Two things can pop a hole in your muffler: road salt and impact. There is road salt on the winter roads here in Troy, OH, and salt increases the oxidation that forms the rust that eats through metal. If you drive over bumps, potholes, and other road hazards too fast, the impact can damage the muffler. Do you think you have a hole in your vehicle’s muffler? Trojan Auto Care lists five signs that you might.
As you know, the muffler muffles engine noise. Vehicles without mufflers or modified mufflers are quite loud. If your car, truck, or utility vehicle has suddenly become so loud that you can’t stand it, you might have a hole in the muffler. In some cases, the engine noise is so loud you might end up with a moving violation if you don’t get the muffler fixed.
If your car is making you sick, you might have a hole in the muffler. An exhaust leak introduces the carbon monoxide produced by your vehicle’s engine into the interior cabin. You won’t be able to smell or see the carbon monoxide, but you might find yourself suffering from dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and trouble breathing when you drive your car.
3. Emissions Failure
The hole in your muffler can also cause your automobile to fail an emissions test. If the hole is large enough, outside air will be sucked into the emissions stream via the muffler and then pushed out of the tailpipe. If anything, including fresh air, throws off the exhaust’s carbon balance, your vehicle might shut off the testing machine or fail the emissions test.
4. Rusted Holes
As we mentioned in the introduction, road salt can encourage the muffler’s premature rusting that will eat a hole through it. All mufflers have small holes through which water drains, but your vehicle’s muffler should not have holes near the tailpipe(s). If it does, these are likely holes caused by rust eating through the muffler’s metal surface.
5. Misfiring Engine
An engine will misfire if the spark plugs are worn or installed in the wrong order, but it might also misfire if there is a hole in your muffler. Other exhaust system trouble can also cause your car, truck, or C/SUV’s engine to misfire, so it’s important to get the source of the misfire fixed ASAP. It could be an exhaust, fuel, combustion, or ignition problem.