Muffler replacements are not the most common repair a vehicle needs, but there are reasons to upgrade even if your existing muffler is still doing its job. In addition to those who upgrade as part of a repair or overhaul on an old exhaust that has become inefficient, there are also a lot of people who upgrade for the performance benefits, especially if they are also upgrading engine components for better performance.
Increase Engine Output
Muffler upgrades help you by moving exhaust fumes away from your engine more efficiently that an aging, worn muffler can. When you shop OEM parts, you refresh the performance to what it was when the muffler was new. If you go for a upgraded aftermarket design, though, you can change the way your exhaust airflow works, and that helps augment the gains you make with other performance upgrades like a larger air intake or upgraded spark plugs. Learn more about the specific performance enhancements you can find with different mufflers by consulting the Buying Guide – Flowmaster Muffler.
Allows More Airflow Throughout Your Vehicle
When you upgrade Exhaust/Mufflers, you get the chance to increase the total airflow through your vehicle, but only if you also make the most of your vehicle's air intake. With increased airflow both into and out of the engine, it is easier to get a quick response and higher performance peaks, especially if you perform other power upgrades.
Remember, the key to power in your engine is the right supply of fuel and air with the right engine timing. You need to upgrade every part of the process to get the best performance possible from your car.
How Long Do Mufflers and Exhaust Systems Last?
It is quite common for exhaust systems to last 10 years or more before needing a major overhaul, but you may notice your performance dropping off well before you need a replacement because the muffler just isn't working for you. If you live in areas where corrosion is more likely because of salt air or road salt, you might wind up replacing your muffler well before someone in a less corrosive climate. Pre-emptive care to prevent and remediate rust can help, though.
Planning Your Total Performance Upgrade
If you are wondering when you should plan a muffler upgrade to make the most of your other performance parts, it is worth making a full list of your intended enhancements. From there, you can more easily see which ones will help the performance of the others and research the costs associated with them. Between the cost and the actual part performance, it's usually easy to figure out what order would do you the most good.
If you are not sure which upgrades you need, it helps to consult resources that can tell you about your options like the Buying Guide – Dodge Charger Upgrades. That will fill in the details you need to know before committing to an upgrade path and laying out money for your next round of parts.