Muffler problems can be loud and annoying, but many drivers do not view them as critical problems. Since an obnoxious muffler leak won't usually produce any immediate drivability symptoms, many people view these problems as minor annoyances. Unfortunately, putting off a critical muffler repair may lead to more serious future issues.
If you've been ignoring an unpleasant droning from your car's muffler, it may be time to stop living with the noise and contact a qualified exhaust repair shop. Keep reading to learn three ways that deferring this repair might cost you more money in the future or even lead to more serious consequences.
1. You Might Be Breaking the Law
Nearly all state codes contain laws prohibiting excess exhaust noise. These laws can vary, with some states leaving excessive noise violations up to individual discretion and others listing objective dbA values. Whatever the case, driving a vehicle with a loud muffler can potentially result in fines or other penalties.
The longer you wait to conduct repairs on your muffler, the more likely you may receive a violation for exceeding noise laws. Local ordinances may also prohibit noisy exhaust equipment, sometimes with stricter requirements than state laws. If you travel often, you may pass through an area with these restrictions without even knowing it.
2. The Problem Will Get Worse
Manufacturers typically construct major exhaust components from metal with a special plating to resist corrosion. However, your muffler and other parts of your exhaust system face extreme exposure to the elements. If you live in an area with harsh winters, your exhaust may spend much of the year coated in highly corrosive road salt.
Muffler problems and other exhaust leaks often develop when this corrosion punches through the metal, allowing unfiltered exhaust gases and noise to escape. Once corrosion takes hold, it will likely worsen over time. The longer you wait to repair the issue, the noisier your car will become. Your muffler may also become so damaged that patching is no longer possible, forcing a complete replacement.
3. You May Be Leaking Exhaust Gases
Exhaust gases are incredibly harmful, and part of the job of your exhaust system is to route them away from your car's cabin. Any exhaust gases that leak from under your car can potentially find their way inside, exposing you to deadly carbon monoxide and other harmful exhaust chemicals. A hole in your muffler can potentially provide this pathway.
While exhaust gases typically smell unpleasant, carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless. Since only small quantities of this gas can be extremely harmful and you cannot know how much is entering your car, dealing with your muffler leak as soon as possible is usually the safest option.
For more information on muffler repair, contact an auto shop such as Dualtone Muffler Brake and Alignment.