How to Know When a Muffler Is Broken

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In order to know whether or not a muffler is broken, someone will have to get underneath the car to take a look at it. Listen for increased noise that indicates a broken muffler with help from a certified master mechanic in this free video on car maintenance.

Part of the Video Series: Car Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Good afternoon. My name is Tom Brintzenhofe, certified master mechanic out of Redding, PA. Today, I'm going to talk to you a little bit about how to know if your muffler's broken. Now, there's really no way to tell other than getting underneath and taking a looking at it...take a look at it and see if it's cracked. You can hear sometimes you increase noise when you're driving down the road. But there's really no way to tell unless you actually physically get underneath the car and look to see where your exhaust problem is. It might be a crack further up the line on your pipe and it might sound like your muffler went back, but unfortunately, it's not. It might be an intermediate pipe. It could be a pipe...just a little extension pipe going inside your muffler -- it might have broke off or it might actually be your muffler that cracked or one of the baffles that broke it off on the inside. But to make a long story short, there's really not going to be a good way to tell you unless you actually get underneath it and physically look at it. Now, if a muffler is broke, sometimes it'll make a lot more noise. But unfortunately, you look at the outside and you won't see any difference. You won't see any cracks anywhere follow up through. If you start the car up and listen to it while you're underneath the back end of it, you'll be able to tell basically where the exhaust leak is. If you don't see a leak anywhere, just the increased noise is bothering you, a lot of times, on the inside of the muffler's the baffles break off. You'll be able to hear it rattle, but you won't see a leak anywhere. The only thing you'll get is the added noise. That's the best thing I can tell you with how to find out if your muffler's broken.

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