Car muffler: what it is for and how it works

The muffler is one of the hardly visible components of cars that are checked during the periodic overhaul , and is essential for the correct functioning of the engine .

Here is what the “exhaust pipe” is and how it works.

What is the car muffler

Born in 1950, the muffler has gone from being a secondary component to playing a fundamental role in the environmental compatibility of cars.

An essential part of the exhaust system, its main task is to expel the combustion gases, through specific pipes (hence the old wording “exhaust pipes), until they are expelled: all this procedure, in practice practically immediate, is essential for proper engine operation.

So if in the beginning the muffler was only used to reduce the intensity of the noise produced by the emission of gases, today it is instead a fundamental part of the process of controlling and reducing their polluting level.

For this reason, along with its modernization, the regulations for compliance with environmental pollution limits have also evolved: the muffler now, in addition to being produced in compliance with the standards set by law, must be constantly subjected to checks to work at its best.

Read also why and how to clean the car muffler .

An example of a muffler

How the muffler works

The muffler is made up of a set of pipes that make up the exhaust manifold : based on the number of cylinders in the engine, there will be a pipe that flows into a single union through the connecting flanges. The last part of the manifold is the silencer, after the hose, a fitting that absorbs the movements of the engine.

The desired effect is called “Venturi”: thanks to the depression created, it prevents the engine from carrying out this work, and preserving it.

In this passage, the exhaust gases also pass through the catalyst: in the most modern engines there are sensors that make it easier for the engine to calibrate the air / petrol mixture and reduce emissions to the maximum.

Damage to the muffler

The muffler cannot be seen, but it is “heard”: for this reason one of the first ways to realize that it is not working at its best is to listen carefully to its sound .

If faulty, the noise will be unusual and very audible: in this case there may be holes in the tube or rust spots, all damage that compromises its efficiency.

Why does it happen? Being a part of the vehicle exposed to the elements, it is subject to wear and above all to the action of rust: this is why it could “puncture” or break in contact with some roughness of the ground.


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