Your minivan’s exhaust system is more than just a tailpipe and a muffler. In fact, it is one of the most complex systems on your minivan. Maintaining it is good Crystal Collision Center auto advice for Crystal car owners, but it’s also good health advice and good environmental advice.
The exhaust system includes your emissions system. Because this system may affect your health and the health of our Saint Paul area environment, it is subject to strict government regulations. Satisfying these regulations demands some high-tech, computer-controlled equipment, which means that the emissions system is a lot more sophisticated than it was thirty years ago. Most auto manufacturers recommend that you have your minivan exhaust and emissions systems checked by a qualified tech at regular intervals.
The exhaust system starts with the exhaust manifold. The manifold is attached to the minivan engine. It collects exhaust from the cylinders and directs it into the exhaust pipe. Gaskets seal the connection of the manifold to the engine and to other joints. A cracked or loose manifold or a leaking or damaged gasket can allow dangerous gases to enter the passenger compartment of a vehicle. One of these gases is carbon monoxide, which is colorless, odorless and deadly. For this reason, it is vital that Saint Paul drivers keep their exhaust system in good repair.
The pipes that connect the various parts of the exhaust system can rust or be damaged by rocks or other road debris. Such damage can cause dangerous gases to leak into the air. So it is critical that exhaust pipes get an automotive analysis regularly.
The catalytic converter is the next critical component of your minivan exhaust system. It sort of looks like a muffler. Its job is to change dangerous gases into harmless carbon dioxide and water. The catalytic converter doesn’t require any regular maintenance, but it can wear out. If it fails, you will need a new catalytic converter to pass an emissions test in MN. Call Crystal Collision Center at 763.533.0412 if you suspect a problem with your catalytic converter.
Oxygen sensors in the exhaust pipe monitor the oxygen content of the exhaust. This helps the minivan engine’s computer keep the fuel-to-air mixture at optimal levels.
The muffler is also part of your minivan exhaust system, but it deals with a different kind of emission. It keeps your minivan from emitting bad sounds. Mufflers act like finely tuned musical instruments. They create a feedback of sound waves to absorb or decrease the noises made by your engine. Different mufflers can create different sound waves, so you can actually “tune” your car to produce a particular sound, anything from whisper to rumble.
It is vital for damaged mufflers be replaced immediately at your Crystal automotive service center, especially if they are leaking. Not only will the extra noise annoy your Crystal neighbors, a leaky muffler could be serious.
The entire exhaust system is attached to your minivan by hangers and clamps. These fasteners can rust, come loose or break. The vital components of the exhaust system can get very hot, so when the hangers or clamps fail, these hot components can come into contact with other parts such as wires and hoses. These can melt, causing serious and costly damage to your vehicle. Good car care requires that you have your exhaust system inspected regularly.
Let’s not forget the tailpipe. It’s the last essential piece in the exhaust system — and of your minivan, for that matter. Exhaust fumes exit your minivan through the tailpipe.
If your minivan has any of the following symptoms, it may have a problem with the exhaust system: it’s hard to start, it runs rough, it’s noisy, it’s smoking. Also, if your “check engine” light comes on, especially if it’s flashing, it is important to get your minivan to Crystal Collision Center in Crystal right away. Often, the “check engine” light indicates a problem with the emissions system.
Caring for your minivan exhaust system yields cosmetic benefits like quieting your engine sounds, but also may impact your health and safety. Your life, or the life of a loved one, may actually be on the line.