Overview Of Car Parts In An Emissions System
The emissions system is one of the areas that most drivers happily ignore. They might diligently have the oil in their cars changed every 5,000 miles. And they may replace the filters religiously. But, when it comes to the parts and components that comprise their emissions system, many people close their eyes and hope for the best. The problem is that there are a lot of parts that contribute to that area and things can go wrong with each of them. When they malfunction, which can happen as your vehicle ages, the fuel-efficiency and performance of your car can suffer dramatically.
Today, I’ll provide you with a quick overview of the components that make up your vehicle’s emissions system. I’ll also explain the tasks for which they’re responsible, and what can happen to them over time.
The catalytic converter is supposed to help eliminate hydrocarbons that are in the exhaust. There are several chemicals within the part that allow it to perform this function. However, those chemicals don’t last forever; they diminish with constant use. When they’re exhausted (no pun intended), your vehicle can fail an emissions test. Just remember, a catalytic converter may look fine, but the chemicals within can be depleted.
Very few people ever think about their car’s muffler and when they do, it’s normally in the context of how their engine sounds without it. In truth, the muffler plays an important role in managing the pressure that results from your engine’s combustion process. Plus, it also helps the catalytic converter regulate the temperature at which it burns hydrocarbons.
Your engine requires both gas and oxygen during combustion. Its operational efficiency depends largely on the mixture of both elements. When there’s too much oxygen present, the exhaust will contain too many hydrocarbons, causing the catalytic converter to work harder. Your car’s oxygen sensor helps to regulate the mixture of gas and air used during combustion. However, they can wear out quickly, so plan to change the sensor every 4 or 5 years (of course, double-check your owner’s manual).
PCV values are relatively cheap and they perform a simple function, but they’re critical to your car’s emissions. The crankcase has a tendency to accumulate gases. The valve’s job is to redirect those gases over to the intake manifold. If that doesn’t happen, the fumes contained inside the crankcase can “dirty” your vehicle’s exhaust. PCV valves can get blocked or clogged over the years, so you’ll need to replace it periodically. But, it’s a simple job and doesn’t take much time.
A Team Of Car Parts
The components that I’ve mentioned above work as a team in order to clean up your vehicle’s emissions. That means if one component malfunctions, the effectiveness of the others can be impacted. Have them checked the next time you visit your mechanic. By keeping the entire system in good shape, you’ll enjoy better fuel-efficiency and performance.