8 Essential Parts of Exhaust System: Names, Functions & Diagram

An exhaust system guides the reaction of exhaust gases away from a controlled combustion inside an engine or stove. The entire system conveys burnt gases from the engine and includes one or more exhaust pipes. It helps to reduce noise and converts harmful gases into less toxic gases. To do exhaust gases pass through the various parts of the exhaust system. These exhaust system parts have their function as catalytic converters reducing harmful gases and silencers lowering noise. To reduce air and sound pollution, we need to be aware of the parts of the exhaust system. So minor problems in the system, we can skillfully rectify and do the proper maintenance to reduce pollution.

But how many of you have seen these parts? Let’s have a look.

Parts of an Exhaust System Diagram

Parts of a Exhaust System, Names, Functions & Diagram

Exhaust System Parts Names

  • Manifold
  • Catalytic Converters
  • Oxygen (O2) Sensors
  • Exhaust Pipes
  • Mufflers/Silencer
  • Resonator
  • Tail Pipe
  • Gaskets/Clamps

Exhaust System Parts and Function


The function of the exhaust manifold is to collect gases from the different outlet ports of the cylinder head and direct them to pass the rest of the parts of an exhaust system.

The connection system is bolted to the engine. Generally, its material is cast iron, but in some vehicles, it is of steel, aluminum, and ss. Its size and design depend on the engine size, type of engine & manufacturer.

Getting better efficiency and reducing pollution & noise, the exhaust manifold should be right in condition.

Catalytic Converters

The function of the catalytic converter is to convert harmful gases like hydrocarbons & carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide & water vapor. It is an emission control device.

Its location in the exhaust system is before the muffler. In some vehicles, it is only one before the muffler, but in some vehicles, it is available multiple times as per the exhaust port after the manifold.

Oxygen (O2) Sensors

The oxygen sensor measures the amount of oxygen present in the exhaust gases coming from the engine after combustion. In modern cars, there are upstream and downstream sensors available.

The upstream sensor is placed after the exhaust manifold or before the catalytic converter, and the downstream sensor is placed after the catalytic converter.

The engine computer means Powertrain Control Module (PCM) collects the data of oxygen present inside the exhaust gases. The upstream sensor collects oxygen data before passing it to the catalytic converter to regulate the air-fuel mixture.

The downstream sensor collects the data of oxygen present inside the exhaust gases after the catalytic converter to check the efficiency of the catalytic converter.

Nowadays, it is present in every vehicle and helps the environment to lower air pollution.

Exhaust Pipes

These pipes carry the exhaust gases throughout the exhaust system of the vehicle. The material is stainless steel, which gives better resistance to corrosion.

It connects the exhaust manifold to the catalytic converter and the catalytic converter to the silencer.


The function of the muffler is to reduce the noise created by the exhaust gases coming out of the engine. The muffler works on the principle of reduction and absorption.

The high-frequency sounds pass through the series of pipes in the muffler and bounce around the different surfaces of pipes and walls.

Due to that, sound frequency reduces, and we hear less noise. It is present in every vehicle and helps to reduce noise pollution.


In the vehicle, it is difficult to decrease the total noise with the muffler. So, the resonator helps it to reduce noise to more extent. Resonators are the small pipes inside which sound-canceling or muffling material is present.

When the high-frequency sound comes from the engine exhaust to the silencer, it reduces it to some extent and then passes to the resonator to reduce more.

Due to the presence of a silencer and resonant in the exhaust system, we hear less noise.

Tail Pipe

The tail pipe is the end part of the exhaust system, coming from the silencer or muffler. It exhausts the clean gases that come from the catalytic converter and silencer into the environment.


Gaskets seal the joints between the engine exhaust port to the exhaust manifold, exhaust pipe to the catalytic converter, muffler to the catalytic converter, etc.

Without the gasket, it’s hard to provide a seal-proof connection. Leakage in the exhaust system reduces the efficiency of all parts of the exhaust system.

Clamps help to connect every part of an exhaust system. It gives a tight connection to avoid any leakage of the gases. It also helps to connect all systems to the automobile’s rigid structure.

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