Does your vehicle sound like it's chugging down the road? Are you leaving a dark, smelly cloud in your wake?
You're probably in need of muffler repair or exhaust system repair.
The muffler is an integral part of your vehicle's exhaust system, but do you know how it works?
When it's running, your engine makes a lot of noise and produces toxic gases. The sound waves and gases are expelled from the engine through the exhaust manifold and into the catalytic converter, where the gases are filtered into carbon dioxide and water.
From there, the CO2 and sound waves enter the muffler where they get bounced around a series of pipes and chambers to break up the sound energy that our ears interpret as noise. The most stubborn sound waves are then bounced into the resonator where they are destroyed and expelled, along with the CO2, through the tail pipe.
Here's a great explanation on how mufflers work from the Science Channel.
What causes exhaust system problems?
Rust is usually the culprit when it comes to muffler failure or exhaust system leaks, especially after a brutal Chicago winter. Small holes and other damage can result normal driving conditions, however, and muffler repair is necessary.
Even something as seemingly insignificant as a faulty oxygen sensor can lead to exhaust system trouble in the catalytic converter. If the sensors read the mix of fuel to air incorrectly, the engine will compensate by adding more or less fuel to the ratio. If the catalytic converter has to process too much un-burned fuel, it will fail. Catastrophic catalytic converter failure can even result in an engine fire.
Plus, catalytic converter replacement can take anywhere from $500 to a thousand bucks out of your pocket. So do your bank account a big favor and replace that little oxygen sensor.
How can I tell if I need muffler repair or exhaust system repair?
It might start with an annoying rattle or a clanking noise, but exhaust system troubles can get serious. The combustion process produces carbon monoxide. A leak in your exhaust system could allow this colorless, odorless gas to seep into the cabin of your vehicle. Even limited exposure can cause headaches, nausea and vomiting. Extended exposure will affect your reaction time and can cause unconsciousness and even death.
Exhaust leaks can also comprise your vehicle's performance and reduce fuel efficiency.
Where can I go for muffler repair in Chicago?
If your vehicle sounds louder than normal or if you notice a peculiar smell while you're driving, bring it to your Chicago-area Tuffy shop immediately. Our ASE certified technicians will check it out at no charge. If you need muffler repair or work done on your exhaust system, we'll recommend a solution and discuss your options with you before we begin any repairs.