If your family can hear your car approach the house from several blocks away when you come home in the evening, then you may want to check your muffler. Since the muffler is under the car at the back, it is mostly out of sight and forgotten. Mufflers wear out over time and when they do, your car will start making loud noises. Not only that, a bad muffler can affect the fuel efficiency and performance of your car. Here are three tips for buying a new muffler for your car.
Check The Owner's Manual
Before you buy a muffler at an auto parts store, you want to check your owner's manual to find out if a specific type of muffler is recommended. There are various types of mufflers. Some cars use universal mufflers you buy off the shelf, but other cars require specific mufflers. You'll also want to know if your car is single or dual exhaust because that also determines the type of muffler you need. If you can't find your owner's manual, then take your car to an auto shop to have the muffler inspected and to get a recommendation for the type of new muffler to have installed.
Decide If Sound Is Important
A muffler creates a fine balance between fuel efficiency, performance, and noise. You usually have to sacrifice one to get more of the other. If you have a muscle car, you want a muffler that enhances its performance. These mufflers are typically much louder than the mufflers used on family sedans. Even if performance isn't that important, you may like the sound of a muffler that reverberates or makes a louder than usual sound. In that case, you may want to buy a muffler that is made to be loud. However, keep in mind, you want to obey city ordinances and not irritate your neighbors with a loud car pulling into the driveway at night.
Choose The Material
Mufflers are made of aluminum or steel. Steel mufflers are more expensive, but they last longer. Stainless steel also tends to look better. The insides of the muffler are the same in both cases, but the outer coating is different. The less expensive models are coated with aluminum and if it gets scratched off or damaged when you bottom out the car, then the muffler may start to rust. Since the muffler is constantly exposed to danger being on the bottom of the car, the added protection of stainless steel is worth considering.
Once you've chosen the best muffler for your car, the next step is to have it installed. If you work on your car frequently and are experienced at making repairs, you may be able to install a muffler yourself. However, putting in a muffler isn't the place for beginners to start with DIY auto repairs. Take your car to a shop like Quiet Masters Mufflers instead. Plus, when you take it to the shop, a mechanic can pick out the right replacement muffler and save you the trouble of trying to decide on the best one to buy.