Cleaning the exhaust system of your car is very important, but a procedure many people forget about as it's hard to see the result of the cleaning just by looking at the car's exterior. However, cleaning the exhaust system will improve your car's fuel efficiency, make it more environmentally friendly, and extend the life length of your exhaust system. In order to clean your exhaust system properly, there are a few things you should think about.
Extractors and tailpipe
Extractors are parts of the exhaust system that might be more prone than others to collect grease and dirt build up. These are located by the cylinders, where they redirect the exhaust from the cylinders into one pipe for optimal exhaust handling. As you will have to work very close by your engine to clean these, you shouldn't attempt to do it by yourself if you're not experienced in working with cars. Start off cleaning these parts by removing them and soaking them in degreaser. Let it sit until the grease has dissolved. Make sure you're aware of what type of material these parts are made off before doing this; a degreaser made for stainless steel might have an abrasive or harmful effect on mild steel or chrome plated steel. The tailpipe can also benefit from this treatment as a lot of grease is accumulated there as well. In that case, you can only dab the tailpipe with degreaser, as removing it is a very complicated procedure to perform to just have it cleaned.
Mufflers are also important parts of a cars exhaust system, although it's not usually considered to be something you have to take care of for the same reasons as the rest of the exhaust system. However, dirty mufflers can cause an unpleasant driving experience by not filtering out noise like they're intended to do. Clean your muffler the same way you're cleaning other parts of the system, but avoid cleaning it internally. The risk for build up of detergent or rust created by residue water can cause your muffler to break, as it's hard to properly clean out and dry a muffler. Clean it on the outside and make sure you get all soot and grease off.
Another step you should take in order to have your car functioning properly is to polish the parts of your exhaust system. This improves the look of the external parts, such as the tailpipe, but also makes it harder for grease and dirt to stick to the internal parts of your exhaust system. Polish all parts with a soft cloth and appropriate polish after they have been cleaned and dried properly to have all parts look like they were new while also improving how they function.