Repairing Your Car

Three Signs Your Muffler Needs To Be Serviced

Your vehicle's muffler, like its name would suggest, works to moderate the amount of noise coming out of your car's engine, while also serving as a pathway for exhaust gases to safely leave your vehicle. Since it is directly connected to your engine, a malfunctioning muffler can have a huge impact on the overall operation of your vehicle. Understanding the warning signs of a damaged or otherwise improperly functioning muffler can help you identify problems early so that you can have an auto repair shop deal with them before they represent a real issue for your vehicle.

Increased Noise

The most obvious sign that you need to talk to a mechanic about repairing or replacing your muffler is if you notice that the sound of operation of your engine while driving is quite loud—even drowning out the radio and your normal talking volume. This can point to general age and deterioration to the muffler, or even minor damage as simple as a hole in the casing.

Reduced Fuel Efficiency

Another fairly obvious indication that there is something wrong with your muffler and exhaust system is if you notice that your vehicle's fuel efficiency has drastically dropped without a corresponding change in your driving habits. A clogged or damaged muffler can cause your engine to burn fuel at an improper ratio, since exhaust gases aren't being vented properly. Having your muffler serviced is the sound financial decision to make, since allowing such reduced fuel efficiency to continue will quickly outpace the cost of repairs.

Strong Odor

Damage to your exhaust system, your catalytic converter, or a simple clog or break in your muffler can allow for gases to escape before they have been broken down into less harmful emissions. This means that you may notice a strong and pungent smell coming out of your vehicle, which can be hard to ignore. In a similar, but much more serious, vein, you may notice that the inside of your vehicle's cabin may smell like exhaust gases while you are driving. This points to more serious damage to your exhaust system, and actually poses a serious health risk, as breathing in these gases can prove to be toxic. If you notice that the interior of your car smells awful while you're driving, you should pull over straight away and get in touch with a mechanic and towing company to safely deal with your muffler.