Exhaust Silencers On Performance & Mileage: Is It Bad?

Exhaust Silencers

Exhaust silencers are that one must have car accessory which reduces the noise while you come out of your home or while entering into some crowded place. Although, if you’re planning for a performance upgrade, then I would suggest not to use the exhaust silencers until and unless it is necessary. There are many people who believe that using the exhaust silencers on their loud vehicles like two-wheelers makes it sound like a normal vehicle (if they compare). Well, this is not exactly true! 

Since the volume of air passing through any kind of machine increases with an increase in its speed, thus when there’s too much wind coming from the vehicle’s engine at high speeds creating a lot of pressure, so by putting a muffler on the end of the exhaust pipe, you’re pushing some air out which creates a lower pressure at that point. This is what makes your vehicle sounds quieter when you switch on the ignition. However, since there’s reduced air flow due to silencer, it decreases energy while increasing fuel consumption .

Since these are very temporary fixes for making your vehicle sound quiet so I would suggest not using them if you have any plans for performance upgrades in future. Aftermarket mufflers are one effective solution for this problem which increase power and throttle response by packing up the engine with more horsepower. But sometimes they don’t fit into tight spaces or under certain conditions or may require welding & cutting of panels etc., so always go for aftermarket mufflers only if there’s an option to do so.

If you’re planning to keep your vehicle stock, then there is no need of installing any performance mufflers & just use the factory silencers (if they are in working condition) which don’t affect performance at all. However, if you like the noise coming out of your engine while driving in off-road conditions or in traffic jam city roads, then I would suggest not to use the exhaust silencers since it will make your vehicle sound like a tractor when compared to sports bikes around having loud exhausts (without silencer). So this is my suggestion based on personal experience that using the exhaust silencers should be given a second thought before doing so.

Why do cars have them?

For normal road conditions, the factory silencers are good enough to reduce the noise pollution. But when it comes to off-road or extreme conditions where high engine sound is required for safety reasons, then there should be no exhaust silencers because you need all the power & volume of your engine for maximum output without any hindrance which can be done only by removing the silencer.

Types of exhaust silencers 

There are two types of silencers which may vary according to their construction technology. Here they are:

(i) Active type silencer: This is the most advanced, efficient & expensive technology used in designing a silencer which can offer protection up-to 70 dB or more. Since this kind of exhaust system uses the latest technology, so it’s very sophisticated & costly too. But since it offers noise cancellation at maximum level, you won’t face any issue even if you don’t want to use the aftermarket mufflers (which I would suggest).

(ii) Passive type silencer: It offers noise cancellation from 10dB to 30dB only and is suitable for normal road conditions only where a loud sound coming out of your engine isn’t required for safety purposes.

How to know that the silencer has been removed?

If you’re driving your vehicle on a normal road, then it’s hard to notice if any one of your silencers are removed since there are two more left which offer proper noise cancellation. But when you drive through an off-road track or in traffic jam conditions where you need maximum engine sound without any hindrance, then there should be no exhaust silencers because you need all the power & volume of your engine for maximum output without any other noise coming out from air flow. So this is why I’m suggesting not to use the factory installed exhaust silencers until and unless they’re needed, especially in case of motorcycles. It will make them sound like a tractor when compared to sports bikes with loud exhausts (without silencer).

So this is why I’m suggesting not to use the factory installed exhaust silencers until and unless they’re needed, especially in case of motorcycles. It will make them sound like a tractor when compared to sports bikes with loud exhausts (without silencer).

How much dB your vehicle loses after removing the mufflers?

The amount of noise reduction you get after removing the mufflers & fitting performance ones depends upon whether you’re using an active type or passive type of silencer. According to research, it’s been observed that if all three of your car’s original silencers are removed then there will be a tremendous increase in sound level by more than 30 dB which is just too much according to me.

I have personally experienced that the performance silencers are able to reduce sound level by 7-10 dB only, so if you can ride your vehicle on a normal road where lots of traffic is present & the engine sound isn’t required for safety purposes then I would suggest not to remove any one of factory installed mufflers since it’s costly and requires expert skills + tools needed for installation.

How much do they cost to replace?

Replacing the factory installed mufflers with performance ones will cost about $150-$300 at your nearest automotive store, so it’s always better to maintain the level of noise pollution by not using them. Remember! There are no cranes or forklifts present in real life so you must use loud exhaust systems only when you’re driving through rough conditions either on-road or off-road.

Exhaust silencers reduce weight too

You may think that they don’t reduce any weight since they look bulky & heavy but it’s totally opposite. They’re made up of steel and aluminum which makes them lightweight yet effective for increasing sound level (without making them sound like a tractor) but make sure they’ve got proper absorption materials used inside them for reducing noise by maximum dB.

Are there any other benefits apart from increased sound level & weight reduction?

Yes! There are many more advantages like they provide protection to your engine in case you drive on rough roads since the vibrations coming out of the road surface is reduced, they make your vehicle look stylish (if installed properly), last longer than usual and finally… They reduce fuel consumption too !!!

I personally believe that increased sound level in vehicles is important for safety purposes especially in traffic jam conditions or when you’re in off-road conditions without having cranes or forklifts around you. Even if you have a good exhaust system then it’s recommended to remove mufflers & get performance ones installed because it offers big weight reductions + increases in dB by 7-10dB.

I always suggest that if you’re not using your vehicle in traffic jam conditions then it’s better to use the factory installed mufflers only because they’ve got proper absorption materials used inside them which makes them moderate according to noise pollution standards (if you can hear engine sound at speeds more than 60km/h). So make sure not to remove any one of these mufflers until and unless it’s required since there are chances of increase in weight & fuel consumption, also because the road vibrations will go straight into engine which might reduce its lifespan over time. So beware!

Do they impact performance and mileage?

Replacing the factory installed mufflers with performance ones won’t have any impact on your vehicle’s performance & mileage since they’re designed for both. But if you remove them then yes! there are chances of decline in mileage and increase in weight.

Do I need to install complete new exhaust system?

If you’re replacing factory installed mufflers with the aftermarket ones then it’s recommended that you should get all three of them replaced at once rather than doing it individually because if one of these is not properly installed then the time taken to produce maximum dB will be longer, plus… You might face fuel emissions problems too.

How long do they last?

The usual expected lifetime of an average car’s exhaust systems are about 10-15 years which varies upon the conditions of use. But if you update your stock mufflers with performance ones then they’ll last longer than usual because they’ve got an added advantage of being lightweight, that’s why it won’t have any impact on your vehicle’s suspension system. Plus… They reduce fuel consumption too !!!

Why do some exhaust systems produce louder sound?

They’re made up of steel and other metals so their density makes them absorb heat more easily, so when you step on the accelerator pedal in cold weather conditions then hot air gets released out from the engine resulting in increased dB level since there are no factory installed mufflers to moderate its noise. But these loud exhaust systems are not advisable for daily usage since continuous exposure to high dB levels can result in hearing problems or loss of hearing so it’s better to have them factory installed only.

When are they not advisable?

It’s recommended that you should never use performance mufflers when your vehicle is running in cold ambient conditions because doing so will increase the dB level more than usual with no advantages at all !!! You must always keep in mind that sound is nothing but vibrations, due to which… Air becomes warmer i.e., its molecules become less dense & more hot air gets released out through engine resulting in increased dB levels. And if you install performance mufflers during this condition (which doesn’t allow the heat to escape properly) then there are chances of more fuel usage, damage or disease for your car’s exhaust system parts and increased dB levels too.

Pros and cons of having them on your car!

Aftermarket performance mufflers have the following main benefits which are as follows:

– They save fuel. – Have added advantages of being lightweight & offer big weight reductions. – Produce good noise cancellation effect. – They’re mostly preferred over factory installed mufflers which offer moderate dB levels, so if you want to go loud then it’s better to have them !

– They reduce weight really well but don’t remove them completely because factory installed mufflers serve the purpose of absorption materials too which helps in maintaining balance between sound suppression and engine vibration reduction which is why they’re able to moderate noise more effectively! Plus… If your vehicle is running on cold air induction then you must never use aftermarket performance mufflers because that’ll increase fuel consumption and dB level.

– They don’t allow the heat to escape properly (which is the primary reason to reduce fuel consumption) and such performance mufflers can produce terrible noise cancellation effect at higher rpm’s because of their lightweight, but they’re still able to keep the sound level down! So… If you’re searching for performance gains then it’s recommended that you should go for those mufflers which offer both dB & weight reduction benefits and if you want a louder exhaust system with good music quality then there are chances of bad noise cancellation effect too.

So now we come to know that these factory installed mufflers only serve the purpose of lowering sound levels by suppressing high frequency waves rather than absorbing them completely because otherwise, engine would run hotter resulting in more fuel consumption which is why these mufflers are able to moderate the sound levels more effectively, but high frequency waves (which escape out through your exhaust system) leads to poor music quality and if you’ve got aftermarket performance mufflers then it could be worse since they focus on suppressing low frequencies instead of high ones because their lightweight nature doesn’t allow them to absorb sound properly!

Aftermarket performance mufflers have the following main drawbacks which are as follows:

– They don’t integrate well with factory installed exhaust system.

– Only suppress sound levels, but don’t absorb it completely.

– Produce poor music quality at high RPM’s which are the main reasons of increased dB level.

– More fuel consumption due to incomplete heat dissipation process.

Conclusion:

In a nutshell, factory installed mufflers are always the best because they’re designed with proper insulation materials to keep the heat from getting dissipated into surrounding air which results in reduced fuel consumption & have absorbent stones on them so as to produce good music quality.

But if you really want a louder exhaust system for a better music quality then there are chances of increased dB levels too because your vehicle’s going to run warmer and more fuel will be consumed. So… If you want both sound & weight reduction benefits without any drawbacks, then it’s recommended that you should install performance mufflers which offer increase in noise cancellation where low frequency waves get suppressed instead of high ones!

And one final yet important thing I’d like to tell is that if you want to go for an aftermarket performance muffler then always use the ones which are made from stainless steel because they’re more durable and offer better music quality than other cheap materials available.

I hope this article has solved all your queries and it’ll help you make an informed decision. Please share this article if you found it interesting! Thanks 😊

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