The Exhaust System & Other Muffler Stuff.    
What is it?
Your muffler is actually only one part of your exhaust system, which is responsible for removing toxic, burned gasoline fumes from your engine away from your car (and keeping things quiet, of course). You've also got a series of pipes, a catalytic converter and a resonator, along with several other emission devices under there. Each one has a special function:
This is what cuts down on the noise. If you're reading this out loud while your car is running, and you can't hear yourself, there's a problem.
Exhaust manifold and heat riser
This is the point where burned gases exit the engine. The heat riser (or heat control valve) closes during start-up to allow the engine to warm up on some vehicles. 
Basically, it's another type of muffler that reduces noise even more.
Exhaust pipes
These carry gases to other parts of the exhaust system.
Tail pipe
This is where exhaust leaves the rear of the car. Careful, it's hot! (You may see water dripping. Don't worry it's normal.)
Catalytic converter
This converts harmful pollutants in the exhaust to harmless gases. A good converter should last at least 50,000 miles, and it's required by law.
Don't mess with it.
Brackets and hangers
All the above components are suspended from the bottom of the car using brackets and hangers. These are usually flexible, so they bounce around a little with the movement of the car.

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