Are you thinking about removing your vehicle's muffler? Known as a "muffler delete," it's become increasingly common in recent years. Some drivers remove their vehicle's muffler to achieve a slimmer and more streamlined profile, whereas others remove their vehicle's muffler to increase the sound level of their exhaust system. Regardless, you should think twice before removing your vehicle's muffler. Without a functional muffler, you may encounter the following problems.
What Is a Muffler?
Before we reveal why you shouldn't remove the muffler, let's first discuss the basics of this essential exhaust system component. A muffler, also known as a silencer in the United Kingdom, is a component of a vehicle's exhaust system that's designed to dampen both noise and vibrations produced by exhaust gases. They typically consists of chambers with fiberglass or other sound- and vibration-dampening materials. As exhaust gases pass through the muffler, they become quieter.
Your vehicle's undercarriage is more likely to develop rust without a muffler. During the combustion process, your vehicle's engine will produce water vapor as a byproduct, which is typically expelled out the muffler and tailpipe. The heat produced within the engine's combustion chamber causes moisture in the gas to evaporate in the form of steam. Without a muffler, though, all this moisture will exit underneath your vehicle. It may not happen overnight, but the constant stream of moisture vapor released by your vehicle may cause the undercarriage to rust.
More Emissions Inside Cabin
An even more concerning problem associated with a muffler delete is cabin emissions. Mufflers do more than just dampen the sound of a vehicle's exhaust system; they guide harmful exhaust gases away from the cabin. If you remove the muffler, exhaust gases may be sucked into your vehicle's cabin.
It Could Be Illegal
You might be surprised to learn that driving a vehicle without a muffler could be illegal. Many states and cities in the United States have sound ordinances to which a vehicle's stereo system as well as the muffler must comply. Without a muffler, of course, your vehicle will sound significantly louder. When you accelerate, more exhaust gases are pumped out of the engine to create a louder sound. And depending on where you are driving, this could be against the law.
To protect your vehicle's undercarriage from rust, minimize cabin emissions and comply with the law, you shouldn't remove your vehicle's muffler.