knocking or rattling sound from under your vehicle, there is a chance your catalyst converter may be loose and will need replacing. The catalyst converter in your exhaust system is fragile and can split or crack from uneven terrain. 
  • Rust damage – any signs of rust or damage such as holes or splitting may indicate corrosion caused by wear and tear as well as excessive heat. We recommend checking your vehicle regularly when the engine is off to get ahead of any rust damage.  
  • Using more fuel – If you find yourself having to refuel more often, this could indicate a leak in your vehicles exhaust system. This will make it difficult to transfer fumes, leading to an overheated engine that will burn more fuel.  

How can Merityre help? 

Here at Merityre, we offer free exhaust health checks to help maintain your vehicles exhaust system. Simply book in at your nearest branch and our specialists will be on hand to help diagnose the problem. A regular service can also help ensure your exhaust system is working as it should, find out more about out servicing options here.