This is a no brainer. Engine sound will be the most significant change after a new muffler. Different types of muffler produce different sounds – ranging from super loud and aggressive to moderate ones.
To me, the most important thing is to ensure I know what my car will sound like prior to buying.
I suggest you listen to the before and after sounds of the muffler and pay attention to these:
- What does it sound like when idle?
- What does it sound like when you accelerate?
- Is it too loud from the outside?
- Is it too loud from the inside?
You can find plenty of muffler sounds on YouTube – especially if your brand of choice is a reputable one. Always listen to the sound before you purchase and that you like it. Do not just rely on the brochure info.
What is okay for them may be too loud for you. Here’s an example YouTube video showcasing the sound after installing a muffler.
This defines whether the installation process is a breeze or a nightmare. Make sure you measure the diameter of your existing exhaust pipe. The exhaust pipe should slide right into the muffler tip.
The listed measurement of a muffler usually refers to the inner diameter. Whereas the measurement of an exhaust pipe is the outer diameter.
This means if your exhaust pipe is listed as 3”, it should work well with a muffler that’s listed as 3”.
Here’s a great video I found on YouTube explaining the sizing. And also what you need to do if your piping doesn’t fit. (Hopefully you don’t need this!)
Without getting into too much details, here are the 3 styles of a muffler:
- Chambered Mufflers: Designed to reduce noise with performance in mind.
- Straight-through Mufflers: Designed with only performance in mind. Very loud.
- Turbo Mufflers: Very effective in reducing noise but lowers performance.
I recommend that you focus on the chambered muffler. They are most popular, provide great sound and do not negatively impact performance. Straight-through mufflers are extremely noisy and deafening.
And who here wants their performance negatively impacted? Yeah I don’t think so 🙂
Mufflers are usually built with stainless steel or aluminized steel. Both are very common but I would suggest going for stainless steel. Mufflers are very prone to rust – in fact, they are usually the first component in the exhaust system that will rust.
Stainless steel is highly effective against rust and they are more durable than aluminized steel. Yes, stainless steel could be a bit more expensive (additional ~$15) but they are definitely worth it in the long run. So listen to me and get a stainless steel muffler. Only get the aluminized steel if stainless steel is not available.
I would recommend finding mufflers that have a lifetime warranty. If your muffler of choice doesn’t have lifetime warranty, then you should at least look for a 3-year warranty.
Customer reviews are always the most important thing to look at. You can find these reviews in online stores like Amazon or AutoAnything.
Pay attention to the sound changes – are they satisfied with it? How was the installation process? Did it fit as intended? Or do they need additional work and tooling.
Also look for customer reviews in forums or YouTube videos. I am sure you can find plenty of reviews – especially if your muffler of choice is from reputable brands.
Before and after videos are also great. It tells you clearly what you get from the product.