When looking for new exhaust parts, it's critical that you know as much about your car's factory exhaust as possible. Replacing exhaust parts is far from simple, as every part must fit in seamlessly with the existing exhaust system's configuration. Otherwise, your exhaust system will require extensive modification just to make the new parts work. Here's what you need to know about the factory exhaust on a Jaguar XJ and the OEM parts that you can get to repair it if needed.
The first stage of an exhaust system is the manifold, which collects the exhaust from the engine and funnels it down into the rest of the exhaust system. In the case of the Jaguar XJ, there are two manifolds, one on the right side and one on the left side of the engine. Accompanying each manifold is a manifold gasket, which seals the point where the manifold is bolted into the engine, preventing exhaust from escaping under high pressure.
Front Pipes and Converters
Each manifold collects the exhaust fumes from four of the engine's cylinders into a single pipe, which is then attached to another, longer pipe. Each of these longer pipes has a catalytic converter built into it. The catalytic converter helps to neutralize some of the more toxic components of exhaust fumes. After the exhaust passes through the catalytic converter, it is conveyed down the rest of the front pipe toward the back of the car.
The two front pipes are attached to two subsequent pipes, which turn slightly inward toward the center of the Jaguar XJ's body and go into the first muffler. This intermediate muffler is the first step in the process of allowing the Jaguar XJ to run fairly quietly while at the same time delivering the power that it does.
After passing through the intermediate muffler, the exhaust pipes again diverge, with one going off to each side of the car. Tying into each pipe is a separate muffler, which further quiets the exhaust down. On the other end of each muffler from where the exhaust enters it is a final exhaust pipe, which is what releases the exhaust into the ear at the rear of the vehicle.
Beyond these central components of your Jaguar XJ's exhaust system, there are several other small parts involved in keeping the exhaust in place and allowing it to do its job. These peripheral exhaust parts include:
-Heat shielding panels running the length of your Jaguar XJ
Why Exhaust Parts Wear Out Over Time
Given the fact that the exhaust system is completely static, you might be wondering why exhaust parts give out. Depending on where you live, there could be different reasons for specific exhaust components to go bad. If you are in a colder climate where salt is dumped on the roads every winter, for example, rust on vulnerable parts, such as the mufflers, can play a role in wear and tear. Where we're located in Reno, Nevada, this isn't really a problem.
The vibration of your Jaguar XJ as it's driven is also a factor in exhaust wear. The exhaust system is completely exposed on the underside of your car, with very little to buffer the impact and vibration produced as you drive along the road on a daily basis. Over the course of many years, this can affect some exhaust parts, particularly the catalytic converter.
Some Signs of Exhaust Wear
Depending on which part in an exhaust system is wearing out, you might notice a few different symptoms. The most common indicator that something is wrong in your exhaust system is a noticeable rattling or knocking noise coming from underneath your Jaguar XJ, as opposed to from the engine compartment. Usually, this indicates a hole in a pipe, muffler or converter, though it can also be a sign of a bad manifold.
Since most of the parts of an exhaust system do not have internal components, there's an easy way to diagnose most common exhaust problems, which is to physically inspect your exhaust. Jack your XJ up and look at the parts, paying close attention to any physical damage. You should also inspect the joints where pipes tie into other pipes, as these can come loose and effectively cut the exhaust system off at that point.
One common exhaust problem that isn't visually apparent is a bad catalytic converter. Unless it has been physically dented or punctured, the catalytic converter won't show any outward signs of damage. However, when a converter does wear out, there's a fairly easy way to tell. When it is no longer being chemically altered by a working catalytic converter, the exhaust from your Jaguar XJ will take on a smell similar to rotten eggs. If you smell this, it's almost a sure sign you need to replace the converter.
Why You Need OEM Replacement Exhaust Parts
Exhaust parts can be a little confusing because of the fact that there are many general mufflers, pipes, manifolds and converters out there that can, in theory, be used on almost any vehicle. However, there are two problems with using these aftermarket parts. The first is that almost none of them will fit your existing exhaust system perfectly, meaning you'll have to make adjustments to even install the new part.
More important, however, is the fact that aftermarket parts won't have exactly the same specifications as OEM parts, no matter how similar they may be. When possible, it's always best to use the exact parts the original manufacturer used in building your car, as they have been specifically selected for optimal performance within that vehicle.
Each of these individual exhaust parts plays a key role in keeping your Jaguar XJ running its best. If any of them begin to show signs of wear or damage, it's important to fix the problem as soon as possible. If you need OEM exhaust parts for your Jaguar XJ, use our selection tool on JaguarLandRoverRenoParts.com to select your year and trim, and you'll be able to see exactly what parts you need to get your XJ's exhaust running like new again.