Unless you’re a drag racer or a sports car driver, a loud exhaust is probably not one of the qualities you’re looking for in a car.
Usually, a noisy exhaust happens because of either one of these things:
- A leak
- Big or small holes in the exhaust pipe
- Rusty exhaust pipes
Don’t worry, though! Investing in a new muffler, a new exhaust pipe, or fixing these problems through DIY are all possible.
To help you out, we prepared a complete guide on how to make a car exhaust quieter.
How to Make Exhaust Quieter in 5 Ways
Car noise makes for an unpleasant ride all around. For the driver, the passengers, and pedestrians. If your vehicle is too noisy, it could lead to a bad driving experience.
If exhaust noise has been giving you a lot of grief, there are a couple of different ways and tips to make your exhaust quieter.
Depending on what causes the loud exhaust sound, here are 5 ways to make your car exhaust quieter without affecting your vehicle’s performance.
1. Fix the Leak
Did you recently discover a hole in some part of your exhaust pipe?
Is your exhaust pipe leaking?
Don’t panic. A small hole in an exhaust is actually a relatively EASY fix.
You simply need to make sure you have the proper materials. Say hello to heat-resistant epoxy! (Safety Fact: Make sure it’s heat resistant because an exhaust can get extremely hot).
Is it hard to use?
Heat-resistant epoxy is not too complicated a product to use, and the instructions are clear and straightforward, making for a quick installation process.
These products may take a while to set completely, but rest assured, they will seal the small hole in your exhaust.
If the hole in the exhaust is too big for a simple epoxy stick, try muffler cement. Dynomax muffler cement is a good option.
Precautions Using Muffler Cement
This product comes in a 16-ounce tube which is significantly more than a 2-ounce epoxy stick. Understand how big the leak is and ensure you have enough product to seal the hole properly.
The last thing you want is to patch up this large hole and find out there are still smaller holes you might have missed.
Here are a few reminders as well:
- Make sure to work safely and cleanly
- Wear safety gloves to protect your bare skin from any of the products. (No one wants their skin to look like The Thing, right?)
- Be sure to clean off any rust from the exhaust or from the surface that you’re going to be applying the products.
However, if your car exhaust has far too many holes or is covered in rust, it may be a better idea just to buy a new one.
2. Invest in a Quiet Muffler
Notice the part at the end of your exhaust system? The one that surrounds the end of the pipe before the opening?
THAT is your exhaust muffler.
Most cars come with one already attached, and their primary purpose is to muffle the sound coming from the exhaust. It’s not just a performance or aesthetic boost.
After some time, the muffler becomes worn out and doesn’t work as well as it used to (Aww shucks).
If the engine noise bothers you from the inside of your car, one way you can fix this is to get a new muffler.
Different mufflers are designed for different cars and exhausts, so be sure to find out which muffler is the best for your car.
Now here’s something you might be wondering: Should you install it yourself?
It’s better and SAFER to get a mechanic to change your muffler since they know best which mufflers work for which cars.
However, if you plan on changing the muffler yourself, make sure to look up several Youtube videos, such as this one, to be sure you’re doing a proper job:
These videos will show you all the tools you will need to change out and install your new muffler.
This method requires you to get a little bit more down and dirty than simply patching up your exhaust. Make sure to check that you clean your area and remove your existing muffler properly.
You can always call a friend or a mechanic to help you out if this seems like too big a job to do alone.
3. DIY Quiet Mufflers
We know this method may seem somewhat unorthodox. A DIY car muffler? Aren’t car exhaust systems extremely technical?
“I’m not a mechanic or an engineer…I don’t know how my engine or car exhaust works.”
Lucky for you, these DIY soundproof mufflers have been tried and tested, and for most people, they do work.
This is the best way to make your car exhaust quieter if you’re looking for low-cost solutions. You just need some sound-deadening material that will absorb the exhaust noise.
If you’re out of options and want a quiet exhaust without compromising any savings, DIY quiet mufflers are something you should seriously consider.
Some sound-deadening materials you’ll use to place inside your muffler include:
- Steel scrubs
- Steel wool
- Fiberglass packing
Several videos online, like this one, can show you how to design and properly execute your DIY car exhaust muffler:
It would help if you kept in mind using heat-resistant materials, again, because a car exhaust can get very hot.
Call a mechanic if you have little to no experience doing this, and make sure to do enough research on your own.
4. Get a Muffler Silencer
Another solution to your noise problem is to use a muffler silencer. These are small tubes that you slip into the exhaust pipe and make the exhaust exit narrower.
Allow us to explain how it works:
Two things: a narrow exit and a small length of pipe extended from the exhaust. In effect, the sound waves from the exhaust system cancel out, making your loud car exhaust quieter.
Ready-made silencers are incredibly easy to use. All you need to do is place the silencer into the exhaust pipe, and that’s all there is to it.
Yes, friends. It’s as easy as fitting a pair of socks.
This is also the easiest solution for a loud exhaust problem. HOWEVER, make sure your particular car exhaust has the correct pipe to fit a muffler silencer.
For this part, the only challenge to this soundproofing way is to find the right size.
Is it really necessary? Yes – the reason for this is that some car exhaust pipes are bent instead of straight, and it will be challenging to get a silencer to fit.
So just make sure to do your research on the type of car exhaust silencers available to you.
5. Use a DIY Silencer
If you can’t afford a pre-made car exhaust silencer, you can always try a DIY silencer.
Although DIY methods on your exhaust system should always be done with some caution, if you have no other ways or options to fix your car engine noise, this could still work for you.
If your car has two exhaust pipes, you can plug one up to make your exhaust quieter.
Try using a jar lid to cover up one of the pipe holes, which should significantly decrease the sound coming from your exhaust.
Before doing this, consult a mechanic if blocking your exhaust flow will not cause your car to overheat or have any negative effects.
If your car only has one exhaust, then you can try fashioning your own silencer with some other things around the house.
In this video, for example, they used a soda can that was stuffed with steel wool to create a silencer.
Like the DIY muffler, any sound-deadening materials that can resist heat, such as fiber-glass packing or steel scrubs, would be a good option for this.
Many DIY projects like this result in fixing exhaust noise in cars, and they do not seem to have adverse effects on vehicle performance or function.
Although this way may solve the exhaust noise problem, DIY solutions will always have their own risks. Do research beforehand and maybe consult a mechanic.
Check Where the Noise From Your Exhaust is Coming From
Don’t jump to conclusions about your exhaust without first making sure what the problems could be.
You always have to check up on the performance of your car anyway.
Once you make sure the noisiness is coming from your exhaust and not your engine, you should check for these problems:
- Cars are usually fitted with their own exhaust silencers. If your car exhaust has become too noisy, that often means you have an old exhaust, and you will have to get a new one. That is the usual case.
- In some rare cases, an exhaust just has too powerful a performance, making too much noise.
- Another common cause of noisiness in an exhaust could be a leak. You will have to inspect your car to see if there is any smoke coming from underneath your vehicle.
- If you also find a puddle of oil underneath the car, then likely, your car exhaust has a leak.
These are the most common causes of exhaust noise.
Still, whatever the case, there is no exhaust without fault, and the vehicle owner always has the responsibility to ensure their car is working correctly.
What To Do If You Still Hear Car Noise?
If you were able to silence your exhaust with one of the methods above but still find that children or older people have problems inside your car, you can try car insulation soundproofing.
Use sound deadening materials inside your vehicle to absorb noise from inside the cabin.
- Soundproofing mats either on your roof or on the floors should absorb any noise coming from the engine or the exhaust bothering passengers inside the car.
- Sound deadening sprays for a thinner and more stripped-down appearance to your car interior may also work.
Many of these options do not cost too much and are easy to follow.
Quieting your car will allow you to have a better driving experience and a smoother ride.
You will be able to fully enjoy your vehicle’s performance without any extra noise distracting you, your passengers, or pedestrians.
Quieting your exhaust may even help in some states where a noisy exhaust is illegal.
Nothing about these methods has proven to affect car performance negatively, so there is no reason for you not to try any of these low-cost tips that will quiet your noisy exhaust without breaking the bank.
July 12, 2021 – removed 2 article links
June 24, 2021 – fixed and updated article formatting and content