Most of the important parts of your car are located under the hood or underneath your vehicle. Just because certain car parts are out of sight, that doesn't mean they should be out of mind. As a car owner, one of the best things you can do to keep your vehicle running optimally is to keep your vehicle properly maintained and to look out for warning signs.
When you maintain your vehicle, don’t forget to pay attention to your muffler. Here are a few things to watch out for.
Your muffler is a vital part of your exhaust system. Not only does your muffler help to reduce engine noise, but it also helps to improve the performance of your car's engine by controlling the back pressure.
On most vehicles in the United States, mufflers generally last anywhere from five to seven years. However, mufflers may not last as long if you hit an unusual amount of speed bumps or other objects on the ground that make contact with your muffler while driving over them.
Road salt can also cause damage to your muffler. Salt is not used to melt ice on the roadways in Texas, but if you travel to neighboring states, such as New Mexico, be aware of salt that can cause your muffler to corrode so that you can address the problem if necessary.
Some exhaust systems are more elaborate than others, but no matter what kind of exhaust system you have, you'll want to keep it maintained. Doing so will help keep your muffler in good shape. Some ways of doing this include:
- Taking it in if the check engine light comes on
- Repairing any broken components right away
- Getting any exhaust leaks fixed as soon as possible
Signs Your Muffler Is Going Bad or Failing
Besides doing proper maintenance, you'll want to be aware of signs that your muffler is going bad or is failing. Here are three of the most obvious ones.
1.You Notice Loud Noises Coming From Your Muffler
Your muffler is supposed to help cover the sound of your engine, so if you hear loud noises coming from your vehicle and your muffler, pay attention to this warning sign. If your muffler is broken, your vehicle probably sounds louder than it normally does. If there is a thumping or clunking sound coming from your muffler, this might indicate a problem with your exhaust system.
Loose baffles in your muffler can also result in abnormal noises. No matter what kind of odd or loud noise is coming from your muffler, you should have it evaluated by a mechanic who specializes in mufflers and exhaust systems.
2. You Notice a Bad Smell in Your Vehicle
Some types of exhaust that come out of the tailpipe smell bad, especially if you have an older vehicle with a diesel engine. However, if you notice any other bad or abnormal smells that linger inside your vehicle, it may be an indication your muffler or your exhaust system is failing.
Your muffler is supposed to help funnel fumes that come from the exhaust away from the vehicle. When your muffler or something else in your exhaust system begins to fail, these fumes get stuck inside your vehicle. Because these fumes can be detrimental to your health, you should have a mechanic address the problem immediately.
3. You Notice Your Engine Backfires or Misfires
When any component of your exhaust system is damaged, whether it's your catalytic converter, your exhaust pipes, or your muffler, the damage can cause the engine on your vehicle to either misfire or backfire. An engine that backfires usually makes a popping noise, and a misfiring car will stutter or jerk, especially as you are reducing speed.
If you notice any of these signs that your muffler is going bad or failing, don't hesitate to contact Midland Muffler and Brake.