Tips for a Loud Muffler

by Louise Balle
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Bryan Meyer/Demand Media

The purpose of the muffler is to reduce the noise that your car's exhaust system creates. You know when your car's muffler is damaged because it can be heard down the block and around the corner. If you drive a sports car or other performance vehicle, you might want to make your muffler louder on purpose so that everyone will hear you coming.

Muffler Patch

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When your muffler is loud, an unscrupulous mechanic might try to convince you that you need an entirely new one to correct the issue. In many cases, all you need is to have the leak or crack in your muffler patched, which could cost anywhere between $30 to $50 as compared to paying as much as $550 for a new one.

In some cases, the problem is one of the pipes that leads to the muffler, not the muffler itself. So all you need to replace (or patch) is the pipe. The pipe replacement will likely cost about $200 depending on your car. Whenever you go in for a problem with a loud exhaust, ask the mechanic to locate the source of the problem while it is up on the lift—if he refuses, you may want to take your business elsewhere. It is always prudent to get a second opinion.

Making It Loud

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If you are a car enthusiast who drives a hot-rod or muscle car and you want to make your muffler sound loud on purpose, the safest way to accomplish this is to get a performance muffler to replace your standard one. Many people try to put holes in the regular muffler or manipulate the pipes, which could cause serious damage to the exhaust system. The performance muffler is a compromise between having a silencing (standard) muffler and no muffler at all. It produces a deep, vivid and powerful growl from your exhaust system.

Know Your State's Muffler Decibel Law

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Whether your muffler is loud because you want it that way or because of a crack in the pipe, there are state decibel laws governing how loud your muffler can be. If your muffler is too loud you could get a traffic ticket, because of the disturbance it causes. A few states, like California, have made it illegal to modify your muffler to make it louder.

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