Any vehicle with an internal combustion engine and an exhaust system is bound to have a device called a muffler. There are two purposes in which a muffler serves for any vehicle. The first purpose is to lower the volume of the noise that is generated by the exhaust system. The muffler redirects this noise so that it goes out of the exhaust pipes. That way, the passengers and everyone close to the vehicle will not be annoyed by these noises. As for the second purpose of the muffler, it is to allow the exhaust gases from the internal combustion engine to flow away from the engine.
The average muffler will stay strong for up to 7 years. However, there are certain driving conditions which could wear out your muffler faster if you experience them on a regular basis. For instance, if you normally drive on roads near the ocean or on icy roads that have been salted, then your muffler could wear much faster from the salt.
Another danger to mufflers is regularly driving over potholes or hitting speed bumps. The longer you put your vehicle under these conditions, the more likely that your muffler will suffer for it. The result will be one or more holes forming in your muffler. Once that happens, it will fail to do its job properly.
The Top 5 Symptoms
When a hole begins to form in your muffler, there are some warning signs that you need to look out for. As soon as you notice these symptoms, you need to get your muffler replaced right away.
Below are the top 5 symptoms of having a hole in your muffler.
Loud Noises – Obviously, the number one symptom of a hole in the muffler is noise. Since a strong muffler is supposed to reduce noise, a weak muffler with a hole in it will fail at its job. This means the noises that would normally be reduced will now be louder. If you don’t replace the muffler soon, the hole will only expand and get bigger in the muffler. Then, these rumbling sounds will grow louder at the same time.
Carbon Monoxide – The muffler prevents carbon monoxide from the exhaust gases to get into the interior cabin where everyone sits in the vehicle. But if the muffler has a hole in it, the carbon monoxide will be able to find its way into the cabin. The scary thing is that you won’t be able to smell, see or taste this toxic gas. Instead, you will just feel the effects of it. Some of these effects include dizziness, headaches, tiredness, and trouble breathing. If you breathe it in for too long, it can lead to death.
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Emissions Test Failure – You cannot see carbon emissions when they come out of your tailpipe, but they are there. The only way to know if you’re producing fewer carbon emissions is to get an emissions test. Some states require you to get these tests while others do not. If you happen to live in a state that requires you to get the test and then you end up failing it, this could be due to a hole in the muffler.
Rust Holes – Mufflers normally have small holes called “weep holes.” The purpose of these holes is to let water drain out of the muffler so that rust does not form. But if you see rust holes forming close to the exhaust pipes, these are not the weep holes. Anytime you see rust holes, you need to be worried.
Engine Misfires – It is important for the entire exhaust system to be functional to ensure the engine runs smoothly. If just one component of the exhaust system is damaged or worn out, then it will cause an engine misfire. A hole in the muffler is one possible way your engine could misfire.