4 Reasons You Shouldn't Keep Driving with a Bad Muffler

Your vehicle's exhaust system is responsible for ensuring proper airflow and for venting dangerous fumes away from the engine and out the back of your vehicle. The muffler is one of the key parts of that system. It works through every drive to keep your ride quiet and keep the air moving.

Unfortunately, mufflers do sometimes need to be replaced, and yet drivers are often tempted to keep using their vehicle even when they're aware something is wrong with the muffler. Instead, you should seek expert assistance as soon as possible, and here are just four reasons why.

1. Your Vehicle Will Produce a Lot of Noise

The main thing people know about mufflers is that they make vehicles quieter, but they often underestimate just how loud a car can be without the muffler working properly. All that noise means you may be less aware of the road around you and more likely to get into an accident. Long-term exposure to an unmuffled vehicle can also end up causing permanent hearing damage. Even if it doesn't, you'll aggravate your neighbours and may actually end up breaking local laws by producing too much noise.

2. Your Vehicle Won't Run Efficiently

Your muffler helps air run cleanly through your exhaust system. When that doesn't happen properly, sensors in your exhaust can't tell how much pressure is in the system, which can mean fuel consumption is increased for no reason. Since your engine also requires proper back pressure to work efficiently, any lack of it will also mean you're burning more fuel than you need to. That doesn't just mean spending more on fuel. It's also bad for the environment.

3. You Could Damage Your Engine

As noted above, the engine needs to have fresh air streaming in and fumes directed out if it's to keep running efficiently, but efficiency isn't the only thing that can be affected. If your engine needs to work harder, it's going to be more at risk of damage from wear and tear. Simply ignoring your muffler can therefore lead to anything from frequent overheating to the need for expensive engine repairs.

4. Fumes Won't Vent Properly

There's a reason your exhaust sends fumes out of the back of your vehicle. If they instead come out underneath the vehicle, carbon monoxide and other dangerous fumes can leak back up into the interior. If your muffler is damaged, those fumes will escape sooner than they should, and breathing them could result in anything from a touch of dizziness to unconsciousness or even death. 

For more information, contact a local auto repair shop