O2 sensor and The Exhaust System in Car

The Exhaust System and O2 sensor in Car

The function of an exhaust system is to carry away the gases formed by the fuel and air are burned in the combustion chamber. Literally, it has four functions all inclusively, let’s begin with the ability to control noise, to exhaust fumes away, to improve fuel consumption and efficiency, and to improve the efficiency of the engine. Though the working and function of all exhaust system are similar the layout /type of this system may vary according to the variance of the vehicle.

o2 sensor
The working of the exhaust system is, gases are collected from the cylinder head in the engine by an exhaust manifold. The exhaust manifold acts as a funnel, diverting exhaust gases from all cylinders of the engine then releases them through a single opening, often referred to as the front pipe. These exhaust gases then travel through a catalytic converter which removes harmful elements including carbon monoxide and hydrogen monoxide which are converted into inert gases. Its only after once we hear the monstrous notice that a damaged muffler makes will make us realize what a big deal it is handling. So, If there is a damage arises in this system we can identify through its variation in the sound.

Now let us look into some of the components of an exhaust system:

Exhaust Manifold

We can find out this part on the side of any engine. It is manufactured by cast iron, stainless steel and aluminium and with its alloys. It is the first part in the exhaust system of the car to receive the fumes. Since the place generates more heat, it retains the capability to burn the fuel which has not been burnt properly. The waste fumes are directed to the pipe and then released to the environment through the tail pipe which is visible on the car’s exterior.

The most common defect that we can figure out in this part is, due to corrosion and excessive heat, the gasket might suffer a crack or break which can lead to leakage of fumes. The other negative factors are failure in smog tests or a negative report in vehicle safety by the law.

Oxygen or O2 Sensor

The fumes released as a result of burning fuel, have the dangerous chemical element, carbon monoxide that can harm humans as well the environment. Modern day vehicles are designed with o2 sensor within the exhaust systems to assist in the measurement of oxygen levels. The sensors also have the capability to handle injection of fuels, make calculations of fuel usage as well control emissions. Their data is mainly used to limit the number of harmful gases released to the environment.

The most important part of the exhaust system, the o2 sensor sends the readings to the computer present in the car to determine the amount of fuel needed to give the best performance. If the o2 sensor in car is perfect, the fuel is received and emitted perfectly. However, in case of slow performance, the component, Check Engine Light will be called into action and the emissions can be excessive. Other problems could  be the failure of the muffler, catalytic converter and the engine will give poor performance.

Catalytic Converters

The catalytic converter in most car exhaust systems is located between the exhaust manifold and the muffler. It plays a very important role in ensuring that the harmful fumes produced as a result of the combustion process are not so harmful when they reach the environment. The catalyst used can convert Nitrogen, Hydrocarbons and Carbon monoxide. Depending on the catalyst used, the Carbon monoxide is converted into Carbon dioxide and the Hydrocarbons into Carbon dioxide as well as water. The burning of fossil fuels results in the production of these harmful gases and the converter rectifies them less harmful to both the environment and people.

The emission system of the car is dependent heavily on catalytic converter as the hydrocarbons have to be burnt properly. In case the converter gets too hot, the engine can fail internally. There will be back pressure, poor engine performance and ultimately you get a damaged engine. Kindly note, an under performing catalytic converter gives the smell of rotten egg or sulphur.

Exhaust Pipes

They are present from the head to the end. They are connected via the manifold at the beginning and make an ending with the tail pipe – the place where fumes are eliminated. In case of extreme conditions, the exhaust pipe may be found hanging underneath the car.

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