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The muffler is the chamber in the exhaust system that manages the exhaust noise your vehicle expels. It is an integral part of your exhaust system and is important for proper engine operation. When the engine is running, it expels exhaust from the exhaust manifold. For proper operation, the engine needs some resistance in the exhaust system (this is called back pressure). Inside the muffler’s chambers there are baffles with either holes or pipes through them that create the back pressure the engine needs. These same baffles force the exhaust to double back on itself, which acts as noise cancellation. This is what makes the engine noise so much quieter when it exits the exhaust pipe. When your engine is running without a fully-functioning muffler, the exhaust system is extremely loud.
If you notice your car’s exhaust sounds louder than it used to, get it inspected as soon as possible. When the time comes to replace your vehicle’s muffler, make sure a high-quality stainless steel replacement is used. A stainless steel muffler can last the remaining life of the car in many cases.
Operating your vehicle with a problematic muffler for an extended period of time can cause engine damage or can result in a ticket due to operating a vehicle with noisy exhaust. Addressing a faulty muffler now can save you money in the future.