Those of us who aren’t savvy with cars may still detect when something needs repair. If we hear strange pings and the car just doesn’t “sit right,” it may be time for a trip to the garage. When it comes to your muffler, there are ways you can tell it’s time for a replacement. You may not be able to remove it yourself, but if you pay attention to how your car runs you can head off a problem that could increase if you were to ignore the signs.
How can you tell if your muffler needs replacing? As you drive, be aware of the following signs.
1) Pay attention to your gas mileage. It’s always a good idea, every time you fill up, to calculate your mileage from the last tank you gas you bought. This lets you know if your car goes the distance for the fuel it’s given. If you find you’re burning through gas more quickly than usual and you aren’t putting on more miles, you may want to check your muffler. A faulty one can contribute to poor gas mileage.
2) Watch for fumes. If one day you start to smell something unusual in your car, like a gassy stench or odor you’d associate with a faulty car, you should have it checked immediately. Intoxicating fumes can prove hazardous to your health, and rolling down the window won’t solve anything. Problems with your muffler may contribute to the increase fume output.
3) Listen for changes in your car when you start the engine. With a good muffler, your car’s motor should pick up and purr just fine. However, if it begins to wear you may detect a difference in your engine’s noise when you crank it. If the noise seems louder and not as smooth, it could indicate that your muffler needs to be checked. It would help, too, to have somebody stand outside while you start your car and look for anything unusual in the muffler area.
While all of these clues could imply a new muffler is needed, they may also hint at other problems with your car. For example, your muffler could be fine, but another car part may be responsible for the anomalies. Whatever the issue, you do not want to take chances with car problems. Waiting too long could result in repairs that cost even more to fix, or loss of your warranty protection.