Your exhaust system is effectively a series of pipes and boxes specially designed to channel emissions away from the front of the vehicle, reduce engine noise and maintain optimum fuel efficiency.

The importance of maintaining a healthy exhaust system and the impact a faulty exhaust system can have on the environment is not something people automatically think about.

All exhausts produce 6 gases as emissions; of the six three are less harmful (nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapour) and three are toxic (carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and nitrogen monoxide). The job of the exhaust, catalytic converter and its monitoring system is to maintain the correct balance of emissions, check the engine is running efficiently and move the emissions away from the vehicle occupants.

Under existing regulations a Police officer can warrant the removal of any vehicle from the roadways on the suspicion that it is producing excessive amounts of pollutant gases from the exhaust. Also, if your vehicle exhaust system is broken and noisy your vehicle will come under police scrutiny. Your vehicle will also fail its MoT test if the exhaust system has a fault resulting in incorrect emissions levels being recorded.

A vital part of today’s exhaust systems are the ‘Catalytic Converters’. These change the properties of noxious gasses produced by the engine combustion chambers in to a more environmentally friendly emission. All petrol cars manufactured from 1993 have catalytic converters fitted and all deisel cars from 1997.

The gas emission level for your vehicle is set by the vehicle manufacturers and enforced at the time of a MoT test; however there has been much debate within the European Commission about whether these settings should become mandatory. If a mandatory level is to be underpinned by law the result could be further regulatory controls to ensure all motorist keep their vehicle emissions within a specified tolerance level.

For best practice and to keep your vehicle in ideal condition, Kwik Fit recommends you have your vehicle emission and exhaust system checked at least twice a year for cracks, leaking joints, broken hangers, worn rubber mountings, corrosion, failed gaskets and high levels of pollutant