What Is a Muffler and What Does It Do?

A muffler is a vital piece in your exhaust system that takes the sounds coming from the engine and cancels them out so that your car is not obnoxiously loud when you drive. You should be thankful for what it does as it enables you and others a nice and quiet riding experience.

In addition to the noise suppression your muffler provides, it also aids in protecting you from the toxic byproducts of the combustion process in your engine. The muffler takes the fumes from the engine and directs them to the back and out from the tailpipe. Certain chemicals from the engine can cause severe medical problems and even death if you're exposed to them for an extended time.

What Is the Leading Cause of Muffler Damage?

Both the internal and external components of your vehicle's muffler can wear down and decline over time. It will happen to everyone's car eventually, so it's helpful to know when to replace the muffler. The leading cause behind muffler replacement is rust. Rust can cause punctures in your muffler and eat away its metallic body, so the muffler is no longer effective at doing its job. Rust can be external or internal:

  • External Rust - During the winter months, roads get salted, which is the main contributor to rust forming on the exterior of the muffler.
  • Internal Rust - It is normal to see condensation coming from the exhaust when you turn your vehicle on in the morning. This vapor is due to the cooling of the muffler when the car is shut off. Inevitably you will have some moisture build-up over time, causing the piece to rust from the inside.

Signs That You Need Muffler Repair

You may see physical corrosion on the muffler, which is perfectly normal and does not necessarily mean you should get it replaced right away. If you notice any of the following issues, in addition to rust, please bring your vehicle to Harrell Automotive:

  • Muffler is loud
  • The car becomes sluggish when accelerating
  • Excessive muffler rust
  • Vibrations coming from the exhaust
  • Reduced gas mileage

For all your auto needs, including muffler repairs, please give us a call at (814) 983-6167 or visit our team in Erie, PA.