How to Choose the Right Muffler for Your Car

Your muffler is a very important part of your vehicle. Mufflers can have a strong impact on three different aspects of your car: how loud it is, how fuel efficient it is, and how much power it generates.

As important as mufflers are, getting the right muffler for your car and for your needs is crucial. There are a few different facts that should be considered before purchasing a new muffler, and you should always be diligent in finding the best one possible.

Part 1 of 2: Select the right muffler for your car

different types of mufflers

Step 1: Know what kind of muffler you need. Find the muffler style suggested to you by your owner’s manual.

There are three different categories of muffler: cancellation, absorption, and diffusion. Each muffler differs in the mechanism that is used for the muffling of the exhaust and the noise. Your owner’s manual should say what category of muffler is best for your car, which will help you get started in picking the perfect muffler, and the manual should also provide warnings regarding new mufflers.

  • Tip: If you can’t locate the muffler suggestion in the owner’s manual, you can Ask a Mechanic to help you make the right determination.

Step 2: Figure out what is important to you in a muffler. Consider the qualities you want in a muffler.

In general, mufflers will do one of two things: they will either make your car louder and more powerful, while decreasing fuel economy, or the will make your car quieter and more fuel efficient, while decreasing power.

If you’re looking to make your car fast and fun, you’ll likely want the former option. If you’re trying to increase the practicality of your vehicle, then the latter option is probably better for you.

double exhaust vs single exhaust

Step 3: Determine whether you need a single or a double muffler. The type of exhaust you have will determine what muffler you need.

If your vehicle has a single exhaust, then you need a single muffler. If your vehicle has a double exhaust, then you need a double muffler.

  • Tip: If you don’t know what kind of exhaust system your vehicle is equipped with, you can consult your owner’s manual or speak to a professional mechanic.

Part 2 of 2: Purchase and install the muffler

Step 1: Find a muffler with a good warranty. Most automotive components run the risk of becoming damaged or not working, so only ever buy car parts that come with warranties.

Before ordering a muffler, shop around for the best warranty, while also paying attention to price and customer reviews.

  • Tip: If you need advice on what muffler to purchase, a professional mechanic should be able to help you.

Step 2: Have your muffler professionally installed. You should always have your muffler installed by a professional mechanic, such as one of the certified mechanics at YourMechanic.

Finding the right muffler is a big part of maximizing the value of your car. Once your muffler is purchased and installed, you can begin enjoying the benefits, whether they’re power, noise, or fuel economy. Be sure to have one of YourMechanic’s professional technicians install the muffler, and have the peace of mind of a job well done.


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Robert

27 years of experience
333 reviews
Robert
27 years of experience
Lexus LS430 V8-4.3L - Muffler - Washington, District of Columbia
Punctual, professional, and knowledgeable are what comprise a competent mechanic. Robert replaced all four struts on my vehicle. I worked from home that afternoon, and he completed the work before dinner that evening. Highly recommend.
Honda Civic - Oil Change - Silver Spring, Maryland

Carlos

16 years of experience
362 reviews
Carlos
16 years of experience
Ram 1500 V8-5.7L - Muffler - Keller, Texas
Carlos was very friendly, knew what he was doing and did not take a long time at all. I will definitely use YourMechanic in the future.

Ramon

20 years of experience
166 reviews
Ramon
20 years of experience
Nissan Rogue L4-2.5L - Axle / CV Shaft Assembly Replacement (Passenger Side Front) - Tucson, Arizona
Ramon may be the first mechanic i'll ever call back, he knows exactly what hes talking about and was able to trouble shoot my issue quickly.

Dave

23 years of experience
303 reviews
Dave
23 years of experience
Volvo S60 L5-2.4L Turbo - Engine or Transmission Mount Replacement - Mountain View, California
Excellent! Dave was knowledgeable, professional and honest. He saved me money twice. Once when he told me that I didn't need to replace a part that I thought needed replacing which lowered the original quote considerably. Then he told me what I really needed done which solved a problem another mechanic shop had told me would require replacing the transmission which would've been thousands. Dave came back two days later did the work that was really causing the problem for a fraction of the cost. Highly recommended.

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