Things to Know About Your Vehicle's Exhaust System - Toyota Service Information To Know in Salem, OR

All gasoline-powered vehicles have an exhaust system that helps reduce pollutants and send harmful byproducts of gasoline combustion away from the passenger cabin. The design of this system also has a major impact on the way your vehicle performs, the way it sounds, how much fuel it uses and more. On performance cars and off-road machines like the popular Toyota Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks, available performance exhaust systems can give you a more powerful drive and superior style, too. Below, we'll tell you about how the exhaust system works and some available performance options on the latest Toyota Tacoma and Tundra models.

Engine & Exhaust System

4. Exhaust Manifold

After the combustion stroke is finished in each of the engine's cylinders, the exhaust valves open to let the byproducts of combustion -- mostly water vapor and carbon dioxide -- exit the engine so that the process can begin again. The exhaust valves open the way to the exhaust manifold. The exhaust manifold simply gathers all the exhaust from all of the engine's cylinders and joins them in a single exhaust pipe.

While there aren't any exhaust manifold options to upgrade from the factory, aftermarket exhaust manifolds (also called exhaust headers) are a popular tuning upgrade for high-performance cars like the Toyota Supra and Toyota 86.

Exhaust Manifold Under Cover

3. Exhaust Pipes And Oxygen Sensors

Once the exhaust gasses are collected in a single exhaust pipe, they'll pass by one or more oxygen sensors that measure the level of oxygen remaining in the exhaust. This information tells the engine control module how efficiently the engine is running, and the ECM can make adjustments as needed to boost efficiency. On older cars, a single oxygen sensor was common. Today's cars may feature multiple oxygen and air/fuel ratio sensors for increased accuracy and fuel economy.

Exhaust sensors are commonly replaced after going bad due to carbon fouling. This is a perfectly routine service most vehicles will need as they age.

2. Catalytic Converter

Remember how we mentioned that the byproducts of combustion are mostly water vapor and carbon? Unfortunately, the things that are not water vapor and carbon can be harmful to our health and the environment: things like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and unburned hydrocarbons. The catalytic converter converts these compounds into benign alternatives like carbon dioxide and nitrogen. As the exhaust flows through the catalytic converter (or "cat" for short), a superhot ceramic plate serves to heat up rare earth metals that cause chemical reactions with the exhaust gas as it passes through.

Dual Exhaust Mufflers

1. Muffler

Lastly, before it reaches the exhaust tip and is released into the atmosphere, the exhaust must pass through the muffler. Most vehicles have at least one muffler, and many have two or more. The muffler must allow the exhaust gas to flow through while restricting the flow of sound. A system of chambers inside the muffler allows the exhaust to flow freely, but causes the soundwaves from the engine to bounce around, colliding with one another and muffling engine noise. Hence the name.

For increased performance and a more pleasing engine sound, off-road models of the 2020 Toyota Tacoma and Tundra are available with a performance-tuned exhaust from Toyota Racing Development. The 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road features a TRD cat-back exhaust that increases air flow and reduces back pressure. The result is more horsepower, more low-end torque and a more robust sound. The 2020 Toyota Tundra can be equipped with an optional TRD dual exhaust finished in black.

Get the most out of your Toyota with performance accessories and exhaust upgrades from Toyota Racing Development, installed by the pros at Capitol Toyota!