It can be frustrating to drive a car with a loud exhaust. You want your vehicle’s engine to sound good, but you also don’t want it to annoy other motorists or pedestrians. But how to quiet car exhaust without losing performance.
The good news is that you can find a way to reduce the noise without sacrificing performance.
We have a lot of different ways to fix noisy exhaust pipes. Some are easy and can be done at home.
Others might need to be done by a professional. But we need to remember that it is important to delegate tasks and not try to do everything on our own.
In this article, I’m going to share some tips on how you can silence the exhaust without affecting your vehicle’s performance.
Table of Contents
What Makes an Exhaust Loud/Noisy?
Many people are unaware that the loudness of an exhaust system is derived from how efficiently it can disperse heat.
It needs to be able to release energy in a way so as not to overheat and affect engine performance, but also make the car sound better.
There are many reasons why your exhaust could be producing a loud noise.
Probably your car exhaust could be old and worn out. If the exhaust is old, the smoke will no longer be removed with filtration, and it might affect those in your car.
If you’ve replaced your exhaust recently, it could be a sign that the new system is too large or has been poorly installed.
The other possibility is that your muffler was damaged in an accident or needs to be serviced because of corrosion from saltwater exposure on roads near oceans and lakes.
On the other hand, maintenance has been neglected. If you do not clean the vehicle’s air filter often, it can have an adverse impact on how the car runs.
As a result of dirt and debris, an engine produces an unbearably loud sound that ruins any driving experience.
Exhausts can also get noisy if there are leaks caused by loose bolts, cracks in pipes, improperly tightened clamps and gaskets, rusting hangers and brackets, and corroded floor pans which affect how vibration travels through the car chassis.
It’s best to have all these checked as soon as possible before they cause more problems down the line.
To see if you have these problems with your car, park your car. Check if there is any smoke or puddles under it. To make sure you are safe, do this on a flat surface with the handbrake on.
Now that you know the main causes of the noise, let’s look at different ways to stop it.
How to Quiet Exhaust Without Losing Performance
There are some of the best ways through which you can quiet the Exhaust without losing the performance.
Let’s have a look at them in detail and make your car sound like the stealthiest thing you’ve ever seen.
Find the leakage
If you have a leak in your exhaust system, it will sound like the noise is coming from that area.
The first thing you need to take a look at is the leakage point, which can make your car’s problems even worse.
You’ll want to find out where it started from so that you can focus on fixing this issue instead of waiting for something else to happen in order to be fixed.
You have two options when doing this work:
flat area or elevated surfaces such as an auto jack – whatever suits your needs and preferences best.
Once you’re set up with what will help elevate the vehicle, start by looking underneath carefully.
Try not to get too close because exhaust pipes reach high temperatures but these are only some safety considerations before getting under there.
A good way to find an exhaust leak is with soapy water and ground chalk on areas around any seams found near mufflers or pipes.
For example: if there’s a soft spot when stepping on a section of ground chalk – this may indicate an exhaust pipe leaking underneath.
If the leak is coming from a seam or weld, then you need to find the source of how it’s happening.
But if you find no problems then you might need to use a friend. Turn the car on and find the place where there is leakage.
Now, as soon as you find the leaking spot, it’s time to start tackling fixing it head-on.
Depending on how big the crack is there are a variety of methods just waiting for your attention.
Fix That Leak
Fixing is a process that can sometimes be done by someone who is not an expert. Some things are easy to fix, but others really need a professional.
Leaking exhaust can be fixed in two ways. Either there is a small leak, or there is a big leak.
Repairing your small exhaust leak point is a simple process that can be done in under ten minutes.
You will be able to get the best result without losing performance if you use epoxy or exhaust tape for the fix.
The instructions on the packaging should make it relatively straightforward to follow along, so you can avoid any confusion.
However, if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to deal with a larger hole, this may not be enough.
A product like a muffler cement will probably work better than other products. So buy a tube of it to fix the problem you are having.
Clean the rust off of any spots that need to be treated before applying products.
If you have holes in the exhaust, try not to fix it. You would be better off replacing it with a new one.
Invest in a Quiet Muffler
The muffler is a necessary part of the car’s exhaust system, which connects the last section of the pipe before the opening cut.
It is also designed to regulate the airflow from your engine, making it quieter for those around you while also ensuring that enough oxygen enters the system so as not to cause a backfire or blowout.
To make the engine quieter without sacrificing performance, equip a new muffler.
Carefully research what will and won’t fit your car before you buy anything.
One of the best ways to address this problem is by stopping by your local auto store for help. Alternatively, you can also reach out to Collision or Auto Parts services.
To find the right muffler for your car, you will need its year and model.
You have two options for mufflers – a retail outlet or a universal brand that easily fits your car.
Once you find the new muffler, you need to replace the old one. It happens often that the old muffler is covered in rust.
To quiet your exhaust without affecting performance, first, loosen the bolts using WD-40.
If there are clamps holding the muffler to the exhaust pipe, use a wrench and remove it.
Once you’ve split them apart, slide the muffler off of the end of your car’s exhaust pipe.
After eliminating the muffler and rust, use a spray bottle to apply some penetrating oil at the spot where it was before you pull on either end of it.
After a few minutes have passed, you should be able to slide these two parts of the muffler apart.
Once it is removed, use a wire hanger with firm strength to clear out any residue left on metal pipe ends before reinstalling the new one
Once the old muffler is removed, attach a new one.
Be extra careful when installing the pipes, check for any leaks, and tighten all connector pieces.
This procedure may sound confusing but it is not. All you need to do is follow these steps.
Also, you can watch YouTube videos and refer to specific guides for any instructions in the installation process.
If you’re unsure, it is always wise to hire an expert for the job, rather than fumbling around with clamps and bolts.
DIY Quiet Mufflers
The next option you have is to make your own mufflers. If you’re on a budget and don’t want to purchase a new muffler, DIY options are your best option.
A popular technique to quiet the exhaust is to add sound-deadening material. Some commonly used materials are steel wool, fiberglass, and metal mesh.
If you do not know how to do this, don’t try and fix it yourself. It is better to call a mechanic and get them to fix it for you.
You can find out more if you want by searching online or looking at videos that show how the process works.
If you cannot afford to create a premade silencer, you may need to spend time making your own. You should note that this is a risky undertaking.
There are many ways you can make a silencer, but one of the most popular methods is using a ball of steel wool, soda can, or jar lid.
Most of these methods will work fairly well, but you should be cautious if you are not 100% sure that your plans will succeed.
If experimentation is your forte, then this trick is for you. Take a soft drink can and drill holes in the bottom of the can.
Cut off the top section of the can so that it fits over your exhaust pipe without blocking any airflow, but be sure to leave enough length between layers so as not to restrict airflow.
This simple and inexpensive DIY tip quickly takes care of the problem and you can feel the difference right away.
Buy a Silencer
If you are really serious about making your exhaust quieter, then consider buying a silencer. Silencers come in all shapes and sizes so it’s important to buy one that is compatible with the type of car you have.
Experts recommend looking for a high-quality stainless steel or aluminum product if possible since these can handle higher temperatures than other materials.
A good place to start is by visiting your local auto parts store and getting advice from experts on what type would work best for you.
While this option won’t fully silence the sound like some of the other solutions, it is an easy and cheap fix.
Other Hacks for Quieting a Car
A major issue for many drivers is the noise that comes from their vehicles.
Apart from exhaust systems, there are other things that you can do to keep the experience quieter.
These are easy and comparatively cheaper than anything else on the market so let’s take a look at them:
Make the car’s cabin soundproof:
Noise from your car is often not just outside of the vehicle. We can reduce cabin noise inside the car by using soundproof floor mats.
You’ll be able to find them for sale online and at many local shops and hardware stores.
They are inexpensive, easy to install, and will really make a difference with how loud it feels when you’re driving
It’s never too late to catch a simple detail. Keep your car up to date with routine maintenance and keep it in tip-top shape so you can enjoy the ride without skimping on the best experience.
You might not notice the effect your exhaust has on pedestrians or other drivers until it’s too late.
If you’re looking to save yourself money in the long run, updating your car regularly is a worthwhile endeavor.
Research Before You Buy Anything:
Buying third-party exhaust and accessories for your car can be expensive.
Before purchasing any, take the time to research customer reviews from other customers who also bought the same product.
Check reviews for quality and compatibility. If you are searching for it from another country, make sure to check whether it’s legal in your area to use that accessory or not.
Although these accessories may be legal no matter where they come from, keep this in the back of your mind while searching.
On How to Quiet Exhaust Without Losing Performance
So, if you’ve been looking for ways to make your car quieter and more luxurious, try one of these methods.
You’ll reap the benefits not just in the long run but also immediately as you start traveling down a less noisy path with better gas mileage.
And don’t forget that when it comes to sound mufflers, what’s good for you is good for everyone else too.
Read this article to find out how we can help you achieve a quiet ride.
Do Exhaust Tips Change the Sound?
The most common question from automotive online communities is how to quiet an exhaust.
Loud exhaust can be a nuisance for pedestrians, and it’s illegal in some states.
Changing the exhaust tips does result in changes in sound but this depends on the materials used to make the tips, as well as the size of the tip diameter.
For example, a 5-inch exhaust tip diameter will have a different sound than 1.5 inches.
Do Resonators Make Exhaust Quieter?
No, resonators don’t make your vehicle exhaust sound quieter. They actually have the opposite effect and typically make the exhaust very loud.
What Changes the Sound of an Exhaust?
There are many factors that may play a role in how noisy your car’s exhaust is but two of the most crucial things that affect sound output include:
1- Your vehicle engine
2- Exhaust systems included in your car
What Are the Possible Reasons Why the Exhaust Pipes Became Noisy?
The noise coming from certain exhaust pipes can be a sign of either older or more powerful vehicles.
Unfortunately, old cars are likely to produce louder noises because rust causes a loosening of the system’s grip and eventual failure.
You should always check your exhaust and listen for weird sounds. Do not forget to check for leaks too.