You probably never really thought about your muffler. You will, however, if it encounters a problem. How will you know? Well, your engine will start to make noise. Extremely loud, unpleasant noise. Rest assured, though, nothing’s wrong with it. That’s just what they do without a muffler (in most English-speaking countries, it’s called a muffler. In many non-English speaking countries, it’s called a silencer).
The Exhaust System
The muffler is part of your car’s exhaust system, which is essentially a collection of pipes and slots that begin at the engine and finish at the tail pipe. There are five main parts in a typical exhaust system. There are five main parts to the Exhaust System:
- Exhaust Manifold: vents exhaust gases from multiple cylinders and burns leftover fuel.
- Oxygen Sensor: forwards oxygen level readings to the computer.
- Exhaust Pipes: carry exhaust across the system.
- Catalytic Converter: transforms hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and water vapor.
- Muffler: lessens engine noise
How the Muffler is Designed
A muffler is basically a metal box containing a collection of tubes, called baffles, and a resonator chamber. Some of the baffles are perforated.
How a Muffler Works
Your car engine functions by generating pulses. It generates pulses by opening its valves. When it opens its valves, high-pressure gas all at once bursts into the exhaust system. The high-pressure gas molecules crash into the low-pressure pipe molecules, and they pile up on one other and create an area of low pressure behind them. The sound waves and gases then make their way down the pipe, into the muffler, where they enter the perforated baffles and bounce off the muffler’s walls, into the resonator chamber, then exit. This effectively cancels out engine sounds.
What Causes Mufflers to Wear Out
Mufflers generally last up to seven years on nearly all U.S. cars. They can wear out ahead of time due to over exposure to salty and snowy roads by if they are bumped too often into potholes, speed bumps, and/or bad road conditions.
Different Types of Mufflers
This analysis reviewed a standard or stock muffler. There are other types. They include:
Hot Rod Mufflers
Hot Rod Mufflers provide a “vroom vroom” sound and make a car sound as though it’s a racecar. Such is accomplished through different ways in which the metal box, baffles, and perforations are designed.
Some stock mufflers create excessive back pressure and can take eliminate between 30-40 horsepower from a high-performance vehicle. Performance Mufflers provide a swifter, more efficient route for exhaust gases to pass through. In essence, they let engines “breathe” better. Such then allows the engine to burn more fuel and air, which then helps the engine retain power and improves the exhaust system’s proficiency.
Performance Mufflers also help reduce wear on engine components by reducing engine heat and enhancing exhaust flow. Performance Muffler improving the exhaust note to a more aggressive and exciting sound (somewhat like a Hot Rod Muffler, but not as drastic).
There are many different styles of Performance Mufflers from which to choose (Chambered, Louvre, Cherry Bomb, etc).
Most cars have a single exhaust system. A car fanatic, however, might find a single exhaust system boring and want a vehicle with more horsepower and high performance (BMW, Mercedes, Lexus). You can see two exhaust pipes in the rear. This kind of system incorporates two mufflers.
From just the muffler alone, you can see the different types of silencer muffler options.