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Can a Muffler Get Clogged? [Signs and Symptoms]

The muffler is an important part of the exhaust system that reduces the noise and emits toxic fumes from the vehicle. Thus, you may have to expect some illnesses of this particular component since it functions without a break. Can a muffler get clogged? Yes, occasionally, you can see this issue due to some causes. Besides, you may already have spent a lot of money on mechanics to solve this problem. But do you know you can prevent this from happening beforehand? Let’s discuss the causes plus solutions regarding this issue so you will never have to spend money on that.

Can a Muffler Get Clogged?

Obviously! The muffler can get clogged due to several reasons. Especially because of the complexity of the parts of a muffler and its function, you need to care about the muffler. The main duty of the muffler, which is also called the silencer, is removing unnecessary noise from your vehicle. As the name suggests, it muffles the sound that the internal combustion engine creates.

Thus, the muffler can quickly become filthy. Moreover, sometimes the muffler’s internal baffles can be separated. As a result, it can get clogged and create some other problems as well. The main issue you can expect due to a clogged muffler is excessive backpressure. That means an increase in the pressure of the exhaust system. Eventually, it will be a cause of loss of power as well. If the situation gets worst, you will be unable to start the engine.

However, you do not need to worry because you can take care of the muffler. If you are knowledgeable regarding the parts of the muffler, you do not even have to visit a professional; you can do this task by yourself.

Symptoms of a Clogged Muffler 

There are some noticeable things that help you to measure the condition of your muffler. Since you can prevent the damage beforehand, it is worth knowing these symptoms.

  • First, you will notice a difference in the sound of the muffler while riding. If you can hear much more noise than on other days, the exhaust system can be leaked as well.
  • And you will smell a burning odor because the exhaust is so hot, and it may melt engine parts. What’s more, you can feel fuel odors as well. Since it is unsafe to inhale these odors, there is a risk of driving such a vehicle.
  • And the effectiveness of your engine can be decreased because of this issue. So if you are experiencing poor gas mileage, it can be a symptom of a clogged muffler.
  • Moreover, you might experience a lagging of power. When you accelerate, the engine can stutter.

If you want to make sure whether the muffler is clogged or not, you can identify this issue by the exhaust backpressure. In order to check the back pressure, you can use a pressure gauge or a vacuum gauge.

What Can Damage a Muffler? 

There are some causes that damage the muffler. The following are the most noticeable ones. And you can prevent these things from happening; those are not out of your control!

  1. It is not good to expose the muffler to salt consistently. Therefore, if you live in a coastal area, pay special attention to your vehicle.
  2. And the muffler always needs an exhaust system that does not exceed the capability of the vehicle. Thus, you should not install a custom-fabricated exhaust system.
  3. And if you are a fast driver, you might often hit the obstacles such as rocks. It will harm the muffler too.
  4. Moreover, if the muffler has condensation build-up, it can rust with time.

What Does a Failing Muffler Sound Like? 

We already mentioned that the sound of the muffler is one key point to understand its condition. If you hear a rumbling noise, you might have a damaged or clogged muffler, and it probably needs a repair. And this noise will be louder than the regular noise, so the excessive noise will be sometimes a legal issue in your country or state. Thus, keep aware of the sound of your muffler.

Can a Clogged Muffler Cause Misfire? 

Sometimes a clogged muffler causes a misfire or overheats the vehicle. Because a clogged muffler can block the exhaust system, and as a result, the temperature of the engine goes high. This can even be a treat to your life, so consider the smell and the sound of the muffler; if those are abnormal, the next worse thing you can expect is a misfire.

How Do you Clean a Clogged Muffler? 

Cleanliness is the most important for a healthy muffler. So do not miss this task! It is not difficult, and you only need some water, soap, a brush, and a towel to do the cleaning. However, keep in mind to clean the muffler when the vehicle is completely cooled down.

  1. First, melt some soap with regular tap water.
  2. Then, thoroughly spray the soapy water on the muffler and the pipe.
  3. Now use the brush and clean the muffler well. But if the muffler has become too unclean, you can apply some degreaser and clean it. There is a lot of effective degreasers in the market, and you can choose whatever you prefer.
  4. After cleaning, use a towel to wipe any residue and polish the muffler.

It is vital to do the cleaning regularly to keep your muffler healthy and effective. Thus, make sure to take some time.

What is the Lifespan of a Muffler? 

It is worth being aware of the life expectancy of the muffler since it really affects the effectiveness of the vehicle. A regular muffler’s lifespan lies between two and seven years. And if we measure it in miles, the muffler usually lasts 40,000 to 80,000 miles. But keep in mind this life expectancy can vary depending on the maintenance and the usage of the vehicle. And sometimes, environmental facts can affect this as well. Thus, keep aware of the above symptoms of a bad muffler and do repair whenever it is necessary.

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