The full exhaust system has the important job of removing the toxic exhaust fumes produced by the engine from the car. It also functions to enhance engine performance, minimise noise produced when driving and improve fuel efficiency.
The full exhaust system provides the complete exhaust setup. The full exhaust system includes an exhaust manifold, which is fixed to the cylinder head and takes the exhaust fumes from the engine's cylinders into the exhaust pipe; a catalytic converter, which sits between the exhaust manifold and the rear exhaust box, and changes the harmful emissions into water vapour and carbon dioxide; the rear exhaust box which acts as an exhaust silencer; and the exhaust pipe through which the exhaust travels, and the means by which the fumes reach the tail pipe where they finally leave the vehicle. The full exhaust system is fixed together by a setup of gaskets, clamps, flanges and hangers.
The exhaust manifold is often made of cast iron, but can also be made of aluminum, steel or stainless steel which have a stronger resistance to rust. The exhaust pipe is commonly made of steel but some manufacturers use stainless steel or aluminized steel, because they are more resistant to rust and therefore generally last longer. But in older exhaust systems, whatever the metal used, corrosion will eventually take its toll.
Although built to be strong and durable, common issues do occur with the full exhaust system simply due to wear and tear and old age. Often the main issue with any exhaust system is problems caused by rust. Internal components are subject to moisture created by the process of combustion and rainwater can cause corrosion to the exhaust system over time. Regular, short journeys can speed up damage to the exhaust full system because the water in the system doesn't have time to heat up properly which means it doesn't turn back into water vapour and instead lies in the exhaust pipes which will eventually rust away. The rear exhaust box is also prone to corrosion which can cause cracks and holes and eventually it will stop functioning properly. The exhaust pipe can be subject to damage from pot holes and bumps in the road and rust can cause the exhaust pipe to break and drag on the road. A broken exhaust pipe can be dangerous and should be addressed as soon as possible. Whatever the issue, when replacing the exhaust system it is important to make sure that you buy the right full exhaust system for the make and model of your car.