How Do Mufflers Work?

The Magic of Your Muffler

Compared to the total size of your vehicle, the muffler is fairly small.  Even so, it seems to almost magically eliminate the majority of noise generated by your car’s combustion process.  While this is a mystery to many drivers, the experts at Integrity Automotive in Williamstown, New Jersey, understand the workings of your auto’s exhaust system.  Should you find that you need exhaust system repair or muffler replacement, we are here to assist you.

Simple Science 

Okay, so your car’s muffler just seems to be magical.  In reality, it works on simple scientific principles.  When the engine’s pistons, spark plugs, and valves work in unison during the combustion process, exhaust gases are released when the valves open after each small, controlled explosion.  This makes a lot of noise.  Noise, which is actually energy waves, enters the muffler.  The muffler itself is made of aluminum-coated steel.  The steel provides strength, while the aluminum buffers the structure from the exhaust’s chemicals and heat.  The interior of the muffler has tubes that are full of precisely bored holes.  As sound waves move through the holes, they bounce off the muffler walls and collide with more incoming waves.  The lower energy rebounding waves and the higher energy incoming waves cancel each other out when they bump together.  The result is a much lower energy, greatly reduced sound wave.  This means that the noise emitted from the automobile is much less than it would have been without a muffler.  Also, since it is located at the lower rear of the car, the muffler directs toxic exhaust fumes away from the passenger area.

A Funny Story:  What Your Muffler Is NOT 

The Williamstown community was originally called Squankum, the name given to it by its original inhabitants, Native Americans from the Lenni–Lenape tribe.  Interestingly, Squankum translates as “the place where evil spirits dwell.”  And exactly what were those evil spirits?  It is believed that this was a reference to the area’s numerous, aggravating mosquitoes.  Those irritating little “spirits” are still around today, but your car should not belch exhaust that resembles a mosquito fogger.  You need a good muffler, and you’ll have to find another means of pest control.

The Road to Repair 

If your muffler goes bad, you will need to have it replaced by a reputable auto repair shop.  The most obvious sign of trouble is an excessively noisy car.  However, the muffler does more than just control sound.  If you notice a sudden drop in gas mileage, your muffler could be the culprit.  Also, if you begin smelling bad odors when you drive, there could be an exhaust system issue involving the muffler.  As with any exhaust issue, a bad muffler may trigger a warning light and trouble code that will prevent your vehicle from passing inspection until it is corrected.  If you have a muffler-related concern, let Integrity Automotive help you make repairs and quiet your car.

Written by Integrity Automotive

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