Rust is the number one enemy of gas exhaust systems, but it is by no means the only one. For example, touching the bottom of the bumps may cause physical damage to the parts of the car; Silencers may clog with internal parts coming off; and a defective oxygen sensor, a component that costs less than 100 euros on many vehicles, can destroy a 1,000-euro catalytic converter.
Despite the widespread use of aluminum alloy and stainless steel, for the exhaust system components over the last 20 years, rust is still one of the main causes of exhaust system problems, and not only in cold climates , where spreading salt on the road is common use. A hole or stones can do what rust does, by loosening parts of the exhaust system loose or creating holes in the muffler or other components.
Short frequent trips allow water vapor to collect in the exhaust system, which does not get enough heat to burn it all, allowing the formation of condensation and rust that goes out from the inside out. In addition, over time, a buildup of rain water, snow, salt and other road residues can create holes in the silencers, tubes, resonators, catalytic mufflers from the outside and corrode the flanges, connectors and thermal shields.
Even though an exhaust system survives all this, there are other dangers to deal with. For example, when an oxygen sensor (installed in the exhaust system) works poorly, the engine computer does not know how to balance the air-fuel mixture for optimum performance, consumption and emissions. The result is that the computer requires a mixture too rich in gasoline and too poor in air, and such a hot mixture can block a catalytic converter.
However, even a malfunction of the candles can damage the catalytic converters. Before 1990, exhaust systems lasted about three to four years. Even though they last longer, they should not be considered as too long a part. Vehicles that have 5 or more years should have the muffler and the entire exhaust system checked by a professional every year or two, even if they do not notice any problems, such as strange smoke or particular noises.