In this guide, you will learn different methods on how to make a muffler quieter without losing performance.
Nothing is annoying than driving around with a noisy car that leaves everyone on the road cursing on you.
Most importantly, certain states here in the US have laws that regulate the use of loud mufflers. (Original)
This means that you might get yourself arrested if you drive to such states.
Did you know that there are actual DIY hacks that will help you fix the muffler noise problem without losing performance?
The best part is that you will only need affordable automotive sound deadening materials to fix the problem.
Below is a detailed guide.
What Makes a Car Muffler Loud?
There are several causes of loud/noisy mufflers.
You could be having an old and worn out exhaust system, resulting in loud noises.
Alternatively, your exhaust system might be too powerful hence loud.
Another scenario could be that the noise is leaking. In most cases, this happens if the catalytic converter is missing/stolen.
Inspect for smoke or puddles underneath the car.
Simple DIY Hacks on How to Make a Muffler Quieter
Now that you’re aware of the potential culprits, it’s time to learn how to make a muffler quieter in order to enjoy quieter rides more than ever.
1. Locate the Source of the Leak
The first step to making a muffler quiet is by locating and fixing the source of the noise leak.
Look around the muffler for any holes that may be causing the noise.
If you find them, you should use an epoxy which is heat resistant to fix them.
You should also have a repair kit for the job.
The best thing about the epoxy is that they come with a set of instruction from the manufacturer on how to install it easily.
You may not need a professional to help to do it for you.
Follow these steps If you intend to fix the hole by yourself.
- Start by jacking up the vehicle then put jack stand below the car to support it.
- Ensure you have located where the holes are on the exhaust then mark them using caulk.
- Clean around these areas to remove dirt using a small brush, particularly toothbrush.
- Once clean, rough it up using sandpaper to make it smooth enough for the epoxy to stick.
- Use acetone to wipe the surrounding area.
- Wrap the tape around the holes.
Ensure that the tape you use is right for a hot pipe since some require the pipe to be wet first.
If it is a big hole, you should follow these procedures:
- Start by cutting a large patch of the can using scissors and ensure it is large enough to cover the hole.
- Cover the whole area with epoxy.
- Take the patch you cut and cover it with epoxy and do it that for the area surrounding the patch.
- Then use a hose clamp to hold the patch in place tightly, especially on the part the holes are.
However, if the hole is too big for the epoxy, you should use a muffler cement to seal them.
Dynomax Muffler Cement is an excellent example of cement that you should use.
The procedure is still similar only that you will be using the cement at this point.
Before you begin to cement the muffler, you need to clean and remove all debris and dirt that may have stuck in the holes.
However, if the muffler is covered in holes, it is best if you considered replacing the whole thing.
Also, check if the muffler has not rusted since rusting is also a significant contributor to noise.
2. Tighten the Loose Parts
Loose parts in your muffler could also be the reason why it is making noise.
Over time, the parts making the muffler may loosen due to continued use, especially if you drive on rough terrain.
As you drive around rough terrain, you will hear metallic clanking, which indicates that there are loose parts in the muffler.
If you pay close attention to the type of noise produced by the muffler, you could diagnose what the problem is.
For instance, a high-pitched noise shows that loose parts are below the car.
On the other hand, a lower-pitched noise indicates that exhaust has misaligned or its hangers have become loose.
If the hanger is the problem, you should wiggle them a little bit to locate the source of the noise then secure it in its place.
Once you do this, the problem will be fixed instantly.
3. Use a Wrap
It would be best if you also considered wrapping the muffler using a muffler wrapper.
Though this method may not eliminate the noise from the muffler, it will significantly reduce the noise.
These wrappers have also proven to be quite effective DIY underhood insulation, as they help reduce noise and also insulate against heat.
You need to purchase a wrap that is thick enough to deaden the noise.
Also, go for a muffler that is of good quality as this will determine whether it’s going to last or not.
A good example is a titanium wrap which can withstand the heat of up to 1400°C.
You will need to dip the wrap in water then wrapping around the muffler slowly as you work your way from the first point to the last.
4. Purchase a Quiet Muffler
The easiest way you could fix noise is by replacing with a quiet performance muffler.
This method is best if you have tried all other options with no success.
Manufactures now understand how tough it is to deal with a noisy muffler; for this reason, they have created better muffler.
When purchasing the muffler, you should remember that each muffler is specifically designed for each model and make of a vehicle.
It is best if you purchase the right one for your vehicle.
Once you have found the right one, you need to remove the old muffler first before installing it.
You may need help to remove the old muffler considering the years and the exposure to dirt and moisture.
Start by applying some lubricant to loosen up the clamps and bolts before removing them.
If it is rusty, you should use some penetrating spray to clean them out.
Before attaching the muffler, you need to check for the manufacturer instructions.
It would help if you also used enough epoxy to attach and properly seal the muffler in place.
5. Invest in a DIY Quiet Muffler
Another option to making the muffler quiet is investing in a soundproof muffler which is also known as the DIY quiet muffler.
A DIY muffler is best when you don’t have the budget for a new muffler.
You should purchase a good quality sound deadening material which will help dampen the noise travelling through the exhaust system.
An excellent material to use is fiberglass because it is resistant to heat.
6. Buy a Silencer
You could also buy a silencer for the muffler to make it quiet.
What the silencer does is to narrow the way through which the noise from the muffler travels through.
When purchasing the silencers ensure you go for the one that is designed for your vehicle model and type; otherwise, it’s going to cause you problems.
A silencer is also one of the most effective methods you can use to make a noisy generator quiet.
If the silencer seems expensive, you could try making one at home.
Though it is not highly recommended, a DIY silencer is also effective.
It would be best if you had a lid, steel wool and a soda can to make the silencer.
Several you-tubers have come up with a step to step procedure on how to make one.
On How to Make A Muffler Quieter
Above are some of the most recommended methods on how to make a muffler quieter.
You will be able to achieve quitter rides without annoying anyone or getting pulled over by the cops especially if you reside in states like Colorado where they’ve put restrictions on the muffler you can use.
Have any recommendation not listed in this guide? Please let us know in the comment section down below.
Hi, my name is Todd R. Bressler and I am the founder of this soundproofing blog. I’m a DIY enthusiast from Cincinnati, the city that just beat New York for the City That Never Sleeps Award in 2020. (Original) I have been in the DIY soundproofing industry for close to 5 years, running a YouTube channel and a Podcast show every Saturday. I started Crafty Soundproofing to help you learn the basics of “self defending yourself against noise”
Have an idea worth sharing? Please contact me and I’ll be happy to respond ASAP.