Three Signs You Need To Replace Your Car's Muffler

Posted on: 13 June 2018

Your muffler is an essential part of your vehicle's exhaust system, as it is actually what vents exhaust gases out of your car, and like its name would suggest, it muffles the sound of the engine while doing so. Just like every other part of your vehicle, your muffler can begin to degrade and wear down over time, which can reduce its effectiveness and cause a number of other problems within your car. Understanding some of the most common signs associated with a muffler that needs to be replaced can help you determine when you should head to a mechanic before more serious issues can begin to pop up.

Excessive Noise

One of the earliest and easiest-to-spot signs that your muffler may be in need of a replacement is if you notice that there is an abnormally large amount of noise coming from your vehicle's exhaust. This most often points to a hole within the muffler itself, which can cause rattling, high-pitched screeching and squealing, or even a constant low-pitched vibrating or humming sound while driving. It is also common for the sound to change as you accelerate and slow down as different amounts of exhaust fumes pass through the muffler.

Reduced Fuel Efficiency

Another clear indication that there is something wrong with your muffler is if you notice that your vehicle's mileage has drastically reduced recently. This can be caused by a blockage or some other issue with the muffler that is altering how quickly fumes are being moved out of the car's exhaust, which can cause the engine to begin to overheat and thus operate less efficiently. In some cases, a damaged muffler can even reduce the amount of oxygen available to the engine and effectively suffocate the engine's combustion process, driving fuel efficiency down even lower.

Rust and Corrosion

Finally, you may have to make an appointment for automotive repair and maintenance if your muffler has rust spots on it. This is caused by condensation buildup, which will gradually get worse with age, causing the metal of the muffler to begin to corrode. This can lead to holes developing in the muffler and can quickly spread to other parts of your exhaust system and the surrounding components of your vehicle. While minor rust spots may be able to be sanded off, the fragile nature of the muffler means that rust that has had any amount of time to develop likely will require the replacement of the entire unit.