Your Vehicle’s Exhaust System: A Hanford’s Tire & Service Quick Guide.

Does your exhaust need repair? How a maintained exhaust system will increase your car’s fuel efficiency. 


Jeremy Hanford of Hanford’s Tire & Service confirms that your exhaust system is one of the most essential maintenance aspects. The more fuel your vehicle burns, the more greenhouse gases it produces. Those CO2 emissions are major contributors to climate change.

Your original exhaust parts will last about 7-10 years. The propensity of these parts to rust both inside and out makes their individual replacement problematic. It may make exchanging the whole exhaust assembly a safer choice.


Here is a quick outline of your exhaust system.


What is your exhaust manifold, and what does it do for your vehicle?

The exhaust manifold sends the rejected exhaust gases from each of the engine’s 4, 6 or 8 cylinders to the vehicle’s exhaust pipes. It is typically made from cast iron, which retains heat well and making it less likely to crack from its inevitable hot to cold cycles.

How does it usually go wrong?

  • Even though cast iron is used in manufacturing specifically to hold heat, it can eventually crack.

What are the warning signs?

  • Your exhaust may suddenly sound loud or produce a hissing sound.
  • Your vehicle may experience reduced acceleration.
  • Your engine area may start to take on a burning smell.




What is your catalytic converter, and what does it do for your vehicle?

A catalytic converter is located between the engine and muffler and is the last point of air pollution defence. It allows the exhaust gases to cleanly escape.

How does it usually go wrong?

  • Catalytic converters can become contaminated (with leaded gas, leaked coolant or oil).
  • They can overheat from becoming clogged with the previously mentioned fluids.
  • Due to their placement under the vehicle, can be damaged by hitting a curb or road sediment.

What are the warning signs?

  • Your vehicle doesn’t accelerate as quickly as before.
  • Dark smoke emanates from your exhaust.
  • A rotten egg or sulphur smell comes from your exhaust.
  • You’ll feel a lot of heat from under your vehicle (where the catalytic converter is located).




What is your resonator pipe, and what does it do for your vehicle?

A resonator pipe is either part of the muffler assembly or separate. It changes the tone of your vehicle’s exhaust sounds but does not reduce the volume of the sounds (that’s the muffler’s job).

It cancels the resonating (or reverberation) of certain frequency noise pulses.

How does it usually go wrong?

  • Age-related separations or collapse (damage) of the resonator parts leads to less oxygen going to the engine resulting in reduced engine power and fuel economy.

What are the warning signs?

  • A damaged resonator can make your check engine light come on.
  • A high-frequency buzzing from the exhaust area under your vehicle may indicate the resonator has failed or been damaged.



What is your muffler, and what does it do for your vehicle?

A muffler reduces the exhaust sound from your car by creating sound pressure waves exactly opposite of those exhaust sound vibrations.

How does it usually go wrong?

  • Mufflers can be damaged by road salt, potholes, speed bumps and road debris.
  • The hot/ cold cycles to which the metal is exposed can crack the muffler.
  • If exposed to much rust, it can develop holes that will impede its performance and make it noisy at the same time.

What are the warning signs?

  • A rattling or loud muffler is the typical sign of a problem.
  • You may notice a bad smell coming from the muffler.
  • Your engine might misfire.



What are your oxygen sensors, and what do they do for your vehicle?

Your oxygen sensor is a small device (some vehicles have 2 or 4 of them) attached to and located in your vehicle’s exhaust system.

It is essential for fuel economy. Jeremy suggests that you always keep up with spark plug and air filter replacement as this regular maintenance keeps dirt out of the emissions system, which preserves the O2 sensor.

How does it usually go wrong?

  • Sometimes a wire leading to the oxygen sensor might be broken or burnt out.
  • At other times it may be encrusted with combustion by-products like oil sludge, sulphur, or fuel additives.

What are the warning signs?

  • A malfunctioning oxygen sensor is a top reason your check engine light comes on.


Please come in or call us at one of our two convenient locations to have your exhaust system diagnosed for your best fuel economy.

444 Wharncliffe Rd S, near Baseline Rd: (519) 438 6181

337 Ridout St N, at York St: (519) 434 3236


‘Truly customer driven.’