One amazing piece of engineering that is so often overlooked is your car’s muffler. Your muffler is there to make sure that your exhaust system is quiet so when it’s your muffler that needs quieting, you better take notice. Traffic rules and laws stipulate that your car maintain a strict decibel level and if you have a leak in your exhaust system consequently putting you over the limit, you are going to be in trouble. Make sure that your muffler and exhaust system are in working order to prevent this. Here is how to quiet your muffler:
- How a muffler works. The combustion of an engine makes really loud explosions and it is the muffler’s job to make these sounds softer than they normally would be. It follows the principle of destructive interference which is the technique used to cancel out sounds. The muffler is there to produce sound waves of the exact opposite frequency to eliminate the noise but in reality only actually lessens the volume, nevertheless a positive outcome. It is all wrapped in layers of insulating materials and inside contains holes and perforations that produce more noise-canceling sound waves.
- Add a resonator. Some exhaust systems use a resonator to more effectively quiet the noise. This device produces more sound waves to cancel out the ones emanating from the engine. Sometimes, all you need to do really to quiet your muffler is to add the device. You can also try inserting a ball of steel wool inside your muffler to lessen the noise volume.
- Maintaining your exhaust system. Of course, the proper cleaning and maintaining of your muffler and the rest of the exhaust system help immensely. Keep the pipes and tubing clean. Use a contact cleaner and a multi-purpose lubricant that are safe to use on the components of your system. Often times, your muffler is prone to corrosion and rust that can cause the tubing to deteriorate over time. Plug holes and leaks with liquid sealer or tape immediately before the problem worsens and have your undercarriage undercoated at your local garage to guard against rust and corrosion. Remember that you should only clean your exhaust system when it is cold and cleaners with acidic chemicals can damage your pipes. Also sometimes, you might just need to tighten some nuts and bolts because loose parts can also increase the noise level.
- Replacing your muffler. Resealing leaks and seams might be a good temporary solution, but eventually, you are going to need to replace your muffler completely to be sure that it stays quiet. Over time, your old muffler will be less effective. The cost will really depend on the make and model of your car but it is imperative that you do this since there is no other permanent solution.
The key to a quieting your muffler might be just a little TLC but you also might need to make wise purchases in the future to maintain and enhance your entire exhaust system. Follow the tips above for a smoother, less noisy ride.