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How Does an Exhaust System Work?

How Does an Exhaust System Work?

The Functions of an Exhaust System

In modern times, most people have driven or ridden in a vehicle. With automobiles, the debates of pollution and sound become alive. But, sometimes both of these can be down to the car itself. In this article, the goal is to help with a common question: “How Does an Exhaust System Work?”. Well, the exhaust begins with four main functions. These functions are:

  1. Direct Fumes Away from Cabin & Passengers
  2. Improve Fuel Consumption (MPG)
  3. Improve Performance (HP/TQ)
  4. Noise Amplification or Reduction (Usually Reduction)

With the exhaust handling these functions, its purpose is quite diverse. While it keeps passengers from breathing harmful gases, it also can add power and improve fuel consumption. Furthermore, all exhausts have a tone… hence noise is amplified or reduced via the muffler or silencer design. Finally, the layout of an exhaust system can depend on engine size, manufacturer, and/or model.

Control of Toxic Gases

Porsche Exhaust - Rear Undercarriage - Max Pixel - EuroDrift

Porsche Exhaust – Rear Undercarriage – Max Pixel – EuroDrift

When asking “How Does an Exhaust System Work?”, the concept of exhaust emissions comes into play. When an engine runs, it produces a total of 6 gases as emissions. Unfortunately, 3 of these gases are toxic: carbon monoxide, nitrogen monoxide, and nitrogen oxide. So, an entire design arrives around this to attempt to minimize the release of these gases into the atmosphere. Also, it obviously works to keep these gases away from the driver or passengers of the car. These gases are dangerous and can be harmful to animals, the environment, people, and plants.

How Do Emissions Exit the Car?

Car Exhaust - Rear of Automobile - Pixabay - EuroDrift

Car Exhaust – Rear of Automobile – Pixabay – EuroDrift

Again, when asking “How Does an Exhaust System Work?”, the gas must be filtered in some manner, correct? Right! First, the exhaust manifold collects gas from the cylinder head acting as a funnel. Next, the gas travels to the catalytic converter, where applicable. For instance, electric vehicles (EVs) do not have catalytic converters when there are no gasoline engines. Well, on the other hand, hybrids do for the engine portion of power. At the catalytic converter, the harmful gases are removed prior to moving on. Finally, the final gases pass through downpipes to the exhaust’s muffler or silencer. The purpose of this part of the exhaust is to filter sound, or amplify it. Manufacturers tend to remove sound while aftermarket companies amplify it.

Hopefully, That Helps!

How Car Exhaust System Works – Automotive Basics – YouTube

So, hopefully this article helps with the question: “How Does an Exhaust System Work?”. Covering the basics of gases to release via the exhaust tips, this article covers a decent portion of the process. The goal of this is to provide readers with a simple understanding of the system. Obviously, there is more that can be for discussion such as details on specific designs or layouts, temperature effects, and more. But, that is something for another time. Overall, the exhaust system plays a vital role on all gasoline vehicles.

Note: The featured image is by Clément Bucco-Lechat of Wikimedia Commons.

2019 Mercedes-AMG E53: 429-Horsepower Inline-Six

2019 Mercedes-AMG E53: 429-Horsepower Inline-Six

AMG Replaces E43 with E53 for 2019 Model Year

For the 2019 model year, Mercedes-AMG is replacing the E43 with the E53. The 2019 Mercedes-AMG E53 will be available in a cabriolet, coupe, and sedan variant. The cabriolet and coupe were revealed at the Detroit Auto Show (North American International Auto Show 2018). The E43 was a perfect match for someone looking for more than a base E300 and less than the overwhelming E63. Now, the E53 will be the middleman. The E53 has a different engine as well as some slight exterior mods in comparison to the base model. The exterior has two power bulges on the hood as well as a redesigned rear bumper with diffuser.

3.0-Liter Turbocharged Inline-Six with 429 Horsepower

2019 Mercedes-AMG E53 Sedan - Interior - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Mercedes-AMG E53 Sedan – Interior – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

The 2019 Mercedes-AMG E53 sports a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine. This motor produces 429 base horsepower and 384 lb.-ft. of torque. To support the engine, there is a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. This hybrid system produces only 21 horsepower but a whopping 184 lb.-ft. of torque. The purpose of this is to help with fuel consumption and power during usage. Furthermore, there is an electric auxiliary compressor that works with the exhaust-driven turbo to minimize lag.

In combo with the engine, there is a 9-speed AMG transmission. On top of this, there is an AWD system in the 2019 Mercedes-AMG E53. From 0-60 mph, the E53 coupe takes only 4.3 seconds. On the other hand, the cabriolet and sedan take 4.3 seconds, 0.1 seconds longer. The top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph for all three versions.

Mercedes-AMG is Looking to the Future

2019 E53 AMG Coupe Walkaround and Interior! | Hybrid AMG! – EddieX – YouTube

The 2019 Mercedes-AMG E53 is proof that Mercedes is looking to the future. With more power and better fuel consumption, this car is taking a leap forward. Furthermore, Mercedes-AMG will be offering optional 20” lightweight alloy wheels on the E53. This is on top of the 14.2” brake discs in use for all of the wheels. The MSRP is currently TBD but will most likely be available by the fall or winter. AMG expects to offer the E53 starting end of 2018 in the U.S. In conclusion, the new E53 is a beautiful feat of engineering with sufficient power and luxury.

2019 Mercedes-AMG E53 Sedan - Rear Corner - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Mercedes-AMG E53 Sedan – Rear Corner – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC Review

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC - Front - EuroDrift

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC – Front – EuroDrift

After 2 years with a 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC, the car displayed both positives and negatives. Starting at a MSRP of around $34,225, the GLA is the little brother of the GL series. The 2015 GLA250 4MATIC sports a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine pushing 208 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. The GLA250 4MATIC can complete a 0-60 mph acceleration in 6.4 seconds. In circular turning, the GLA recorded 0.87 g.

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC Positives & Negatives

On the positive side, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC has a comfortable interior and ride. The interior has a sporty design with leatherette and inlay options. The suspension maintains a sporty feel while providing the comfort a Benz is expected to offer. For a SUV, the GLA250 isn’t a terrible gas guzzler, leading to a positive fuel consumption experience. Lastly, the GLA250 styling is sleek and sporty.

On the negative side, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC boasts blind spots and disappointing tech. The design of the vehicle increases the blind spots of the vehicle, making blind spot assist a highly recommended feature. Tech wise, the navigation unit is disappointing compared to Audi’s Google Maps integration. The system is a bit difficult to navigate for beginners and is not extremely user friendly. Hopefully, this is being improved in the face lifted version of the car. On top of that, an issue in the vehicle reviewed was the display unit which would tends to shut off for a few seconds when hitting bumps or potholes on the road. In major cities in the Northeast U.S., this makes the display unit dip a frequent occurrence.

The 2015 GLA250 4MATIC Holds to the Mercedes-Benz Reputation

Overall, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC proved to be a pretty decent automobile. The comfort and sportiness made up for the discrepancies in the technology. From what was seen at the North American International Auto Show 2017 in Detroit, the GLA250 facelift offered enhancements in each direction. If you’re considering purchasing a used GLA250 4MATIC, you aren’t making the wrong decision. In the end, you won’t be disappointed with your experience.

How to Prepare Your Car for Long Road Trips

Long road trips can be both exciting and fun. With proper preparation, you can avoid boredom and delays. Download a good playlist and make sure you have a few games for the kids. Packing a small cooler with drinks and snacks means fewer stops. Also, your car needs to be in tip-top shape for a long journey.

A long road trip is a serious test for your vehicle. Even small problems such as out-of-balance tires or worn windshield wipers can cause trouble. Here is a basic checklist that you can work through before setting off on your trip:

  1. Check the Fluid Levels in Your Car
  2. Examine Your Car’s Battery
  3. Replace the Air Filter
  4. Check Tires & Tire Pressure
  5. Pack Owner’s Manual & Tools

 Check the Fluid Levels in Your Car

There are several different fluids in your car that keep it running smoothly. All of them should be topped off before taking any long trips. It’s also a good idea to carry extra oil and coolant in your car for emergencies. A list of fluid levels to check in your car include:

  1. Brake Fluid
  2. Coolant
  3. Oil
  4. Power Steering Fluid
  5. Transmission Fluid
  6. Windshield Wiper Fluid

Check the Engine Oil

Engine oil should always be checked while the engine is cold. To check the engine oil, pull out the dipstick, wipe it with a paper towel or a clean rag, and then insert it back into the reservoir. Pull out the dipstick again to check the level, make sure it’s close to the “FULL” mark. Change the engine oil if it appears too black or if it is getting close to the time for an oil change. Many modern vehicles have electronic oil level gauges which can simplify this process but it is always good to double check.

How to Check the Transmission Fluid

Unlike oil, transmission fluid has to be checked while the engine is warm and idling. Make sure the car is parked on a level surface. Set the hand brake and pull out the transmission fluid with the engine idling in neutral. Wipe off the dipstick with a cloth or and insert it back.

To check the fluid condition and level, pull out the dipstick again. Clean transmission fluid is a pinkish-red or red color. Under high load and temperature, the transmission fluid oxidizes and becomes brown. Change the transmission fluid if it appears too dark, especially if you will be towing a trailer. Be careful not to overfill the transmission fluid. Too much is just as bad as not enough.

Examine Your Car’s Battery

Check the condition of the battery visually. Replace it if you find any cracks, acid leaks, or any other damage. It is important to ensure that the battery terminals aren’t corroded as that invites trouble.

Unfortunately, there isn’t any simple way to figure out the exact life of a battery (unless you search through manufacturer’s battery manuals). Sometimes, the battery will die unexpectedly without any prior signs. The best way to check your battery’s life is to put the car in auxiliary mode. Turn the key to the “on” position but don’t turn on the engine. Look at the volt gauge on the dashboard. A car battery needs to be around 12 volts to effectively start the engine. A battery usually lasts from two to six years, depending on the manufacturer and model. Most auto parts stores will test your battery for free.

Replace the Air Filter

Replace an old air filter in your vehicle before a long road trip. A dirty air filter reduces power and increases fuel consumption. There are many of YouTube videos showing how to change an air filter, or you can take it to the shop. Air filter replacement is easy and inexpensive.

 Check the Tires & Tire Pressure

Tire pressure is one of the most important things that you need to check before a road trip. The recommended tire pressure is located inside the driver door, on the sidewall of the tire, or in the Owner’s Manual.  Have your tires balanced if you feel a vibration at high speeds. Check the tire tread and replace them if it seems worn. Patched tires may be able to handle a long road trip but there is never a guarantee.

Pack Owner’s Manual & Tools

Don’t forget to keep the owner’s manual of your vehicle in the glove box. From how to change a flat tire to the location of the jack and how a trailer is towed, the manual contains pieces of highly useful information which could be of great help on the trip.

It also includes instructions and information about how to top off the engine oil, how to jump-start the vehicle in case the battery dies, how to change the bulb of the headlight, and more. Most manuals can be downloaded if you no longer have the original. Alternatively, you can get one from your local dealer.

Besides the owner’s manual, you need to pack a few basic safety items. Every car should have a good spare tire, an emergency warning triangle, flare, jack, and lug wrench. If you don’t know how to change a tire, you need to learn before your trip. You never know when you will need to change a tire. The other option is to pay a road assistance business for the job but this usually includes a wait time of up to an hour or more.

You also need jumper cables, duct tape, a gas can, and a basic set of tools. Having these on hand can keep you from getting stranded on the side of the road. Don’t count on your cell phone. There are many places that don’t have service. Plan in advance and your trip should go off without a hitch.

Other Tips and Warnings

  • Familiarize yourself with the vehicle and its equipment, especially if you plan to drive a rental car.
  • Minimize sudden starts/stops and don’t carry unnecessary weight. The heavier the vehicle, the more fuel it will consume for the drive.
  • Don’t wait for the gas gauge to sit on “empty” before refueling. As soon as the pointer falls to a quarter of a tank, start looking for a gas station, especially if your trip involves traveling on unfamiliar roads.
  • It is highly important to ensure every person seated in the car buckles his/her seat belt. It will not only keep you safe, but some places have strict laws concerning seat belts.
  • Consider using a GPS for navigation. It can help keep you from getting lost.

 

References

http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/car-travel/top-20-safe-driving-tips

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/everything-you-need-to-prepare-for-a-long-car-journey-or-road-trip/

http://www.samarins.com/longtrip/index2.html

 

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