How To Quiet A Car Exhaust Without Losing Performance
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Do you find your car exhaust annoying as it suddenly went extremely loud?
Or did you buy a car with a loud exhaust but then had a change of heart?
Well, quieting it shouldn’t be such a problem. It probably happened to you that your exhaust suddenly goes loud without any reasons whatsoever.
It happened to me several times in my life, and every single one of them was unpleasant. I felt like everyone was staring at me for producing such noise in the traffic.
It’s not just annoying because you are hearing the loud sound, but also it reminds you all the time that something is broken on your car.
Trust me, I’ve been there a lot of times. So, it made me learn about quieting car exhaust on the harder way.
So, basically, when you know nothing about the exhaust, this might be a quite big problem for you.
But, nevertheless, it’s quite easy fixing it. There are some cheap methods, and there are those a bit more permanent that will require a bit more time and effort.
Following these steps, you will be able to make your exhaust quieter on both levels, inside and outside of the car. Now, let’s see some of the best methods to make your car exhaust quieter.
How To Quiet A Car Exhaust Without Losing Performance
What You'll Be Needing:
1. Find out the leak
In order to find the leak, which produces that unpleasant sound, you will need to find a firm surface and level it to the height that will allow you to safely work beneath your car.
What you are searching for is concrete or black top. Don’t risk your health with grass surface or something similarly unsteady.
Let your vehicle cool down. Don’t be surprised; exhaust pipes can cool down up to several hours before being able to work with.
Since it can reach some really high temperatures, it might take a while to cool it down.
Jack it up and you are ready to inspect for the leaks. Make sure to use jack stands as a precautionary measure.
Inspect the area and try to find any potential leaking spots. Search for the weak spots- rust, holes, or cracks.
Of course, if the car is the lower one, the damage might come from bumping into the holes or who knows what.
If you still can’t find the leak, turn on your vehicle. You will probably need a hand of a friend, to look for smoke underneath your car (exhaust) while the car is running.
Now, when you have finally found the leaking spot, you can finally approach fixing it. Depending on the size of the crack there are several methods.
2. Fix that leak
The first thing to know about fixing is that some of the damages might be easily fixed, while others kind of require a professional’s touch.
Mainly, related to this, there are 2 categories of leaks:
- Method for small leaks
Basically, if you find out that there is not much rust or that there is just a small leak- then you are in luck. This kind of leak can be easily fixed with repair epoxy or with exhaust tape.
It is quite easy, and it will stop that annoying noise effectively.
- Method for larger leaks
When it comes to larger leaks, they often cause unbearable noise. You will spot them right away and for their fixing, it might take a bit more time.
Use a patch combined with epoxy in order to seal this leak.
Firstly, you will need to figure out how big the patch must be. You can buy these patch kits at any auto part store. As an alternative, you can use aluminum can. That is one of the cheapest ways.
Once you find your sealing material, you need to scrub and clean both- exhaust pipe and the sealing material. Let’s assume that you are going with aluminum.
Once you clean it, measure the size that you will need to seal. Cut the aluminum so that there are at least several inches more than a hole actually is in order to cover it fully and successfully.
After you did cutting and cleaning, your materials are ready to attach together. Apply the Epoxy on both, sealing material and exhaust in order to stick it even harder.
Press the sealing material (aluminum) to the leaking hole and make sure you fix it without any leaks (spaces). Put even more Epoxy in order to seal it even better.
Use epoxy over the whole patch. You are more than 90% of your quiet exhaust quest. Now, all you need to do is to secure the patch is steady and fixed.
I mean, you don’t need to secure them, but it happened to me before that patch simply felt off during the ride, so after that, I’ve learned some things and started stiffing them with hose clamps.
Ever since then, I was able to enjoy my rides without strange looks going in my direction because of exhaust being so loud.
3. Replace the Muffler
If you feel that after that, you didn’t manage to make your exhaust quieter, then maybe you need to get a new muffler and replace it.
Now, you need to be careful with this one. Not all models will fit your car. The best solution would be to go to your local store of auto parts and ask for help.
You will need the specific year, and a model of your car in order to get the fitting muffler.
You can search for a muffler at some retail outlets, or you can easily find the universal ones that can easily fit your car.
However, once you find the fitting one, you need to replace it with an older one. It happens often that muffler is covered in rust.
That’s normal, since it’s exposed to water and really hard conditions.
Use WD-40 to loosen the bolts. You might need several applications before being able to remove the muffler.
In case there are muffler clamps, you can use a wrench to loosen it up.
Once you manage to split them, slide the muffler and the exhaust apart.
After removing it, use a rust penetrant to secure and clean the area around the exhaust. After a few minutes, you will be able to pull the muffler forward so that you can slip these two apart.
Once you remove the old one, you are ready to place your new, quiet muffler on its position. The procedure is reversed from removing, and it’s quite simple.
Make sure to apply exhaust sealant to ensure that there is no leak whatsoever.
This whole procedure, as it may sound confusing, it really isn’t. All you need to do, in order to make your car exhaust quieter without losing performance is to follow these simple steps.
4. Make the atmosphere quieter inside the car
Well, here is one solution that can actually work out for you. If your car is naturally loud, and that exhaust cannot be silenced unless you buy a new one, then, I might have the solution for you.
True, that solution will only satisfy you, and not other traffic participants. But let’s go with the method: if you don’t hear it, then it’s not there.
However, I’m talking about soundproofing your car from the inside, so that you can’t hear annoying car exhaust. To do this, you’ll need to combine sound deadeners with a noise blocker.
For the sound deadener, I would simply go with Fat Mat, as it has been shown as one of the best sound deadeners out there.
Sound deadeners are quite thick and heavy surfaces that you put on the most noise vulnerable parts of your car to reduce it even to 60-70%.
Unfortunately, the sound deadener will only stop the noise from your exhaust vibrating the car’s metal panels. It won’t do anything to block the noise coming through the car’s floor.
For that, you need Luxury Liner Pro, a high quality noise barrier from Second Skin Audio.
If you’re trying to stop exhaust noise, you’re going to need both a deadener and a blocker. Might as well do both at once. Here is what you need to do:
- Move your floor mats and remove upholstery
- Measure and cut sound deadener until it fits perfectly
- Most of the sound deadeners have adhesive on themselves, so simply laying it down will seal it
- Lay Luxury Liner Pro on top of your sound deadener, also cutting to fit. You want as few gaps in your barrier as possible. Many people choose to use an adhesive, but it’s not required.
- Return floor mats and upholstery
The deadener will drastically absorb and decrease vibration, and the MLV will block the unpleasant sound of your car exhaust.
You will be able to freely enjoy your rides without wearing some earplugs.
You might like: Dynamat vs FatMat: Which is a Better Sound Deadener?
On How to Make Your Car Exhaust Quieter
Given everything that I mentioned in the article, you can see that there are quite simple solutions to that embarrassing sound that your exhaust is making.
Some of them are oriented on fixing the problem (sealing the holes or changing the muffler), while others are more into ignoring them by soundproofing the entrance of your car.
In both of the cases, you will be able to cut the nose effectively. I hope that these steps will help in your fight with car exhaust noise without losing performance.
- Find out the leak
- Fix the leak
- Replace the muffler
- Make the atmosphere quieter inside the car