Mufflers, contrary to the understand of many people, are responsible for more than just dampening a car's noises. In fact, they play a key role in regulating the efficiency of the engine. If you would like to improve your knowledge of automotive troubleshooting, read on. This article will teach you how to recognize three common signs that your muffler might be ready for replacement.
Increased Volume And Odd Sounds
An excessive amount of noise is the most common—and easy to notice—sign that your muffler may be compromised by damage or wear. Yet few people understand why this is.
You see, a muffler dampens sound waves caused by the engine by passing them through a so-called resonator chamber. This chamber is specially designed so that the sound waves will bounces off the walls and collide with one another, thus canceling themselves out.
The muffler also reduces sound through its three-ply construction. Being composed of multiple layers allows the muffler to insulate and absorb more of the sound waves. Unfortunately, when a muffler becomes damaged, cracked, or corroded, it can no longer perform this function with the same degree of success. Generally speaking, the worse the damage grows, the louder the resulting sounds will be.
Exhaust Fumes Inside The Car
The muffler is one of the most critical elements in your car's exhaust system. When working properly, this system should be capable of preventing any exhaust fumes from making their way into your car. Yet when that system develops leaks, escaping exhaust gasses often tend to find their way up through the blower vents and into your car.
The tiniest of holes may be capable of causing this problem. That's because the exhaust system in an automobile operates under very high levels of pressure. When there is a leak in the system, that same pressure, which should be propelling the exhaust away from your car, instead sends stinky fumes up into the car. This puts you and your passengers at a pronounced risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Rust And Other Signs Of Wear
If you've noticed either of the two symptoms discussed above and would like to determine more conclusively whether your muffler is behind the problem, consider taking a look at the underside of your car. Naturally, you should never do this immediately after driving. Allowing your car to cool off for a few hours will protect you against the risk of serious burns.
Check both your muffler, and the exhaust pipes that lead to it, for any signs of rust. Likewise, keep your eyes peeled for cracks, holes, or other signs of damage. It is common for breaches to occur at the seams between different components. Be sure to take your car to a muffler specialist if you happen to see any telltale signs of damage.
Whether your car has a factory muffler or an aftermarket-style piece like a Flowmaster muffler, be alert for signs of trouble and wear, like rust, holes, and unusual noises.
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