A car exhaust system usually has one important characteristic. The fact that it is capable of keeping poisonous gases safely away from the car’s passengers? No. The fact that it can reduce a loud, raucous noise to a tasteful refined humming? No. The fact that it’s catalytic converter can trap harmful particles and noxious gases, therefore keeping the environment cleaner? No, it’s none of these.
The important point is that most people only pay attention to their XForce exhaust to suit BA/BF falcon XR6 turbo when it goes wrong. Sadly, the notion of the everlasting car exhaust is a mere pipedream. Looking at what a car exhaust has to put up with on a daily basis soon tells us why. Have you ever seen the flames belching from a top fuel dragster with open exhausts?
Your car would do the same if it had nothing but open pipes. So from a cold start, a car exhaust system has to cope with temperatures up to about 1400 degrees Fahrenheit (760 degrees Centigrade) at full load.
This happens at the exhaust manifold, under the bonnet but the increasing requirement to run engines with a weak (or lean) fuel mixture leads to an increase in car exhaust temperature. For example, if the car has a turbocharger, this can be required to run at 1050 degrees Centigrade (1922 degrees Fahrenheit). Just to give you an idea what this means, 49 degrees Centigrade will burn your skin; your blood would boil at 101 degrees.
Heat isn’t all that a car exhaust has to handle repeatedly. The materials that pass through an exhaust system include nitromethane, nitric acid vapour, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, particulate matter (i.e. soot and smoke), and volatile organic compounds.