It's only when you hear or drive a car with a damaged silencer that you realise what a huge difference it makes to reducing noise levels.
And the way a silencer works is quite fascinating. It contains a deceptively simple set of tubes that are finely tuned to reflect the sound waves produced by an engine so that they cancel each other out.
If there is a hole in the silencer then the sound waves are no longer forced through the tubes and escape outside - increasing the noise level.
Other key components of your exhaust include exhaust pipes that are designed specifically for each car model and route exhaust fumes to the exit at the back of the car.
The exhaust manifold acts as a funnel. It collects exhaust gases from all cylinders of the engine then releases them through a single opening, often referred to as the front pipe.
The exhaust centre section works with the silencer to reduce noise and the tail pipe at the rear carries gases away from the vehicle. All of the components of an exhaust system are connected with a series of clamps, hangers, flanges and gaskets.
If you notice any of the following you should have your exhaust checked by a National expert to find out whether any components need replacing;
Rattling - a rattling noise may indicate loose brackets holding the system in place
Roaring – a roaring noise could be a potential problem with the silencer
Hissing or popping – this could be a sign that the muffler or one of the pipes is leaking
Blue smoke – this could indicate a fault in the engine which is putting burnt oil into the exhaust system and resulting in blue smoke
White smoke - white smoke when first started is normal. If it continues, this could be due to an internal coolant leak and the white smoke is the result of burning antifreeze. If there are no water leaks underneath your car it could be a leaking head gasket or a crack in the engine.
* Visual appearance
Rust or corrosion on the pipe as well as cracks, especially where the pipes connect could.
Our exhaust experts are on hand ready to check your exhaust is operating safely and efficiently.
If you are concerned about your exhaust, please call South London Service Centre on 020 8686 0868.
Your car must have a catalytic converter by law to reduce pollution. The job of the catalytic converter is to convert harmful pollutants into less harmful emissions before they ever leave the car's exhaust system.
Most modern cars are equipped with three-way catalytic converters. "Three-way" refers to the three regulated emissions it helps to reduce - carbon monoxide, unburnt hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide molecules.
Our technicians will examine your exhaust emissions to ensure the catalytic converter is working correctly. If you are concerned about your converter, please call South London Service Centre on 020 8686 0868.