Muffler Problems? How to Know When You Need a Replacement
Is there loud exhaust noise coming from your vehicle? Is there a bad odor? Is water dripping? These are all signs of muffler problems. Call us!
Keyword(s): muffler problems
Many people think that mufflers are in place to reduce emissions from your vehicle, but your muffler is responsible for reducing the sounds that come from your engine. Although, depending on the type of muffler that is attached to your vehicle, it can reduce emissions by 15%.
You probably didn’t realize that your muffler played such an important role. Since it’s located under your car, it’s not easy to see, and you may not think about it until something goes wrong.
Read on to find out how to know when you are having muffler problems and when you need a replacement.
Common Muffler Problems
Typically, mufflers can last between 5 and 7 years on most U.S. vehicles. There are things that can wear them out sooner, including the following:
- Exposure to salt – which is used during icy or snowy conditions to keep the roads from getting overly slick
- Getting hit frequently – can occur when you go over a speed bump or hit a pothole, the curb, or other items in the road
Whether your muffler is worn out from age or other issues, it will give you some signs that will let you know you have a bad muffler. Here are some things you should look for.
Your Engine Misfires
Engines in today’s vehicles are incredibly advanced and finely tuned. Every component in your engine needs to work together for your vehicle to run optimally.
The exhaust system is part of the engine, and it begins in the engine block, at the cylinder head. From there, the exhaust flows through a variety of pipes and headers until finally reaching the muffler and being expelled from the back of your vehicle.
If any of these components are damaged, it will have an impact on how your vehicle performs. Should your engine misfire, this is often the first sign that something is wrong with your muffler and/or the exhaust system.
You will more than likely hear the engine misfire when you decelerate or slow down. To figure out the exact issues, it’s a good idea to bring your vehicle into a professional as soon as possible.
Your Exhaust Is Louder Than Normal
Some vehicles are equipped with mufflers that make them sound louder than normal. These are generally attached to sports cars and other high-performance vehicles, but they can be added to any vehicle.
Whether your vehicle has one of these special mufflers or not, it’s not hard to tell when your exhaust system is louder than normal.
When exhaust flows through the system and reaches the muffler, it goes through a series of chambers that reduce the vibrations that travel through the exhaust. Loud exhaust noises are often a sign that there is a hole in the muffler or that it has been damaged in another way.
Thus, if you hear a bad muffler sound, have a certified mechanic check out your muffler to find out exactly what the issue is so that it can be fixed.
You Smell a Bad Odor
One of the other bad muffler symptoms that will let you know it’s time to get your muffler inspected is noticing a bad smell.
Part of the role of the exhaust system in your vehicle is to filter out fumes. If there is a leak or damage to the muffler, this could cause the fumes to get trapped.
Ignoring this issue could be dangerous to your health. Over time, fumes can cause a wide range of health issues, including dizziness, headaches, and fatigue. If you experience any of these while you’re behind the wheel, this could lead to an accident.
Should you be exposed to these fumes for an extended period of time, they could lead to death. Determining exactly where the bad smell is coming from is vital for your health and safety.
You Notice Condensation
It’s common for moisture to collect inside your exhaust system. However, over time, this moisture will cause the system to rust. When that happens, you may get a cracked muffler or other damage might occur.
Thus, if you notice there is an excessive amount of condensation coming from the muffler, this could be a sign that you have a bad muffler that needs to be taken care of.
Your Gas Mileage Decreases
To ensure that your engine is running effectively and efficiently, every component needs to be working together. Should you notice that your gas mileage has decreased recently, this could be a sign that you have a bad muffler.
Of course, there are other reasons why your gas mileage might have decreased, including a dirty air filter, a leak in the gas line, or other problems.
If you want to know for sure what the issue is, taking your vehicle into a mechanic can help. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem. If it turns out to be your exhaust system, they can replace the muffler so that you don’t have to spend more money on gas than necessary.
You Can See Damage
Another sign that you need to get your muffler replaced is if you notice any damage.
You may not be under your vehicle often, but you might consider taking the time to inspect your muffler on a regular basis.
One of the most important times to do this is after hitting a speed bump, pothole, or large curb. If you drive your vehicle on dirt roads or like to take it off-roading, then it’s a good idea to inspect your muffler for any damage.
Should you notice any holes or rust, then it’s advised you take your vehicle in to a mechanic to get your muffler replaced.
Keep Your Car Running Optimally
You may not think about your muffler often, but it’s a vital part of your car. If the muffler is damaged or old, then getting it replaced is in your best interest.
At A Plus Auto Repair, we have the skills and expertise to diagnose and repair all kinds of muffler problems and exhaust system issues for both foreign and domestic vehicles. We know what it takes to keep your car running safely and quietly. Contact us today!