How To Quiet Exhaust Without Losing Performance

Many car owners often want to know how to quiet exhaust without losing performance.

Is there a leak in the exhaust, or was the exhaust as noisy from the beginning?

If your car exhaust has just gotten too loud, it’s uncomfortable you are not alone. Sometimes you will barely notice how loud the exhaust is until people start starring at you angrily for making too much noise in traffic.

If you find the exhaust noise annoying, there are a few things you can do to minimize the noise.

Below we outline the processes to follow and highlight products that are sure to deliver the desired results.

Why Is the Exhaust Noisy?

Before you try any method to quiet the exhaust, you first need to determine why it is making noise in the first place.

The most common problem is that the exhaust is too old.

If you have had your car for many years, the exhaust may be rusted, not to mention all other parts that may have loosened over time.

It is also possible that the exhaust may be too powerful for your vehicle.

You should consider this if you just had your exhaust system replaced because the more power you get, the more noise you have to endure.

Another cause of noise in the exhaust is leakage.

If the exhaust system has a crack or hole in it, its noise may become unbearable.

How do you diagnose the problem?

Well, for leaks, you have to get under the car and examine the exhaust system.

Steps To Follow When Examining the Exhaust for Leaks

First, you need to park the car on level ground, preferably on concrete, and engage the handbrake.

You want to ensure that the car cannot slip and crush you when you are under it.

Check for any signs of leaks under the car.

If the exhaust system is leaking, you will mostly see smoke puddles where it is parked.

If you don’t see any puddles, start the car and see whether you will see any smoke from the exhaust system.

You may need to find a friend to help with starting the car as you check for leaks.

Check for weak spots, cracks, and signs of rust while you are under the car.

You can jack the car up if the space under the car is too small for your comfort.

Remember that you have to allow enough time for the exhaust system to cool if you have to get under the car.

The system may take hours to cool down entirely, especially after a long drive.

Ways on How to Quiet Exhaust Without Loosing Performance

Now that you know the condition of your exhaust, it is easier to know which solution will rectify the problem. The solutions available include:

1. Fix The Leak

Fixing that leak may be all you need to enjoy your quiet ride again.

For small leaks, heat-resistant epoxy works great, while muffler cement is recommended for the larger holes.

These products come with instructions on how to use them. If you need more information, head to YouTube for easy-to-follow videos.

Before applying the above solutions, clean the exhaust pipe and get rid of as much rust as possible. In case the exhaust has too many holes, you should consider investing in a new one.

2. Get A Silencer

(See Price on Amazon)

This solution is ideal for the exhaust that still produces too much noise even without any physical damage. A silencer will reduce the hole exhaust noise passes through hence reducing the noise.

A store-bought silencer is easy to fit. Just slip it inside the exhaust pipe.

When you go shopping, be sure to ask the right make for your car. You will notice a considerable fall in the exhaust noise after installing the silencer.

You can also make a DIY silencer using steel wire, jar lid, or soda can. Watch tutorials on YouTube and take all precautions to ensure your safety.

3. Fit In A Muffler

A quiet performance muffler is your best bet if you want to reduce the noise coming from your exhaust considerably.

The muffler is fitted in the last bit of the exhaust pipe, making it highly effective in trapping all that noise.

In case you had installed a muffler, get a new one. It is possible that the old piece is worn out hence the increase in exhaust noise.

Since mufflers are affordable, do not hesitate to go for the most advanced piece you can get. It is a small price to pay for the quiet you will enjoy once the muffler is installed.

Check out Amazon for a huge selection of mufflers in the market.

Ensure that you get the right type of muffler for your vehicle and read reviews to see what others have to say about your pick.

If you plan to fix the muffler without professional help, ensure that you get information on how to fix it right. If not properly fitted, the muffler will not be as effective in reducing exhaust noise.

You can also make a DIY muffler using sound-deadening materials such as fiberglass and steel scrubs.

Whichever sound-deadener you pick, ensure that it is heat resistant and safe for your vehicle.

4. Take Care Of The Car Interiors

If your car exhaust is still noisy and you do not want to buy a new one yet, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you enjoy relative quiet inside the car.

Use a quality sound-deadener to stop the vibrations from the exhaust from affecting the car panels.

You can add soundproofing mats on the floor to further stop noise from getting inside the cabin.

Amazon has a vast selection of sound-deadening materials for cars, so you will be spoilt for choice when you go shopping.

Get some thick sound deadening material that can easily stick to the car panels. You will find enough self-adhesive roll-on options in this category.

With these panels, all you need to do is stick them to the surface.

Some varieties act as sound and thermal insulators, so you will be killing two birds with one stone.

Soundproofing spray is another great option for minimizing the noise getting inside the cabin. It is easier to work with and will go to even those hard-to-reach areas.

For car sound-deadening materials, go for reputable brands like Fatmat, Dynamat, and Noico, to mention but a few.

You may need to go for the thicker varieties if you want total quiet in your car.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can a performance exhaust be quiet?

Yes, a performance exhaust can be quiet. A car’s exhaust note is caused by the resonance of air in a pipe with a specific diameter. Resonance depends upon the length of the pipe and other factors, but for a given circumference and length, there will be a specific frequency at which this resonance occurs. If you cut off most of the exhaust pipe, this frequency increases because you have shortened the length of the resonating air column.

Are longer mufflers quieter?

For street riders who want more sound out of their exhaust system, installing aftermarket mufflers that are longer than stock can reduce perceived noise levels at the expense of power . Installing shorter mufflers will increase both power and perceived noise levels.

Does muffler size affect sound?

Yes and no. Yes, a larger muffler will lower sound levels, and no if it is too large than power gains can be reduced. The trick to properly sizing a performance exhaust system is finding the right balance between noise, flow and backpressure. Of course these 3 characteristics are interconnected as well as interdependent on each other.

What is considered illegal exhaust?

An exhaust pipe modification is considered illegal if the noise emitted exceeds 95 decibels. However, it’s also important to note that California smog laws and other set laws can still make your custom exhaust illegal even when it doesn’t exceed 95 decibels.

Final Thought

A noisy exhaust can be rectified with ease.

If you have been looking for information on how to quiet exhaust without losing performance, the above solutions will deliver the results you are looking for.

In addition to installing a muffler or silencer in the exhaust system, you can go a step further and soundproof your car cabin.

This way, you get to minimize the noise going to the environment and the sounds getting into the cabin.

If you are on a tight budget, use the DIY solutions highlighted above to achieve a quiet ride. Most of the materials you need for DIY mufflers and silencers are readily available, so you don’t need to spend any money.

Also Read: How to Make A Portable Generator Quieter

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How to Make a Car Quieter Inside


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