When thinking about workshop equipment, the first thing that comes to mind is the so-called “larger equipment”: drills, saws, car jacks and many other large-size items. Meanwhile, they are only the tip of the iceberg. Necessary accessories are much more, e.g. bolts, nuts, pins, washers, bushings, clamps. So what else must the owner of a good workshop remember? How should he replenish his resources? Which no car repair shop can do without? It is worth knowing how to equip it in order to be able to efficiently remove a defect or necessary repair.
A perfectly equipped workshop
It is no wonder that in a professional workshop, the most eye-catching equipment is large equipment. Similarly, when we think about buying for it, we remember about hammers and screwdrivers, but bolts, nuts, pins, washers, bushings, clamps won’t necessarily cross our minds. And these are equally important accessories. Without these little helpers, it is difficult to imagine proper and effective work. So let’s know which no car repair shop can do without.
The most important equipment, i.e. which no car repair shop can do without
The workshop equipment is quite a challenge. In order to choose the right set of tools and not forget about anything, the first thing you should do is ask yourself what you need them for. It is worth realizing whether we only carry out minor repairs from time to time or, on the contrary, we spend long hours on complex projects.
Depending on the demand, it is worth creating a list of the most important and useful tools, based on which we will equip our workshop.
What should every workshop contain?
Professional workshops contain thousands of various tools. Thanks to them, even the most complex repairs can be carried out. When creating the list of necessary accessories, we must remember about large equipment, but also about the smallest elements, such as bolts, nuts, pins, washers, bushings, clamps. Only a compactly equipped workshop will guarantee effective and professional work. What should be in it?
Workshop content — tools and larger equipment, which no car repair shop can do without
These are all electrical devices and larger tools, which are the basis for all workshop activities. Without them, it is difficult to talk about any repairs. So it is a big investment to start with, but once bought high-quality tools, they will serve in the workshop for many years.
Socket and flat wrenches
It is worth having several sizes of the socket and flat wrenches in your workshop. Handy kits are usually available in stores. It is good to have several sizes in order to be able to use them for parts of different sizes. When making a purchase, you also need to pay attention to the details of execution. Product durability is guaranteed only by the alloy of chrome-vanadium steel.
Standard sizes of wrenches are usually included in the sets. If we need others, you should buy them separately.
Without them, it is certainly impossible to imagine a well-equipped workshop. Before buying, however, it is necessary to choose the right type. We will use different screwdrivers for electrical works, and different ones for construction works. Still, others will be needed for car repairs. Depending on the intended use, select the appropriate set. This is of great importance because, for example, in an electrician, you need to use insulated tools to protect yourself from electric shock.
Here, too, it is good to pay attention to quality. A good screwdriver should be made of chrome vanadium steel. What’s more, it should have a comfortable, large handle, thanks to which work will be much more comfortable and safe.
It is a very important component of the workshop equipment. When making a purchase, however, you need to pay attention to the purpose of the pliers. For example, there will be different tools for precision work and different tools for hydraulics.
Without them, it is impossible to imagine bicycle and car repairs. Depending on the degree of use, you can choose different types of finishes: matte, chrome or black.
It’s a precision tool that helps you capture hard-to-reach, delicate items. Various types of pliers are available, depending on their purpose, for example, universal or insulated.
Electrical equipment – drill, vacuum cleaner, etc.
These are essential accessories in every workshop. They facilitate work, and after completing the task, they help to organize the workspace.
Workshop equipment – “the smallest helpers”, which no car repair shop can do without (except tools)
This is a very wide category of products, so it is impossible to list them all. These are all kinds of bolts, nuts, pins, washers, bushings, clamps. In other words, these are workshop consumables that are used a lot and need to be replenished frequently. Usually, in wholesalers you buy them by the kilogram, we need so much of them.
Among these small accessories, there are also noteworthy measuring cups, cable cutters, flashlights, etc. They are very important because they improve and speed up the performance of individual tasks. Due to their size, however, they often get lost, so it’s worth having a few more pieces in stock. Such caution will ensure smooth work when we suddenly need to measure or illuminate something quickly.
All these gadgets, although very small, cannot be overlooked when furnishing our workspace. Some of them seem less obvious when we think about the content of the workshop, so it is worth carefully preparing a list of these “little helpers” in advance.
Bolts, nuts, pins, washers, bushings, clamps – which no car repair shop can do without
This is a very broad category of products and it is impossible to list all the necessary elements. However, it is worth realizing that without them, no professional workshop can function properly. They take up little space and can help with every day repairs.
When composing a list of necessary details for the workshop, we absolutely must take them into account. The purchase of specific elements should be made dependent on what we specifically do in our work. In case of doubt, we can consult sales advisors in wholesalers or specialist supermarkets. But if you already know exactly what you need then bolts, nuts, pins, washers, bushings, clamps are best bought directly from the manufacturer.
Flashlights and lamps
These are seemingly accessories that are not necessarily required in the workshop. However, if we think about it, they are mandatory. The lamp will help illuminate the work desk where we deal with smaller items. In turn, the flashlight is a device that can fit anywhere and precisely illuminate, for example, the chassis of a car.
They are also less obvious accessories, but very necessary in every workshop. They will be useful in emergency situations, when we need to quickly replace them, for example in a compressor or rectifier.
Bulbs and LEDs
It’s good to have a few spare pieces, preferably in several sizes, so that you can replace them quickly if necessary.
A small thing without which no workshop can function properly. It is good to have it in your pocket at all times while working. It’s also worth buying a few more pieces, because it’s the kind of accessories that like to get lost sometimes.
Insulating tapes, masking tapes, etc.
They facilitate all renovation works and repair of faults.
Scissors and knives
They are useful for cutting cable ends or other unnecessary elements.
I already have the tools, but what next? Which no car repair shop can do without?
When we have gathered all the necessary accessories and tools, we still need to organize it all. Appropriate containers, shelves and boxes will be required for this. Most stores that sell gadgets for the workshop also offer storage furniture. You should consider buying them because they will allow you to properly store all the elements and organize them. This is especially important when it comes to small items such as bolts, nuts, pins, washers, bushings, clamps that are easy to get lost.
Repairs in the gala outfit? Not necessarily!
When thinking about the workshop equipment, we must not forget about the appropriate work clothes. It is true that driving a nail does not require a special uniform, but when a plumbing or repairing a car, we will certainly get dirty.
It is best to buy professional protective clothing for this purpose, which is necessary for every workshop. You will need suitable safety shoes, coveralls, gloves, etc. They have the necessary approvals, thus guaranteeing durability and safety at work.
Where to buy? A common market, a speciality store?
The answer is simple: it depends. It is not worth overpaying for some things and you can easily look for bargains in popular supermarkets. However, more specialized tools are better suited to a longer investment. Then we can be sure that they will not break down too quickly and will maintain the appropriate parameters.
On the other hand, bolts, nuts, pins, washers, bushings, clamps, i.e. the necessary small items, should preferably come from a direct manufacturer. The prices are then lower than in stores. And you can be sure of maintaining the assortment and quick order fulfilment. What is also important is knowing the manufacturer and knowing what quality you can expect. On the other hand, supermarkets receive screws, nuts, bolts, washers, bushings, clamps from various sources, so even taking them from one shelf, you get an unverified mix.
The BOSAL number is a number identifying the products of the BOSAL company, which has long been a known global manufacturer of automotive and industrial equipment. The company deals with both the original equipment market and the aftermarket. Its product range includes emission control systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles, towbars, energy conversion, sockets and tool kits. The BOSAL number has become one of the company’s most important markings in the automotive industry as well as in workshops.
BOSAL – name, history and present
The BOSAL number comes from the company name. It is currently registered in the Netherlands with headquarters in Lummen, Belgium. However, going back to history, in 1923 Karel Bos founded this company in Alkmaar in the Netherlands. Its name was created from the surname and beginning of the place name.
Since then, the company has grown and its production potential has increased. Its large development was associated with expansion in Europe and Africa in the 1960s and ’70s, when it opened several OEM factories in Europe and in other countries as part of the resulting NAFTA system. Ultimately, in the 1990s, it strongly marked its position as the main automotive supplier OEM and AM. In addition to many production plants, Bosal has also created several research centres around the world.
In 2019, its turnover was estimated at EUR 400 million. It has more than 2,200 employees employed in 12 production plants, 7 distribution centres and 5 research and development centres.
BOSAL business areas
ECS (Emission Control Systems)
BOSAL supplies such systems only to the OEM market for passenger cars and vans. These include complete exhaust systems, heat exchangers, mufflers, catalysts and an exhaust after-treatment system.
The company’s research and development centres in the field of ECS have all the necessary knowledge to develop and manufacture the most modern such systems. Initially, the emphasis was on emission control, including primarily the reduction of harmful gases and particulates. Currently, BOSAL has focused on improving combustion and filtration of exhaust gases.
Recently, the company has also made its contribution to innovation in the field of CO2 reduction. The goal will be 95 g CO2 / km by 2020, by European Parliament. In addition, the BOSAL also dealt with work in other fields of knowledge. It leads to as part of a group in the field of heat exchange innovation and energy conversion in the Energy Industry department.
Ultimately, it can be said that the ECS activities of this manufacturer are focused on 4 areas:
- emission reduction,
- energy recovery at a low weight,
- the lightness of construction, high strength,
- acoustic optimization.
This company also has full competence and know-how in these areas of activity.
All BOSAL manufacturers working in the field of ECS provide products and services to their customers according to agreed requirements of ISO9001: 2015 and IATF16949: 2016.
BOSAL After Market supplies the entire AM customer base with a wide range of products. They are innovative, competitive and homologized. In this respect, it conducts good and flexible logistics activities also regarding e-business solutions.
Energy Conversion Industry (ECI)
The company also develops and manufactures advanced energy recovery modules with the latest heat exchangers. They generate power from 1 kW to 250 kW and even more. Its products enable greater heat transfer and better energy efficiency.
BOSAL number – where did it come from?
As we mentioned earlier, the company produces a wide range of products for the OEM and AM market. Each of them is marked with the BOSAL number.
What do the abbreviations OME and AM mean?
They are specified in the GVO Directive introduced in the European Union in 2010. It gave the right to each user of their own car to repair it in an independent service without losing the manufacturer’s warranty. Therefore, it introduced a clear division of car parts into categories: OE, OEM, OEQ, AM.
OEM means the original part from the manufacturer that supplies the parts for the so-called first assembly. But it has the logo of the component manufacturer, not the car manufacturer. This abbreviation comes from Original Equipment Manufacturer and is a unique number given to mechanical and electrical components.
In turn, AM means parts that do not have a certain quality. This does not mean that they are bad. However, they do not have generally recognized certificates.
Important when choosing an unauthorized service to repair your vehicle is to make sure that it will be done according to the technical documentation. These are the manufacturer’s requirements to preserve the warranty, while saving on repairs at unauthorized services.
BOSAL number – what is it and where do you find the marking on the parts?
The BOSAL number is the original number issued by the manufacturer. It is an OEM that is a universal, international and unique part number (so-called product DNA). The OME number is often a combination of numbers and letters or only numbers. This number is written directly on the sticker, price tag or small plate located on the tool or part housing, usually on the side of the item.
Thus, the BOSAL number is the Manufacturer’s code consisting of 6 digits, with the first 3 digits separated from the next 3 digits by a dash. In addition, BOSAL also provides the EAN (European Article Number) barcode. Then he defines the most important product parameters and his name BOSAL Manufacturer.
In addition to the OEM number, each manufacturer has its own numbering of its products. You can’t confuse the brand code with the catalogue number.
Bosal has implemented in its plants a Quality Management System in the Automotive Industry in accordance with the new requirements of the quality management system ISO 9001. In this way, it obtains benefits from this certification for compliance with the IATF 16949 standard. IATF 16949 – The Quality Management System in the Automotive Industry for new requirements quality management system ISO 9001. This manufacturer has adapted to the requirements of these standards. They are an inseparable element of the competitive market of the automotive industry, both in Europe and in the world.
Other elements of BOSAL product marking
It should be emphasized that these quality standards are detailed and stringent. They apply to vehicles, producers of materials as well as production parts. In addition, OEM OEMs, assembly and finishing service providers must also use them. Original car parts bearing the BOSAL number meet OEM standards that are in accordance with the ISO 90001 quality certificate.
In turn, the serial numbers may coincide depending on the manufacturer and model of the car. If you need the right equipment for replacement or a slight modernization of the vehicle, the OEM number will significantly facilitate the search for car parts. This way you won’t have to apply for mediation in ordering equipment for the repair workshop. Everything you need for repair can be found in the manufacturer’s digital catalogues. You do not know or cannot read the OEM number entered on the tool? Remember that you can also use a simple search by car model or category.
The car’s exhaust system is a complex system. Responsible for the evacuation of flue gases, with any fault it gives the owner clear signals that something is wrong. A metallic noise or too loud operation of the car are obvious signs of failure. In addition, if you focus on the main element, and thus the exhaust pipe, you may have to deal with various types of defects. Unsealing the system at the junction with a muffler or catalyst usually requires the intervention of a mechanic. Our actions, whatever they may be, can only harm. However, in the case of a hole in the pipe, there is a chance that we will avert the problem ourselves. Appropriate exhaust system repair elements are sufficient. A specific exhaust first aid kit.
When does a hole form in the exhaust pipe?
It really doesn’t matter how long you drive a car. Such a malfunction can occur in both the new model and the venerable one. What causes this?
First, corrosion, which usually arises for reasons beyond our control. Here, mainly unfavourable weather conditions are blamed, in particular, those prevailing in winter. Roads sprinkled with salt in combination with snow and water create ideal conditions for the development of unwanted red coating.
Sometimes we are also guilty of rusting important parts of the car. It’s about standard negligence like rarely washing a vehicle. We do not flush regularly accumulated salt. And if we wash the car, then we do not think about using anti-corrosive preparations. We also often disregard the first signs of rust. And this is a simple way for the phenomenon to spread at an alarming rate.
In addition, all kinds of cracks are equally dangerous for the exhaust pipe. They are usually the result of too reckless driving, hooking curbs or driving on unpaved roads.
Assuming, of course, that the fault is only a hole on the surface of the pipe, it is worth trying to solve this problem yourself. How? Of course, using special products. Exhaust system repair elements include, among others, bandages and silencer repair tapes, cement and patches. Also, don’t forget about clamps, entire pipe connectors or flexible connectors in case the damage is large.
Exhaust system repair elements – what do we need for self-repair?
Bandages and tapes are products with a fairly low price. They are easy to use, so it’s definitely worth equipping yourself with them. They are especially useful when travelling. If something happens to our exhaust system on the road, the most important thing is the speed of reaction.
However, it should be remembered that this type of solution is temporary. Fast, efficient, but only for a while. Such products are mostly made of aluminium, which is why they are characterized by exceptional resistance to adverse weather conditions. Their operation is not disturbed by high temperature, which is the result of the pipe heating up during the car’s operation. In addition, in the bandage set, we usually also buy a cable band, which greatly facilitates the whole process. Repair goes faster and easier. In fact, it is enough to wrap the damaged area very tightly, and then secure it with a band.
Exhaust system repair elements – cement and patches
Other exhaust system repair elements are, of course, cement and so-called patches. Special cement enables sealing of cracks or cavities. If we notice that a hole has formed in the exhaust pipe, it is enough to apply a layer of cement on it, and then distribute it thoroughly. However, with this method, it happens that once is not enough, and we have to repeat the action. In turn, patches work like bandages. In fact, it is enough to stick them on the defect to temporarily stave off the problem.
Temporary exhaust system repair elements are one thing. On our own, we can also try to remove rusty elements and replace them with new ones. However, we should not take this action while travelling. It often turns out to be impossible. When removing parts that have been attacked by corrosion, you must have a welder to keep the system tight. The whole procedure consists of removing old, rusted parts and welding new ones in their place. If we approach the matter really solidly, the repair effect can serve us for many years.
How do I know if I can do it myself?
Either way, regardless of which method we choose and which repair components for the exhaust system we use – the preparation must be the same. We should remember to thoroughly clean the repaired area beforehand. We can use a stiff, wire brush or sandpaper for this purpose. It’s about something that will thoroughly remove rust. If the defect is not properly cleaned, it is very likely that any patching attempt will fail.
When we already know how to fix a possible hole, the question remains: how do you even realize that this is the problem? The correct diagnosis is sometimes a difficult task. We will not always be able to see the defect with the naked eye. Listening from where exactly unpleasant sounds can be heard is also of little use.
To properly and correctly assess the problem, we must first wait several dozen minutes from the engine alone. So that the exhaust can cool sufficiently. If we take action too soon, we can get burned. To see the car from below, of course, we can slip under it, but a much better option is the channel or ramp. In the absence of such opportunities, let’s try, at least to raise the car. His height should allow us to lie down freely.
Once you’re directly under the car, let’s carefully study the entire exhaust system. Let’s look for a hole that can eventually turn out to be a source of problems and noise. When undertaking any repair, however, remember that it is pointless to deal with heavily damaged components. An equally bad idea is to try to fix the fault in an element that is already covered in rust in many places. Most likely, the situation looks even worse inside. Repair makes no sense then. We must understand that the exhaust system will wear naturally and all parts will need to be replaced over time.
Exhaust system repair elements are not everything. How to care for the exhaust system?
To extend the life of individual components of the exhaust system and not to lead to the need for their replacement or repair too quickly, it is worth taking care of the system.
First of all, it is good when we properly secure the car. What does it mean? Among other things, the fact that we remove salt residues from it in the winter, and paint the outer coating with special paint. Regular suspension control is also important. What’s more, during your visit to the mechanic, you can ask him to additionally secure the muffler. He will do this with the help of fasteners, brackets or so-called hangers.
For the catalyst, there are several methods for extending its service life. It’s all about avoiding puddles. While driving, the car engine gets very hot. Its rapid and sudden cooling can quickly damage individual components, including the catalyst. Secondly, whenever possible, it is preferable to avoid short distances and winter driving. The engine is not able to warm up properly during them. And this, in turn, leads to the accumulation of unburned fuel residues. And finally, thirdly – all potholes on the road should be overcome with a great deal of caution. The catalyst is very delicate. The muffler itself can also quickly break down during heavy driving.
Faults other than just a hole in the exhaust pipe. What are the most common damages in the exhaust system?
Finally, it is worth looking at the most common exhaust system faults. The hole discussed in the article will not always be a problem. If we are not able to determine for ourselves what exactly is happening with the car – it is necessary to visit a mechanic. However, there are some symptoms that can give us something for thought.
When we hear a loud noise, we may assume that the muffler is damaged or a hole has formed in the exhaust system. For unknown reasons we feel gas in the car, most likely it is a system leak. When we get the impression that the engine is choking, we are most likely dealing with a clogged catalyst or DPF. In a situation where the engine begins to stall, and we have a problem with its restart, it means that the recirculation system fails.
Other causes of trouble with the exhaust system are also rust, i.e. corrosion and clogged particle filter, for which indicator points. As you can see, there can be a whole lot of causes and faults. We are able to deal with some of our own, but not necessarily with others. The fact is, however, that eventually, the day will come when the item will have to be bought again.
The car’s exhaust system is one of its most important elements. In each car model, it is responsible for a number of extremely important functions. Functions without which the machine cannot works properly. These include noise reduction, flue gas cleaning, removal of combustion by-products or minimizing heat radiation as much as possible. The exhaust system includes a catalyst, flexible connector, pipes, probe and silencer. And although each of these elements is responsible for something else, the said connector and pipe connector are very often mistaken.
In order to understand the differences between these two elements, one needs to consider their characteristics and the main tasks they perform. The fact that both parts suppress unpleasant vibrations is obvious. But above all, they differ in construction. Let’s start with the flexible connector – its function, replacement process and accurate measurement.
Flexible connector – what is it and what does in the car?
It is obvious that the operation of an internal combustion engine causes specific vibrations. It is the design of rotary piston engines that forces such a reaction. However, these vibrations necessarily transfer to all other engine-related components, including the exhaust system. And unfortunately, this is not only undesirable but also harmful. It does not affect the whole structure very well. In addition, the noise level is then louder.
And precisely to minimize this process, and thus reduce the level of vibration – so-called flexible connector is used. In other words, a compensator or intermediate element of the exhaust system, i.e. an element made not of a solid pipe, but of a characteristic steel braid. With its help, it is possible to virtually eliminate unwanted vibrations, and more specifically transfer them to further elements of the system. These include exhaust pipes and silencers. What’s more, the connector also protects the collector from cracking.
Which cars require a flexible connector? In fact, all that have internal combustion engines. These include standard motor vehicles, agricultural machinery and construction machinery – harvesters, excavators and loaders. In addition, a connector is also required for internal transport devices, for example, forklifts. As if that was not enough, it is also used in vessels and mining.
When should the flexible connector be replaced?
If the exhaust system requires a flexible connector to be replaced, we will hear it immediately. The car starts to work very loudly, especially at higher speeds. We also hear a characteristic knock under the chassis. This reduces driving comfort and negatively affects the entire car. When the vibrations cease to be damped properly, the engine transfers its energy to other elements of the exhaust system, e.g. exhaust pipe or hangers. A catalyst that is not adapted to such conditions feels it the most.
When does this happen? For example, when we hit something with a car chassis. Another reason may also be a bad fit of the connector or improper mounting of the element. It is also normal for the braid to be damaged by natural exploitation. Unfortunately, it cannot be repaired. In the event of its wear, we must buy a new replacement.
We have a choice of both bi-directional and unidirectional standard connectors. What is the difference? The first will serve us regardless of the direction in which we will mount them. In turn, the second, because of their properties must be assumed in a specific way. Which flexible connector we choose depends on us.
How to properly choose a flexible connector for our car? Accurate measurement is needed before purchase.
Before we decide to buy a flexible connector, we need to know if it will perfectly match our car. To do this, you must first measure the used item. Preferably, when this is still under the car.
The conviction that measuring is not required because there are catalogues that clearly present all information – it can be fatal. Most often we will not find the exact dimensions of the model there. So if we have to make a measurement, how do we go about it?
Two things should be of particular interest to us. There is the diameter of the pipe just before or after the joint and its total length. How to do it without being able to use the under-car pit? It’s quite simple. Just slip under the car and with a simple measure or ruler or measuring tape, and gauge exactly the distance from the weld to the weld. Then proceed to measure the diameter of the pipe. It’s best to do this with a calliper, but if someone does not have it – maybe just a gauge circumference, then divide it by 3.
Pipe connector – what is it responsible for and what are its functions in the car’s exhaust system?
The so-called pipe connector is, as the flexible connector – an element mounted in the exhaust system. Its main task is to create a tight, hermetic connection between successive elements of the exhaust system. This attachment reduces the vibrations that are transmitted to the body. However, it is usually much shorter and stiff. Often it is sold immediately with two clamps.
Due to the fact that the element does not have a predetermined service life, it is considered to be suitable for replacement when it simply wears out. This should not be postponed because loosening the mountings may result in defects in other parts of the car.
And how do you know that the pipe connector is already defective? Just take a look at him. As it is exposed to moisture, it becomes covered with a white coating over time. What’s more, as a result of corrosion brown spots and marks appear on it. On the other hand, under the influence of temperature changes, the characteristic fastenings lose in the element. When this happens, we will certainly hear it. You can hear specific, unpleasant noises from the chassis.
Never underestimate the loud operation of the car!
Due to the fact that the exhaust system is a fairly advanced system, any malfunctions associated with it can be quite dangerous. And given the fact that its individual components wear out over time, you should be vigilant. You also have to accept that damage to specific parts is inevitable. Although, depending on their quality, we are talking here about a different time period. The way the car is used is also important. More often, the defects of the exhaust system apply to cars that travel a lot on urban roads.
Either way, as has already been mentioned, suspicious sounds are a sign of trouble with the exhaust system. These can be heard when the muffler or exhaust pipe starts to fail. The car becomes loud, and sometimes you can also smell the gasoline. If the muffler is burned out, its defect directly translates into the operation of the entire engine. This one begins to “choke”. The exhaust gases return to the chamber and the gasoline-burning process is disturbed.
To some extent, it should be comforting that usually, only one element of the entire exhaust system fails. The risk that the exhaust system will be destroyed in its entirety is really negligible. However, if you detect any uncomfortable symptoms yourself or with the help of a qualified specialist – react. In the event of a fault, it is almost always necessary to repair or completely replace the worn part. It is better to replace one pipe connector or flexible joint than to cause a more expensive catalyst or muffler to fail.
Fortunately, a new flexible connector or pipe connector is a low cost. A small element, although seemingly trivial, is of great importance. Thanks to it, we are able to stop unpleasant vibrations and noises.
The middle muffler is a very important element of the car’s exhaust system. Unfortunately, this is also one of the most vulnerable parts. This is due to the fact that it is located in the chassis (making it easy to find various types of mechanical defects). The second reason is the working environment.
Meanwhile, the middle muffler affects not only the work of the exhaust system but also the functioning of the entire car. Driving comfort, fuel consumption and engine operation depend to a large extent on its efficiency and reliability.
Do You want to minimize the risk of damage, including primarily the defects in the middle muffler? it is worth knowing the specifics of the exhaust system and remembering a few important rules during its operation.
Middle silencer as part of the exhaust system
In addition to the middle silencer, the car’s exhaust system consists of several other elements. It includes the following parts:
- exhaust manifold with an exhaust pipe;
- front silencer;
- middle silencer;
- end silencer;
- exhaust pipe.
The smooth and harmonious functioning of all these elements guarantees comfortable and safe driving.
What functions does the middle muffler perform?
The middle silencer, like the final silencer, is responsible for suppressing the sound of the engine. The second task is cleaning the exhaust gases released into the atmosphere. It is a particularly important element also because it reduces the vibrations of the high-frequency system. It also protects the exhaust system from falling into resonance when it is at high speed.
A damaged middle silencer can seriously affect drivers, so care should be taken to ensure that it functions properly. This is often a very difficult task. Due to its location in the car, it is often exposed to malfunctions or adverse external factors.
The exhaust system in danger. What hurts it?
The exhaust system is located in the chassis. It is, therefore, more vulnerable to damage and adverse external factors, including those associated with the weather. What harms it the most is excessive moisture, road salt (in the autumn and winter season), but also mechanical damage caused, for example, when driving on uneven surfaces.
Proper maintenance and care of the components are therefore crucial to minimize the risk of damage and to maintain the efficiency and proper functioning of the exhaust system as long as possible. It is also worth being vigilant to catch any irregularities in good time. Driving a vehicle with damaged parts can have serious consequences, for example, destruction of the catalyst.
How do you know if the middle muffler is damaged?
Every driver knows his car as his own pocket. This is why he can usually judge correctly when not everything is working properly. Observation of your own vehicle is extremely important, according to the principle that prevention is better than cure. It also applies to all motor vehicles.
It’s worth watching your car and reacting if you notice something disturbing. For the exhaust system and the damages of the middle muffler, the symptoms may be as follows:
- the odour of exhaust gases in the car cabin – its reason may be incorrect ending of the exhaust system components;
- noise – caused just by a damaged middle muffler;
- breaking or tearing one of the elements of the system – for example as a result of corrosion, improper assembly or obstacle on the road;
- catalyst damage – caused by clogged mufflers or increased emissions to the environment.
A damaged middle silencer can lead to even greater damage and malfunctions in the entire exhaust system and even the vehicle itself. What can you do to defend against this and prevent malfunctions?
Exhaust system service and maintenance
Specialists advise making special efforts to ensure proper maintenance of all components of the exhaust system. This is so important primarily due to the fact that it contains a lot of parts that can easily be subject to corrosion or faster wear.
Regularly check and replace parts that show signs of any damage as they are highly prone to corrosion. Neglecting this fact can lead to much more serious problems.
Mechanics suggest that parts be inspected and replaced every 18 months or when we notice any irregularities. Otherwise, replacing the entire system can be much more expensive. Moreover, using a car in which the middle silencer or other exhaust system component is not working properly can lead to more serious damage, for example to the destruction of the catalyst.
An efficient car is a perfectly working exhaust system
A lot depends on the proper functioning of the exhaust system, including all its components, such as the middle muffler. Examples include driving comfort and a functioning engine. To maximize its service life, it should be taken care of by regular inspections, as well as using anti-corrosive coatings.
The exhaust system is one of the important elements of the car, although at first glance it does not seem. In fact, it is responsible for several important functions that a car cannot do without. That is why you need to take care of it properly so as not to damage it. How to take care of the car’s exhaust system? Here are some tips.
Construction and functions of the car exhaust system
How to take care of the car’s exhaust system? Before we get to that, we need to explain its essence. The exhaust consists of a catalyst, silencers, lambda probe, connecting pipes and flexible connectors.
Each of these elements is responsible for something different. The exhaust collector collects the gases formed as a result of combustion and then delivers them to the catalyst, whose task is to reduce harmful chemical compounds. A silencer, as the name suggests, suppresses engine noise, and the lambda probe collects information about exhaust gas levels. The functions of the exhaust system include:
- removal of by-products of the combustion process,
- flue gas evacuation,
- noise reduction,
- exhaust gas purification,
- minimizing exhaust heat radiation.
How to take care of the car exhaust system?
That’s why you need to be able to protect yourself well. Rust is formed as a result of poor working conditions – It is enough to remove road salt residues after winter, protect it with special high-temperature paints or control the suspension of the vehicle.
As the corrosion progresses, it causes mechanical damage – which can lead to clogging of the exhaust pipe. Consequently, the car’s engine chokes and its power drops.
When visiting a mechanic, you can ask him for additional protection against excessive vibration. Special elements are then used, e.g. supports, brackets or hangers.
The catalyst is the main element of the exhaust system. However, like all things, its life finally ends. In this case, a new one or spare parts should be installed. There are several tips that can effectively extend his life.
The first of them talk about not going into deep puddles at high speed. The engine is warmed up while driving, its rapid cooling can seriously damage individual components, especially the catalyst and exhaust manifold, which are closest to the engine and have the highest temperature.
Secondly, avoid short distances, mainly in winter. The car’s engine will not be able to warm up well then. This results in the accumulation of unburned fuel residues. This causes corrosion of the metal elements and that the remaining fuel burns in the catalyst.
Thirdly, you should carefully overcome any road unevenness, including slowdowns. One should know that the catalyst is quite delicate, especially due to the contribution, which can be ceramic. Therefore, any mechanical damage is very often the cause of its malfunction. The car’s silencer can also be interrupted during a quick collision with a hump.
Why is car exhaust system important?
It is worth taking care of the exhaust system, not only to save money that would be spent on repair. An efficient system does not cause combustion problems. This is important for ecological reasons.
In addition, a dysfunctional exhaust system can translate into poor engine performance, damaging it. It all affects the functioning of the entire car, and therefore, its trouble-free use. It is also worth saying that you cannot move a vehicle whose exhaust system is damaged. Such driving threatens the imposition of a mandate by the police or even the retention of a registration certificate.
Exhaust system malfunctions – possible diagnoses
Finally, we can say about the damage that may occur in the system. They are guidelines that may not be the real causes of the fault. Therefore, any irregularity should be carefully checked with a car mechanic. This will allow you to pre-diagnose the cause of the problem, and thanks to the faster response it will not cause much damage to the car.
- loud noise – the muffler is damaged or corrosion has caused a hole in the exhaust system,
- damaged hangers that caused tearing of the exhaust system – as a result of corrosion or while driving, damage occurred, e.g. by collision with something on the road,
- the feeling of exhaust gases inside the car – system leakage, hole in the system caused by rust,
- “check engine” and emergency mode – the lambda probe is not working properly or has failed, the catalyst is clogged,
- high fuel consumption with a decrease in power – lambda probe failure,
- power drop, and at the same time stifling the engine – clogged catalyst or DPF filter,
- the engine goes out, there are problems with its starting, the “check engine” indicator lights up, the smell of exhaust gases in the coolant – the EGR exhaust gas recirculation system does not work properly,
- various types of visible places covered with rust – insufficient protection of the system by the manufacturer or improper maintenance. Very often it attacks exhaust pipes. You have to pay attention to such things because only a fully functional exhaust system does not increase the emission of harmful substances,
- DPF indicator light on, power drop – DPF or FAP particulate filter clogged, mechanical filter damage, filter sensor damage, no catalytic fluid in the filter,
- the appearance of “check engine” and a decrease in engine power – SCR system failure, no AdBlue fluid in the tank, damage to the AdBlue injector.
What is the voltage oxygen sensor in the exhaust gas? A little technical approach to the topic will not hurt anyone. The more that sometimes you will have to face certain deadlines, even when repairing a car. The information contained in the article below will certainly help a little. Without a doubt, it is worth learning a few words about the voltage oxygen sensor. Be aware that it exists at all.
Sensor and equilibrium oxygen in exhaust gases
Oxygen, which is in a mixture of fuel and air, is used in the combustion process. At this time, the nitrogen-oxygen binding process also occurs. These two components of air do not react with each other until the limit of 1800 degrees Celsius is exceeded. In the combustion chamber, due to pressure and temperature higher than 1800 degrees, there is a reaction between nitrogen and oxygen. Which, as a consequence, produces nitrogen oxides. They reduce the amount of oxygen that is important in the combustion process. In addition, the exhaust gases leaving the chamber contain free oxygen, which is the result of:
unused oxygen in the combustion process (a result of the poor composition of the mixture, too short time or inappropriate conditions for such a process),
- unnecessary oxygen in the process of fuel combustion (when lean fuel).
Restoring thermodynamic balance
Determining the exact composition of the mixture burned based on the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gas is possible after examining the amount of equilibrium oxygen. Each oxygen sensor does this by restoring the thermodynamic balance between individual exhaust components. It then comes into contact with the catalytic layer that is part of the sensor measuring element. During such a restoration of thermodynamic balance, the following occurs:
reduction of nitrogen oxides decomposition into the original nitrogen and oxygen version,
restored oxygen from oxides and free oxygen from flue gases oxidize carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons. Then carbon dioxide and water vapour are formed.
Such reactions cause the oxygen sensor to measure the amount of equilibrium oxygen released from the exhaust gas. Do not be surprised. However, it will be different oxygen than that measured in the exhaust gas analysers, which take into account only free oxygen.
What is a voltage oxygen sensor – construction
It must be said that a voltage oxygen sensor is the most commonly used type of sensor that determines the level of oxygen in the exhaust gas. From the outside, the exhaust stream flowing through the exhaust system catches the measuring element. In turn, inside there is a sensor filled with atmospheric air, which is colloquially called reference air. This oxygen content in the air is constant and does not change.
The main and very important part of the voltage oxygen sensor is the so-called special ceramics. It consists of a solid electrolyte made of zirconia, stabilized with yttrium oxide. Both sides, inner and outer, are covered with thin layers of platinum. It has a special porous structure that lets gas through. It should be added here that the inner layer is a positive electrode and the outer layer is a negative electrode. Porous protective ceramics preserve the outer electrode and special ceramics that are exposed to contact with combustion residues.
The operating temperature of a voltage oxygen sensor is usually from 350 degrees Celsius to even 850 degrees Celsius. New oxygen sensors work at lower temperatures, from 220 degrees Celsius to 250 degrees Celsius. The measurement is possible due to the restoration of thermodynamic balance between exhaust gas components, in contact with the negative electrode. As a result, equilibrium oxygen appears from the exhaust gas. The amount of which can be measured by comparison with constant oxygen content in the reference air.
Voltage oxygen sensor signal
The oxygen sensor signal is the voltage between the external and internal electrodes measured with a voltmeter. This value depends on the amount of equilibrium oxygen. The value of the signal voltage depends on the composition of the burned mixture. Occurs when the exhaust gases affect the measuring element, and additionally, they are from the combustion of the stoichiometric mixture.
The average reference voltage is 450mV. The oxygen sensor driver program interprets the reference voltage value. When the signal voltage is greater than the reference value, then there is an interpretation that says that the exhaust gas covering the sensor is the result of burning a rich mixture.
However, when the signal value is lower than the reference voltage value, then the exhaust gases come from lean combustion. The voltage oxygen sensor controller will only receive information if the mixture is rich or lean. He will not receive any other information, even on the composition of the burnt mixture.
What a catalytic converter is and what it does in a car, almost every car owner knows. However, there is some popularly repeated information about it that is not entirely true. As in almost everything, some people’s opinions must be treated with a wink. Even more so when it is their opinions or information come from an uncertain source. The catalyst in the car facts and myths – it’s worth to know them.
The catalyst in the car – facts and myths
Speaking about its assumptions and main functions, it should first be clarified who invented the catalyst in gasoline engines. Very often the information that can be found on this subject is that in 1989 Opel came up with such an idea. Unfortunately, this is not true, and the Opel brand itself simply claims the credit.
In fact, American scientists working in the 1960s and 1970s are responsible for this. It all began with the technological development that flourished after the Second World War. The American and European market is affected by the mass of cars that are becoming commonplace. Such an increase was increasingly felt by the environment.
Research has shown more and more harmful substances in the air, so they began to develop ways to reduce them in exhaust gases. California was one of the first states in the US to introduce regulations that oblige manufacturers and users to have a catalyst in a car.
In the beginning – the myths
The catalyst is a container for impurities
It is a mistake that the catalyst is considered a container for storing unnecessary combustion products. Depending on the catalyst, it has a ceramic or metal insert. There are important elements such as rhodium, platinum or palladium, which react chemically with oxides emitted from exhaust gases. As a result, they are oxidized, and therefore the exhaust gases are cleaned. In diesel engines, the catalyst oxidizes hydrocarbon and carbon dioxide, and then, for example, the DPF filter takes over the role of purification.
Can LPG “kill” the catalyst?
Of course not! Another myth to refute. Gas installation, e.g. sequential, which is very well regulated and tidy, does not affect the catalyst in any way. Catalyst damage can occur when the installation is poorly assembled or the flat is too poor. However, it should be said that such situations occur everywhere.
The catalyst blocks exhaust gases and reduces the car’s performance
Will the horsepower in the car increase thanks to the cut-out catalyst? Myth. It was created in the 1980s when older cars had catalysts that to some extent paved the way of exhaust gases. If the car has one lambda probe in front of the catalyst, it is possible that its cut out will result in a smoother passage of exhaust gases. However, this applies only to older models. In the event that the system may have more probes after the catalyst, the only thing you get is the information “check engine”.
The last myth worth mentioning is that you can’t remove the catalyst in the OBD II diagnostic system. This assumption is that this system has two lambda probes, so do not cut the catalyst. This is a wrong assumption, if only because the OBD I system may also have two lambda probes. Therefore, it is not worth following it and blindly assume that a car with OBD I system does not have two probes.
Now it’s time for the facts
If the catalyst has a ceramic insert, it may be damaged after long driving or hitting a deep puddle. This is not a common situation, but it has to be honest that it can happen.
Another fact about the catalyst is that its clogging can stop the engine. If the ceramic insert breaks down and the system becomes clogged, the car will not start. While in gasoline engines with slow suction, even a half-clogged catalyst does not show this by power drops, engines equipped with turbocharging react differently. Even a slight clogging will affect the visible loss of horsepower. This is an important symptom. An unnoticed fault for a long time can affect the overall condition of the engine.
Catalyst and ignition system
It is also true that the catalyst may be damaged by neglecting the ignition system. The contribution is quite delicate, therefore all self-ignition and traditional exhaust pipe shooting do not work well on the life of the catalyst. During the bad work of the computer, which has bad fuel and air doses, the catalyst can be seriously damaged. Similarly, it applies to start a car “on a push”.
What to do if the catalyst is damaged?
Once you know that the catalyst has broken down, you have several options to choose from.
1. cutting it out of the exhaust system, welding it, and then inserting a spotlight or can in its place
2. buying a catalyst from the secondary market
3. buying a universal catalyst, dedicated to the given power and a given version of the engine
4. purchase of a replacement dedicated to a given model
The first two options are illegal, harmful or highly risky. A catalyst used is not guaranteed, you are not sure what is inside and how it is handled. The next two options are cheaper than the original parts from an authorized service centre.