Jan 5, 2017
Getting quotes for fitting a replacement car exhaust is one of the most common jobs requested at MyCarNeedsA.com. This is simply because a car exhaust system will only last a certain amount of time before it needs replacing, and every exhaust change price will vary.
This is because the system, and the metals of which it is mainly made, are subjected to a great deal of wear, mainly the result of the chemical reactions taking place inside the system, the heat which this produces, and the system’s exposure to moisture and a variety of other corrosive elements, such as salt.
Before we get too deep into the main body of this article, we’ll make it clear straight away - there is no hard and fast rule which governs how much you should pay for exhaust replacement on your car. Both the car manufacturers and the companies which make exhaust systems will provide a variety of quotes for exhaust replacement cost, depending on a number of factors.
In this article, we’ll examine in depth what these factors are, and how they might affect what you have to pay when you need a replacement exhaust.
Your exhaust is one of the most important working parts of your car, but its efficient working is easy to overlook.
It does the vital job of carrying the harmful gases produced by the combustion of fuel inside your engine, and dispersing them safely into the atmosphere away from the car.
But the major factor which influences the cost of exhaust repair is how much of the actual system needs to be replaced, and the complexity of doing this work.
An exhaust system consists of the following components:
In the engine: The car’s exhaust starts its work within the engine, or specifically the pistons. The power stroke of each piston results in the rapid burning of a mixture of air and fuel. This process produces a combination of heat, which is dissipated by the vehicle’s radiator, and then transferred to the wheels.
The exhaust system performs the job of dispersing the waste chemical by-products of this reaction.
Exhaust manifold: At the upper end of the exhaust system, this is directly connected to the side of the engine, and is the first part of the exhaust to receive the burnt gases created within the engine. The exhaust manifold is a pipe or series of pipes which provides a way for exhaust gases to leave the car’s cylinders and pass through the vehicle’s exhaust system. Because of its close proximity to the main engine, the exhaust manifold can become very hot.
The manifold also has the job of further burning off the residue of the fuel left once it has passed through the engine and funneling it down into the main exhaust system. This part is most often made of cast iron, aluminium or stainless steel.
Exhaust pipes: These are the physical parts of the system which are mainly visible from the underside and back of the vehicle. The pipes are made of metal, usually a mixture of steel and aluminium. They are responsible for transporting the burned gases from the engine manifold to the car’s tailpipe.
Oxygen sensor: This is built into a modern vehicle’s exhaust system. Its work ensures that fuel is mixed in the right concentrations at all times to ensure that the vehicle has the optimum amount of power available for its needs, yet also runs as economically as possible. The sensor, mounted in or around the manifold, also measures how much oxygen is left within the exhaust system.
Head or front pipe: This pipe connects the manifold to the catalytic converter and the silencer. This is usually a straight pipe, and often does not need replacing along with the rest of a car’s exhaust, as it tends to last some time longer.
Catalytic converter: Once the exhaust gases have been blown out of the engine through the exhaust manifold, they pass down the pipe and enter a huge device called a catalytic converter. The catalytic converter mixes together a series of chemicals to force a reaction between harmful carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, to turn these into a much less harmful mixture of carbon dioxide and water vapour. Some catalytic converters also reduce the concentration of nitrogen oxides, other harmful gases which are produced by the combustion process. The converter is mounted between the manifold and silencer, and in modern cars is designed to reduce the harmful effects of the gases produced by the combustion process.
Silencer: This is the huge box to which the exhaust tip is attached, and is one of the most important parts of the exhaust system. The gas must pass through the silencer, which also acts as a sound barrier in which noise levels are kept down at reasonable levels - hence its common name, or alternate title, the muffler. The explosions of gases being ignited under very high pressure which is at the heart of a car’s engine create a lot of noise which, if not suppressed, would make journeys in a car or any vehicle a nerve-shredding experience!
This is why the silencer is so important. It uses a series of baffles which bounce off sound energy, and so reduce the level noise produced. A silencer may, due to corrosion, develop a hole in it, which will result in the vehicle producing a louder sound.
To withstand heat and the corrosive chemicals contained in the burned gases leaving the combustion chambers, most mufflers are made of steel with a coat of aluminium inside and out. The aluminium protects the muffler from water, salt, dirt and other natural elements.
The tailpipe: This forms the very back end of the exhaust system, and funnels the exhaust gases out into the outside air. The tailpipe is made of stainless steel or steel tubing.
Now that you know more about what your exhaust system does, and the complex nature of the parts which all come together to do this range of tasks, it’s much easier to appreciate why car exhaust replacement can be a difficult and time-consuming job.
The parts of each exhaust system must also be fitted properly, both with each other and to the underside of the car, so that they are secure, and don’t cause any extra friction between individual components.
That’s why, when you’re looking for car exhaust fitting quotes, you should try to get them from several sources. No one garage, exhaust specialist or otherwise qualified fitter will operate to the same price scale, as each one has different levels of overheads in running their business.
While the basic cost of any given exhaust system or component probably won’t vary much from one supplier to another, there are variations in the quality of exhaust systems, much the same as there are with tyres and many other parts fitted to your car.
So when you’re seeking exhaust replacement quotes for your car, try to find out what guarantees are given by the manufacturer of the system being fitted. This will give you a good indication of the quality of the materials which are used, and in turn, of the length of time they can be expected to last under normal use conditions. But the cost does vary widely, with the size of the car - and therefore, the amount of piping which is fitted to connect the underneath of the engine and run along the underside of the car and out of the back - one of the biggest considerations.
Several hundred quotes for exhaust replacement are received by MyCarNeedsA.com every month, and we pass all of these on to our wide - and rapidly expanding - panel of approved repairers, so that they can give you a quote for replacing the exhaust on your car.
We know that arranging for a new exhaust to be fitted to your car can be inconvenient - so we try to make it as quick and straightforward as possible for you. You can choose which garage you want to carry out your work based on the price quoted, the convenience of their location for you, or according to the quality of reviews submitted by other MyCarNeedsA.com users after they have had work done.
You can quickly start getting quotes for a new exhaust for your car once you have registered to use MyCarNeedsA.com - which itself takes just a couple of minutes. So start the process of getting your quotes today - sign up to use our service, and you can then pick the exhaust fitting quote which is right for you.