Like other parts of a vehicle, a muffler can wear out or gets damaged while driving. Most mufflers are held in position with rubber hangers and clamps, but some are welded. Regards how it is connected to your car, you still need to remove the old muffler off the exhaust piping to install the new one.
If you don’t want to spend an additional payment for a technician to do the replacement, read this how to replace a muffler guide so that you can do it by yourself properly. Make sure you take all the safety precautions when jacking up or sawing into exhaust piping.
The sound the car exhaust system produces is due to many factors such as the exhaust design, the engine’s size and tune, and the muffler. The muffler has more to do with the exhaust sound than other parts of your car. The best solution is to change your muffler to reduce or eliminate the sound. Learning how to replace it without welding on your own can save you some money.
Why & When Should I Replace My Muffler?
Most vehicles made in the U.S. have mufflers that usually last around five to seven years. But, several factors like overexposure in salt roads, potholes, and speed bumps could result in early aging. Mufflers share common problems, regardless of their origin. Below are signs and reasons why you need to replace your muffler.
Reduced Engine Performance
If your exhaust system is not working correctly, it can cause the engine to malfunction. This will lead to several car engine problems, which will keep the engine to perform at its best. And because of this, the vehicle’s speed will decrease.
Annoying Sound in the Exhaust System
One of the apparent clues your muffler needs a replacement is when it produces an unbearably loud sound. But some people love the sound of it. Once you hear the unusual sound from your exhaust system, you will know right away that it’s your muffler.
Moisture is yet another factor that could affect the muffler’s performance. Too much moisture in the muffler can break it instantly and may have damaging effects on other parts. The problem is moisture remains inside, so you have to do something to remove it. If you encounter condensation problems during summer days, it means that your unit is broken or damaged.
If cleaning your car does not solve the strong odor problem, you should check your muffler. If you allow it to continue and ignore the smell, there will be a bigger problem. You need to take some effective measures right away to deal with it. Ignoring it could affect the overall performance of your vehicle. As the odor gets stronger, the more serious the muffler problem will be.
If there is an exhaust pipe problem, hazardous gases will enter the interior of your car. Passengers seated at the back can be affected badly as the gases contain carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, which are very harmful and might cause serious illnesses. Also, your car will release poisonous and toxic gases, which can affect the environment.
If your car has difficulty accelerating when you step on the brakes, there could be a leak somewhere in the exhaust system. Maybe your car’s muffler needs a replacement. Depending on where the leak is, the O2 sensor might have a problem or will not work at all. Changing the air/fuel mixture in the combustion chamber might solve the problem.
Engine failure can be due to muffler problems that include poor fuel consumption and slow acceleration. This happens when there is not enough mixture of fuel and air in the engine combustion chamber.
Do not ignore the problem with the exhaust system, regardless of the symptoms you are experiencing. Also, you may need to spend more money on costly maintenance by spending excess money on gas, which can add up easily.
How much does it cost to replace a muffler?
The cost of replacing an exhaust muffler is around $810 and $830. The working labor is between $70 and $90, and the restricted parts will cost between $742 and $802. Taxes and other fees will be into in the prices, and it depends on the type of car or location where you will have the repair. Sometimes it requires additional maintenance.
How long does it take to replace a muffler
Replacing the muffler typically takes around 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the type of your vehicle. An additional one hour or two may be needed if the downpipe or mid-pipe requires services. These pipes are not easy to reach and may need replacement together with your muffler.
Steps in Replacing the Muffler
Replacing the muffler is not easy and sometimes may require the intervention of an expert. However, you can do the replacement and make it easier by following the steps below.
What You Will Need
- Flathead screwdriver
- Metric socket
- Penetrating oil
- Work glasses
- Wheel chocks
A. Steps for Removing Muffler
Position your vehicle on a spacious, flat, and firm surface. Make sure the engine is cool to touch before you start working. Also, do not forget your working glasses to protect your eyes and gloves to keep your hands safe against sharp objects.
Step #1 Disconnect the Battery
With a socket wrench, loosen the nut that holds the ground cable on the negative terminal. Carefully slide the cable off of the terminal and place it on the battery’s side so it won’t pop up and gets in contact with the battery’s terminal.
Step #2 Jack the Vehicle Up
Lock the front wheels with wheel chocks. Find the jack points for at the back of your car. If you are not sure where the designated jack points are, refer to the car’s manual. Jack up the vehicle by turning the handle of a scissor jack or by lowering and lifting the jack handle.
If you think it is high enough to work safely underneath, support the vehicle’s weight by placing jack stands beneath.
Step #3 Spray Penetrating Oil
If the muffler is not welded correctly, you can use muffler clamps to secure it. Muffler clamps are U shaped tightened with nuts on either end. Since the muffler is exposed to road dirt and water, it may have a rust buildup. Use a rust penetrator, such as WD-40, on the bolts and let it soak for several minutes. For mufflers secured on the exhaust pipe with a flange, use the same process.
Step #4 Loosen the Nuts On the Muffler Clamps
After getting rid of the rust, locate the socket or hand wrench that fits the size of the nuts to loosen them on the exhaust clamp. You might need to replace the clamp, so you don’t have to worry if the bolt breaks. Then, pull the muffler toward the back of the car to slip the two pipes.
B. Steps on Installing Muffler
Step #1 Test Fit the New Muffler
Compare the new muffler with the old one. Ensure that the metal that the muffler hangs is in the same position, and it should have enough piping extended out from the muffler where you remove the old muffler. Check the piping diameter. The muffler should slide firmly on the exhaust pipe. If not, you can buy an adaptor that will fit the pipes perfectly.
Step #2 Insert the New Muffler Hangers
Slide the metal hanger on the muffler to the rubber eyelet to support the muffler’s weight. The rubber will prevent rattling or vibrating noise in the vehicle’s cabin once you have installed completely installed the muffler.
Step #3 Coat the End with an Exhaust Sealant
Before sliding the new muffler pipe in place, you can spray it with an exhaust sealant. Spraying on the new exhaust can help establish an airtight seal. This will reduce exhaust leaks.
Step #4 Sliding the Exhaust Together
Slide the muffler adaptor or piping on the existing exhaust pipe. Ensure the muffler is positioned below the rubber eyelet so it hangs straight up and down. Make sure it fits together tightly. You can use an adaptor to tighten the two pipes together.
Step #5 Use Muffler Clamps to Secure the Piping
Slide a muffler clamp to secure the piping. Use socket or hand wrench in tightening the clamp.
Step #6 Reconnect the Battery
Check any leaks by starting the engine. Ensure the vehicle with automatic transmissions is in park and if it has standard transmissions, they are set at neutral with the front wheels secured with chocks. Start the engine and check underneath where the new muffler and the exhaust piping meet. A leak is visible if there is one.
- Never touch the engine after driving for several hours. Let the engine cool down before you start working on replacing the muffler.
- Wear your working eyeglasses to protect your eyes from flying objects while working. Protect your hands from sharp items by wearing gloves.
- Follow the instructions thoroughly to avoid any mistakes and mishaps.
- Ensure you have tightened the clamp over where piping overlaps. If not, you might crush the exhaust piping.
The process of how to replace a muffler without welding is a bit complicated, but if you follow this guide carefully, you will not have any problems along the way. The muffler’s lifecycle will depend on the usage and on how you maintain it. Proper removal and replacing it with the correct muffler can prolong its life. The muffler is one of the integral parts of the vehicle, and if well-maintained, it can endure any road conditions.
Keep in mind that if you want your car to keep you protected on the road, take care of it properly. If you want to share your thoughts about the topic, feel free to comment below.