Do I Need A New Muffler

It’s not difficult to know if your muffler needs replacement, generally your car will be louder than normal. Mufflers are not repairable, they wear out, rust out or sustain damage and replacement is your only alternative.

Where should I take my car for a new muffler?

A few decades ago there were muffler shops all over town. Mufflers are better engineered and last longer than they used to, which has led to a decrease in the number of muffler shops across the nation. There are still plenty of places to get your muffler replaced.

Muffler shops still exist because not every auto repair shop is equipped to replace mufflers. Most mufflers need to be cut off and the new muffler welded in place. In addition to welding, muffler repair shops have tube bending equipment to custom bend a new exhaust pipe from your engine to your tailpipe if needed.

Some general auto repair shops will be equipped to replace your muffler. If you suspect you do need a new muffler, ask your mechanic if this is a service they perform. There are literally thousands upon thousands of muffler shops in the United States.

Choosing a muffler

Generally speaking, car mufflers usually don’t go out while the vehicle is still under warranty. They last quite a bit longer. When it does come time to replace your muffler you have many choices. You can take your car to the new car dealer to get the exact replacement part for your vehicle, but be prepared to pay more than you would at a muffler specialty shop or a general auto repair shop.

You need not replace your muffler with the exact part number from the Ford dealer or Toyota dealer. Replacement mufflers are designed to replace the original mufflers from the vehicle manufacturers no matter what year, make and model of car you have.

There are also a wide variety of brands of mufflers, some are engineered to let the engine breath better giving you a boost in horsepower. Consult with the repair shop performing the repair to see which mufflers are available for your specific vehicle. Keep in mind, the muffler is part of the emissions system, you don’t want to void your factory warranty or do anything to keep your vehicle from passing a smog check or emissions testing in the future.

Catalytic Converters

The catalytic converter is an integral component of your exhaust system. Its function is to convert toxic gases into less toxic gases before emitting them from your exhaust pipe.

Catalytic converters do fail. One of the most common failures is clogging. When the converter becomes clogged, you may find that your vehicle does not accelerate as well. If the fuel system cannot release burned fuel, it cannot take in as much fuel to burn.

If the converter rusts, you will also have a noisier exhaust system and may smell fumes in the car’s interior. The converter is normally located just under the divider behind the front seats.

Don’t try to diagnose a bad catalytic converter. Most often your car will have drivability problems that lead to diagnosis of a bad converter. Many times you will find out when your vehicle does not pass emissions testing or an annual smog check.

Some catalytic converters are bolted on and some are welded on from the factory. Either way a quality repair shop can replace the catalytic converter for you.

Muffler repair components

Pipes leading to a muffler, from your catalytic converter often rust out and need replacement. Tailpipes will sometimes rust the muffler connection. Hangers also break. If your exhaust system is lower than normal, or dragging under your vehicle, you probably need new hangers. This is usually a low cost repair, but should be performed quickly. Dragging exhaust system components will damage them. The metal can also produce sparks that might start a fire.

You can extend the life of your exhaust system by ensuring that you drive far enough during wet or cold weather to heat up and dry the exhaust system. If you only drive a few miles every day your exhaust components may actually wear out quickly. When you first start your vehicle in cold or wet weather, moisture forms inside the pipes. If the moisture is not removed by heating the exhaust system, the pipes will rust prematurely.