Is it Safe to Drive With a Loud Muffler?

The muffler is part of your vehicle’s exhaust system. The exhaust system routes fumes away from the interior of the vehicle, and the muffler expels them into the atmosphere. The entire system helps your engine maintain optimum performance and reduces pollution. One of the biggest signs your muffler is not working properly, is that your vehicle will be extremely loud while it is running.

If you are noticing that the muffler has become louder than usual, there are some safety concerns. Here are some things to know about driving with a loud muffler:

  • If the muffler has a hole in it, carbon monoxide can leak into the vehicle. This gas can cause dizziness, nausea, and headaches. If you are exposed to carbon monoxide for a long period of time, eventually unconsciousness and death can occur. If the loud muffler is due to a hole, the vehicle is dangerous to drive and should be inspected by a mechanic right away.

  • Many cities have noise ordinances that include how loud mufflers can be, which includes defective mufflers. If the cause of a loud muffler is not a defect, it is just loud, it may not be as dangerous to drive, but you may get pulled over because of the noise.

  • Signs of a broken muffler include a clunking sound while the vehicle is running. It is possible that a broken piece of the muffler may have come off and is rattling in the exhaust system, which can cause the clunking sound. If you hear an odd sound, have a mechanic take a look at your vehicle.

  • Inspecting the muffler can show signs of wear and defects as well. Check the muffler for rust or holes, which will indicate a problem with a muffler. If you see a hole or rust, have a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, replace your muffler as soon as possible.

  • Another sign of a broken muffler is unusual exhaust smoke. Turn the vehicle on and if you see thick smoke, this may indicate your muffler is not working properly. This can be dangerous so contact a certified mechanic right away.

Driving with a loud muffler is potentially dangerous. If your muffler is loud because of a hole, rust, or other defect, carbon monoxide may be getting into the cabin of your vehicle. Carbon monoxide can be dangerous to you and your passengers. If the muffler is loud for other reasons, it should be noted that most cities have ordinances against loud mufflers, and an unidentified defect may be causing harm to your exhaust. In any case, it is advisable to have your vehicle inspected for safety if you notice any loud noises coming from the muffler or anywhere else in your car.


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Recent Noise from engine or exhaust Inspection reviews

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Andrew

11 years of experience
689 reviews
Andrew
11 years of experience
BMW 740i - Noise from engine or exhaust - Shawnee Mission, Kansas
i thought it was an Adjusting pulley. Andrew looked and said that the fan blades were no aligned with the the Fan Housing. We then listened and I told him it could be the impeller in the water pump but the sound wasn't "metallic". He said that the impellers in my water pump were a plastic composite. He was right on both accounts. What a PRO! I recommend this guy to anyone. He was on-time, courteous and RIGHT in the diagnosis. I'll ask for him again.......next time something else breaks.

Michael

21 years of experience
135 reviews
Michael
21 years of experience
Dodge Dart - Noise from engine or exhaust - Pomona, California
Very thorough and honest. Explained everything to my daughter and took pics for us of what the PEP Boys mechanic did wrong. Will definitely be calling Michael again. So very glad I took a chance with Your Mechanic. They will definitely be my go to people from now on.

Mike

13 years of experience
138 reviews
Mike
13 years of experience
Buick Rendezvous - Noise from engine or exhaust - Raleigh, North Carolina
Mike was awesome!! Professional, knowledgeable and complete. Took time to explain what the issue is. I look forward to him working on my car again when needed. Thanks

Ronald

41 years of experience
65 reviews
Ronald
41 years of experience
BMW X5 - Noise from engine or exhaust - Humble, Texas
Ronald was very helpful and knowledgeable in diagnosing the issue with my BMW x5. He also was good at explaining what the issue was. would definitely request Mr Ronald again. Thanks

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