A broken muffler is more than annoying, it’s expensive and dangerous. And while muffler problems come in all shapes and sizes, they can usually be detected by the same four symptoms:
Perhaps the most common symptom of an exhaust/muffler problem, is a change in volume of your muffler. Usually, your muffler should be operating quietly in the background, but when it encounters a problem, it will roar atrociously.
The Fix: These loud noises are often a telltale sign of a problem with your muffler or exhaust, so you’re going to want to get your car looked at by a mechanic as soon as possible. You may find that your muffler will need to be replaced. In that case, it is imperative to get to a high-quality muffler shop such as American Muffler as soon as possible. There, they will replace only what is necessary, while providing you with knowledge, support and educated alternatives.
One of the largest benefits of a well-maintained and well-tuned exhaust system is better fuel economy and subsequently, a lower MPG. If you notice having to fill up more and more often (or if you have a newer model that tracks your MPG on the dashboard), it might be a sign of a problem with your exhaust system or muffler.
The Fix: Constant surveillance is the most effective way to monitor your MPG. If you record month-over-month performance and catch a problem before it becomes serious, it will save you money in the long run. However, if the lower MPG does seem to point to a muffler problem, it might be a good idea to get it checked out by a mechanic, such as the highly-skilled ones available at American Muffler.
Perhaps the most dangerous symptom of all muffler and exhaust problems is a foul smell. A working muffler will funnel exhaust fumes outside and away from the vehicle. If there is a leak or other problem with your muffler, those fumes could be stuck inside your car, making them more noticeable to you.
The Fix: Bad smells are arguably the most dangerous problem because exhaust fumes can be fatal over time. If you smell anything abnormal, make sure you get your muffler checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.
(Not) Good Vibrations
Noticeable vibrations in the steering wheel or in the gas pedal (when pressed) are another sign of an exhaust problem. A hole, exhaust leak or disconnected exhaust system is to blame for these vibrations. However, they don’t just cause vibrations, they can also signal the engine is no longer operating at peak performance.
The Fix: A vibrating car is incredibly hard to drive, so the problem shouldn’t be ignored. Similar to the aforementioned problems, it’s imperative to get your car looked at by a professional quickly. Delaying a needed car exhaust repair can cost you exponentially in the future. Continuing to drive with an exhaust leak or bad catalytic converter can damage other things in your vehicle’s operating system and require serious repairs in the future.