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What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Muffler?

Most drivers want to keep their vehicles running at the highest performance level possible. This means that all the recommended vehicle maintenance items should be kept up-to-date, which includes an inspection and maintenance of the exhaust system. Today’s newer vehicles have a computer sensor that monitors fuel economy and overall performance, pinpointing a problem before it gets serious, which means that problems in the exhaust system can be detected early on.

Are you wondering what are the symptoms of a bad muffler? When mufflers become worn out, they are unable to effectively “muffler” the sound of the vehicle’s exhaust. The exhaust system is most effective when it is operating quietly in the background. Unfortunately, this means it is often “out of sight; out of mind” until a problem starts to develop. Mufflers could last from five to seven years, but there are several issues that can cause them to wear out prematurely.

So what are the symptoms of a bad muffler? Here are three common problems:

  1. Excessive Noise – A good exhaust system should keep your car running quietly and not sound like a roaring monster.
  2. Decreased fuel mileage – If your miles per gallon has decreased and you find yourself filling the tank more often than usual, have the exhaust system checked out. 
  3. Obnoxious odor – Toxic emissions should be directed outside and away from your vehicle through the muffler. If you are smelling exhaust fumes inside your car, there is a leak or some other problem that needs to be checked out.

How does a muffler gets damaged, you wonder? There are several causes of problems that could develop in exhaust systems, some of them unavoidable:

  • Exposure to the salt used on icy and snowy roads, or living by the ocean.
  • Driving too fast over speed bumps, potholes, or other objects in the road.
  • Custom fabrication not recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Condensation from the exhaust pipes rusting out the seams of the muffler so that it leaks exhaust fumes and noise.

Need to know more about the symptoms of a bad muffler? Contact our ASE Certified technicians at Dependable Car Care for more information about exhaust system issues and to schedule an inspection. Our auto shop proudly serves residents in the community of Ventura, CA, and the surrounding area.