- How do mufflers work?
Simply put, mufflers are primarily designed to reduce exhaust noise. The engine expels exhaust gas at such high pressures that they create powerful sound waves. The muffler uses a combination of baffles, chambers, pipes, and sound-dampening material to reduce these sound waves to a manageable level. There are also aftermarket performance mufflers available in the market that are designed to expel exhaust gas more efficiently and improve engine performance aside from cutting down exhaust noise.
- What are mufflers made of?
Mufflers are usually made of stainless steel, aluminized mild steel, or aluminum. Of the three, stainless steel mufflers are often preferred as they are exceptionally durable, have decades-long lifespans, and are highly resistant to corrosion. Additional materials such as fiberglass and steel wool are also used in mufflers to help reduce sound.
- What are chambered, turbo, and straight-through mufflers?
Mufflers in the market today can be grouped into three kinds, namely the chambered, turbo, and straight-through muffler, and with each one having its own distinct advantages and disadvantages.
A common sight in muscle cars, chambered mufflers cut down exhaust noise while at same time replace it with a more aggressive rumbling sound. These mufflers have several inner chambers that reflect sound waves against each other, causing each wave to cancel each out and thus reducing exhaust noise. Baffles are also sometimes placed inside the chambers to further reduce or alter the sound from the muffler.
Turbo mufflers, on the other hand, have several perforated tubes inside the chamber that guide the exhaust gases through the muffler in an S-shaped pattern. This distinct design makes the gases travel through more tubing and reducing noise even more. High-end versions of turbo mufflers also come with sound-dampening material packed around the tubes for additional noise reduction.
Meanwhile, straight-through or glasspack mufflers are designed to focus on maximum exhaust flow and horsepower. These mufflers are fitted with a straight perforated pipe wrapped in fiberglass which allows gas to flow freely at the cost of higher exhaust noise. Their compact design also makes them a favorite amongst street rodders and custom car enthusiasts.
- Will a bigger muffler pipe increase the performance of my car’s engine?
Bigger does not always mean better when it comes to mufflers. While a bigger pipe does theoretically allow for more exhaust gas to escape, it may also cause an imbalance in backpressure in your vehicle’s exhaust system. So before investing in a performance muffler, make sure it is compatible with the specifications of the exhaust system in your Jeep.
- White smoke is coming out of my new muffler. What should I do?
White smoke, along with a slight odor coming out of your newly installed mufflers, is caused by the thermal grease inside the muffler pipe that is burning up due to hot exhaust gas. This is a normal, temporary occurrence during the break-in period of the muffler, although if the smoke lasts for several months, you may have to get it checked by a mechanic.
- What causes discoloration on a muffler?
Discoloration on the muffler, particularly on the tip, is caused by compounds left over from the polishing process and embedded in the microscopic pores on the surface of the muffler. Over time, the hot exhaust causes the compound residue to oxidize, resulting in a yellow or gold haze.
Discoloration is a common occurrence in mufflers, but this can be minimized by regular cleaning of the muffler surface with a wheel cleaner. Using a double-walled muffler tip can also further reduce discoloration as it is better insulated against the heat from exhaust gas.
- How do I know if my car’s muffler is broken?
There are many symptoms of a broken car muffler, including louder exhaust noise, a thumping or clunking sound due to baffles that have come loose inside the muffler, thick black smoke coming out of the pipe, abnormally high engine temperatures, and visible holes and corrosion on the muffler chamber and pipes. If you notice any of these signs in the muffler of your Jeep, have it inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible and replace any parts if necessary. A broken muffler can severely affect the performance and fuel efficiency of the engine.