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Understanding Your Emission System

If you’re like most drivers around Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, and Trevose, you rely on gasoline-powered engines to get around town. Your vehicle’s emission system is designed to limit the level of noxious fumes created by your vehicle’s engine from polluting the local atmosphere.

A healthy emission system also helps your vehicle run more efficiently and increase its overall performance. To help you better understand this important vehicle component, the team at Faulkner Auto Group is here to help. Continue reading to learn more!

What Type of Fumes Does My Car Create?

An emission control system is designed to collect, reuse, and emit unburnt gases safely away from your vehicle. The most common gases the system processes are carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide, and unburned hydrocarbons.

These gases are formed in three different areas of your vehicle, namely: the engine, the crankcase, and the fuel tank. In classic cars, the carburetor is also responsible for creating hydrocarbons from evaporating gasoline.

If not properly filtered and expelled, these gases will not only pollute the local atmosphere but can quickly leak inside the cabin, creating a serious health risk to you and your passengers. Over the past few decades, environmental and safety standards have risen to combat these issues and now most state and local governments require a yearly emissions test.

The 4 Major Components of an Emission System

While understanding your emission system might at first seem complex, the basic components are simple to understand. We’ve all seen what the tailpipe and muffler do but inside the vehicle’s system exists several important pieces, like:

The Catalytic Converter

Found underneath the vehicle near the engine, a catalytic converter greatly reduces the level of harmful pollutants released from the tailpipe. Converting the chemical makeup of carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons, the CC emits safer carbon dioxide and water vapor through the tailpipe.

EGR Valve

The exhaust gas recirculation valve or “EGR” is designed to recirculate nitrogen oxide from the vehicle’s exhaust and back into the engine’s cylinders. The nitrogen oxide absorbs some of the heat created inside the cylinder, helping to keep the engine cooler and running more efficiently.

PCV Valve

The main job of the positive crankcase ventilation system is to collect vapors created in the engine’s crankcase and redirect it to the air/fuel intake system. This vapor is then safely burned off during the combustion process.

EVAP Control System

In the past, any evaporated gasoline fumes from the vehicle’s fuel tank would be transported directly to the tailpipe and into the atmosphere.

Today, all vehicles are equipped with an evaporative control system that collects this vapor, separates the raw fuel from the unburned gases and returns it back to the fuel tank. This not only improves overall efficiency but helps reduce foul odors to emanate from your exhaust.

Schedule an Emissions Test Today!

If you know you’re coming up on your annual inspection or you noticed the OBD light keeps flashing on your instrument panel, schedule an appointment at Faulkner Auto Group Service Center. Our team of highly skilled technicians can quickly identify any issue you’re facing and get you back on the road!