How to Choose a Muffler
Your muffler is a crucial component of the exhaust system. The main purpose of a muffler is to quiet (or muffle) the engine sound as it exits the motor. As the sound travels down the exhaust, it enters the muffler and is routed through a series of tubes that control the sound. Not all mufflers are created equal. Some allow a car to make more power and produce a louder exhaust note, while others can be quite restrictive, reducing power and making the exhaust note extremely quiet.
Decide what you want from the muffler. If you are looking for a upgrade, than check out the mufflers from a company that specializes in high-performance exhaust systems like Flowmaster or Magnaflow. These companies make many free-flowing mufflers, often made from durable materials like stainless steel, that will allow your engine to make more power as well as produce a deeper exhaust note from the engine. If on the other hand, you want to simply replace your stock muffler or even replace a performance muffler with a quieter muffler because it’s too loud, than take a look at OEM (original equipment manufacturer) mufflers. These will also usually be cheaper than the high-end aftermarket mufflers and are available from the parts department of the dealer that sells your make and model, local auto parts stores as well as muffler shops.
Determine what size your existing exhaust is. Before purchasing any muffler, whether it’s a high performance one or a stock muffler, first find out what the diameter of your existing exhaust system is. This will ensure that you purchase the right muffler that will fit properly on your exhaust system without having to use adapters. The best way to determine your exhaust size is to measure the diameter of the exhaust pipe with a ruler or a tape measure.
Choose a muffler based on your budget. There is a wide range of prices when it comes to mufflers. The high end mufflers from Magnaflow usually run around $60 or more, but you can buy a Flowmaster steel muffler for much less, usually $35 or under. If you are simply replacing a rusted muffler with a new muffler but do not desire any performance upgrade, then stick with a more inexpensive muffler. If on the other hand you have budgeted more money for your new muffler, than get the best part that you can afford. Not only will you get better performance, but the muffler will also likely last longer than a cheaper one.