What do you do when you start your vehicle and suddenly feel transported to the race track? The sounds of a busted muffler can be heard for miles around, and we can guarantee no one wants to hear that first thing in the morning.
What Causes a Muffler to Break
If you spend winters driving over snowy, salted roads, your muffler is exposed to the perfect combination of elements for producing rust. Instead of getting seven or so years out of your muffler, you might prematurely find rusty holes forming thanks to the weather.
Additionally, mufflers can take a beating on speed bumps or potholes, either getting holes in them or being torn from pipes in the exhaust system. Regardless of the cause, a damaged muffler needs to be repaired.
IS IT ILLEGAL TO DRIVE WITHOUT A MUFFLER?
While it isn’t illegal to drive without a muffler when it comes to safety and emissions, the noise you generate can warrant a ticket. Noise ordinances are typically enforced between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am, but you can also be cited for excessive noise during daylight hours as well.
Why You Shouldn’t Drive Without a Muffler
So, if it’s not illegal to drive without a muffler, is it worth risking a noise violation? There are actually other reasons you shouldn’t drive with a damaged or missing muffler on your vehicle.
Reduced Fuel Economy
The exhaust system is made up of a lot of parts, including the muffler. When one part is damaged or missing, the system can’t function as efficiently as intended. Avoiding muffler repair can lead to reduced fuel economy, which is not something anyone wants to face these days.
A missing muffler doesn’t result in toxic exhaust leaks, but it could be an indicator that there are other problems with your exhaust system as a whole. Damaged pipes or a compromised catalytic converter can lead to toxic fumes in the air, and in your car’s passenger cabin.
Whether or not you have an exhaust leak in addition to a broken muffler, you’re contributing to noise pollution. Typically, prolonged exposure to any noise greater than 85 decibels can lead to hearing loss. If your vehicle doesn’t have a muffler, you’re regularly subjecting yourself to decibels measuring anywhere from 90-100+.
What Muffler Repair Entails
At Master Muffler, we know a thing or two about exhaust systems. If your muffler is broken or missing, we can help determine exactly what needs to be replaced to complete the repairs. If you just need to tighten some bolts, you can poke around your muffler with a screwdriver to see if it rattles. If it does, most car owners can handle tightening a few bolts themselves.
Sometimes, individual parts of the exhaust system can be replaced, saving you time and money compared to replacing everything. On average, muffler repair costs range between $800-$834 for parts and labor, but you should always bring your vehicle in for a more accurate estimate.
Repair costs and intensity can vary based on whether you’re replacing a stock muffler or a customized one. Higher-end muffler and exhaust systems require different parts and may need more labor for complicated installation.
A hole in a muffler can be patched, either via welding or a product such as muffler tape or epoxy. Welding and tape can help close up small holes in a muffler so it better dampens sound temporarily. It’s always a good idea to schedule auto repairs to address the root cause of the hole before your muffler looks like swiss cheese.
You should never patch your muffler with electrical or duct tape, as neither is designed to withstand the intense heat moving through the exhaust system. Using products that aren’t approved for muffler repair can result in compromised safety.
Whether it’s a simple replacement or an upgrade, Master Muffler can help. We specialize in exhaust systems and offer products including Flowmaster, Walker, and XXL. Our technicians can help you choose the right muffler for your vehicle, taking into consideration your driving habits and climate. A high-performance muffler not only gives you a quieter ride but can increase fuel efficiency and engine performance.
With a repaired muffler or a new one altogether, you’ll no longer dread turning your key in the ignition and hearing the roar of your exhaust system. Your neighbors will be relieved, too! If the auto repair experts at Master Muffler can help you with muffler repair, give your nearest location a call today.