Stainless Steel Exhausts Buying Guide

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Stainless Steel Exhausts Buying Guide

While they are running, the engines of cars and motorcycles generate waste gases that need to be expelled. This is especially important when it comes to cars, because cars are confined spaces, and if poisonous gases accumulate inside, it can be dangerous to the passengers. Exhausts, also known as exhaust pipes, are designed to perform the task of expelling the waste gases, but they do a lot more, especially in cars. Car exhaust systems also silence noise and are intended to provide minimum fuel consumption in conjunction with maximum engine power.

Parts of exhausts can reach very high temperatures during operation, and it is therefore important that exhausts are made of the best materials. Exhaust pipes are prone to corrosion, so it is advisable to opt for materials that are designed to resist this. Stainless steel exhausts can be purchased from shops specialising in car and motorcycle parts, and they can also be bought via online auction sites, such as eBay..

Working Principles of Stainless Steel Exhausts

Stainless steel exhausts can refer to the entire exhaust systems on vehicles, or to the exhaust pipes that are parts of these systems. In any case, it is important to know how an exhaust system works. Essentially, the exhaust system is a combination of boxes and pipes, which is responsible for carrying the emissions away from the front of the vehicle, maintaining optimum efficiency and reducing noise from the engine. Six different gases are produced as emissions, and three of them - nitrogen monoxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide - are toxic. Therefore, it is very important that the exhaust system maintains the correct balance of emissions and removes these gases from the vehicle.

Car Exhaust Systems

The basic components of an exhaust system are the front pipe, the catalytic converter, the middle silencer, and the tailpipe. All the parts of the system are connected to each other with flanges, clamps, gaskets, and hangers..

Front Pipe in a Car Exhaust System

During operation of the car, the exhaust gases are collected from all the cylinders of the engine and then carried on through the front pipe. A separate pipe goes to each engine cylinder, and after exiting the engine, exhaust travels from them into one, the front pipe.

Catalytic Converter in a Car Exhaust System

The gases enter the catalytic converter,, which reduces the number of harmful pollutant gases after they have gone through the front pipe. Carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides are converted into less harmful gases and into water vapour before the results are emitted into the atmosphere. The core of the catalytic converter is made of ceramic, and it has many small pores that are covered with catalysts, such as rhodium, palladium, and platinum.

Catalysts are substances that speed up chemical reactions without changing in themselves. The catalytic converter starts working soon after the engine is turned on, as the pores heat up due to their closeness to the engine. A car with a good catalytic converter can significantly reduce the emission of toxic gases. Diesel cars manufactured from 1997, and petrol cars manufactured from 1993, should have catalytic converters included. Catalytic converters have long life-expectancy, but should still be checked periodically.

Silencer in a Car Exhaust System

The middle silencer,, located in the centre section of the exhaust manifold, reduces noise. The silencer contains metal tubes or plates that have holes in them. These holes help to reduce the pressure of the exhaust gases before they exit the car. When the gases leave the engine, they are at very high pressures.

Tailpipe in a Car Exhaust System

Finally, the gases are released by the tailpipe,, also known as the exhaust pipe, which extends out at the rear of the vehicle. The middle silencer is connected with the tailpipe. Usually, the tailpipe contains yet another silencer, which further reduces the engine noise. Tailpipes are designed specifically for each car model.

Oxygen Sensor in a Car Exhaust System

The oxygen sensor, also known as the lambda sensor, measures the oxygen content of the emissions and sends this information to the engine management system. This system makes required adjustments to the air and fuel mix used by the engine, in order to ensure that the catalytic converter burns all the toxic gases efficiently. If the oxygen sensor is faulty, a default amount of fuel is sent to the engine, which can lead to consumption of too much fuel.

Motorcycle Exhaust Systems

The exhaust systems on motorcycles work in accordance with the same basic principles as those on cars, and they also consist of pipes and tubes. However, the dimensions of cars and motorcycles differ, as motorcycles are smaller. As a result, there are some differences between the exhaust systems. A motorcycle exhaust system include headers, a collector, a link pipe, and at least one silencer.

Headers in a Motorcycle Exhaust System

The headers in a motorcycle exhaust system are the pipes that originate from the cylinders in the engine. There is a separate header for each cylinder. The headers are designed carefully because they must have equal lengths in order to ensure that the exhaust gases from the cylinders reach the collector at the same time. Good headers also increase exhaust efficiency and reduce back pressure.

Collector in a Motorcycle Exhaust System

The headers from all engine cylinders merge into one or more silencers and direct the exhaust fumes into the collector. The collector is also known as the collector box. It is the motorcycle equivalent of the car catalytic converter.

Link Pipe in a Motorcycle Exhaust System

After the collector box, the exhaust gases have to be delivered to the exhaust pipe, or the silencer. Link pipes are the tubes that connect the collector and the silencer. Many motorcycles can be fitted with custom link pipes.

Silencer in a Motorcycle Exhaust System

The silencer in the motorcycle exhaust system is also known as the end can, because it is shaped like a large can. The silencer's main task is to reduce the engine noise of the motorcycle. The sound waves from the engine are slowed down by dampening the sound with baffle plates, and the silencer also helps to reduce the speed of the air flow. Silencers come in many shapes and sizes and can thus be decorative as well as functional. A motorcycle can have up to six silencers, although one may be enough. The exit-points may be located under the motorcycle, underneath the rear seat, or bolted to the sides at the rear of the motorcycle.

Benefits of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a type of steel, an alloy of iron with carbon and other elements. Stainless steel contains chromium, which makes it resistant to rust and tarnishing. This is important not only for cosmetic reasons, but because corrosion deteriorates metal and eventually creates holes in it, thus making the exhaust system unsafe to use.

Exhausts can become corroded both from external and internal causes. Adverse weather conditions tend to increase corrosion, especially during winter, when the roads are covered with salt. Internal threats originate from acids that form on short journeys, when the exhaust system does not reach a very high temperature and the passing gas condenses on the walls of the tube. As a result, a very acidic liquid is formed, which attacks the exhaust system from inside. For these reasons, it is best to use stainless steel exhausts that are especially designed to withstand such threats.


When a car or a motorcycle is running, the engine generates waste gases that have to be emitted. Exhaust systems are built for this purpose, and they should be in a good working order because they contribute to a safer environment as well as to passenger health. Car and motorcycle exhaust systems are similar. They both serve the same purpose of emitting exhaust gases. However, there are some differences in their construction.

Car exhaust systems start with a front pipe that collects gases from the engine cylinders and then directs them into the catalytic converter, which converts the toxic gases into water vapour and less harmful gases. The exhaust then passes through the silencer, which reduces the engine noise, and finally reaches the tailpipe. The tailpipe can include yet another silencer. Finally, the exhaust exits the car through the tailpipe.

A motorcycle exhaust system starts with headers that collect the gases from the engine cylinders and pass them on to the collector. Ultimately, the exhaust gases reach the silencer, or silencers, as there can be up to six on a motorcycle. Silencers are customisable, and can be used for decorative purposes. Both on cars and motorcycles, exhausts can be made of stainless steel. This material is preferable to others, because it resists corrosion and tarnishing, offering a longer lifetime for the system.

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