An exhaust pipe refers to one or more metal tubes that connect components of the exhaust system in a vehicle.
Your internal combustion engine relies on rapidly expanding gasses produced by burning fuel to propel the pistons and produce power. The process of combustion, however, carries some unwanted byproducts in the form of harmful emissions, heat, and noise. Therefore, an engine is fitted with an exhaust system to quiet down the sound of the engine and to route the engine exhaust away from vehicle occupants.
Your engine can produce exhaust upwards of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That exhaust also contains compounds harmful to humans and the environment, such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides. The exhaust system collects these hot gasses in the exhaust manifold as they exit the engine’s cylinders. From there, the exhaust passes through tubes (exhaust pipes) to the catalytic converter and ultimately to the muffler and out of the tailpipe at the rear of the vehicle.
Each of the components of the exhaust system are fitted together in a configuration that snakes its way along your vehicle’s underbody from the engine to the rear of the vehicle. The exhaust manifold, catalytic converter, resonator, muffler(s), and the pipes that connect them are either clamped, welded, or bolted securely. The exhaust pipes are typically made of steel, aluminized steel, or stainless steel tubing, each with different degrees of protection from corrosion.
There are typically two reasons that an exhaust pipe might need to be replaced - damage from an impact and decay from corrosion. Signs that a section of exhaust pipe needs to be replaced often relate to leaking exhaust fumes, and the odor and noise that accompany a leak. But engine performance can also be impaired. That is because the oxygen sensors that detect the level of oxygen present in exhaust gasses can give off false readings when the system is damaged or leaking. T
herefore, signs that an exhaust pipe needs to be replaced include:
To replace a bad exhaust pipe, a technician must first lift and support your vehicle in the air to access the exhaust system. While it is possible in some circumstances that a new pipe might be sleeved and clamped in place, in many cases, the procedure to replace an exhaust pipe will require cutting the old parts and welding the new ones.
Typical steps a technician will take when replacing an exhaust pipe include: