The exhaust system in any vehicle is a critical component that influences the overall performance and efficiency of the engine, as well as the control of the emissions produced during the combustion process.
In simple terms, the fundamental role of a car's exhaust system is to channel the gases produced during the combustion cycle out of the engine. At the same time, it employs silencers that serve to dissipate the noise produced by the "explosions" in the combustion process.
Catalytic converters are integrated into modern vehicles to reduce the harmful nature of exhaust emissions. This is achieved by using exclusive and very expensive materials that produce a chemical reaction with the incoming gases.
This chemical process transforms the noxious emissions into non-toxic nitrogen and oxygen, and oxidises or burns off the remaining harmful hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. The result is reduced environmental impact and air pollution.
Though vehicle emission regulations were first introduced in the US in 1966, increasingly stringent standards have been developed over the years. The US and Europe, in particular, apply extremely strict regulations.
Accordingly, vehicle manufacturers, as well as original equipment and after market exhaust system manufacturers such as Bosal invest a huge amount of resources and finances in developing advanced exhaust technology to meet the increasingly demanding emissions controls.
And while petrol engines have traditionally faced the most ardent scrutiny by government and independent environmental bodies, diesel engines have also come under the spotlight in recent years.
Emissions controls have not previously been regulated in South Africa, but new legislation will be introduced next year requiring all new vehicles to be produced and sold with catalytic converters as standard.
As a leading automotive exhaust and component supplier to vehicle manufacturers and the after market industry, Bosal is a front-runner in the field of exhaust and catalytic converter technology - locally and on a global scale.
But though modern advances are essential in terms of environmental and health considerations, all motorists can play their part in reducing emissions. Ensuring that your car is serviced properly and according to the manufacturer's recommendations ensures that it runs efficiently and does not use excessive fuel.