When your car muffler is ready to be replaced or upgraded, you'll know it from the loud noises coming from the bottom of your car. Many people choose to take their car to the auto shop in this case, but you can replace the muffler at home as well. With the proper tools and instruction, you can take on this light mechanical task and save on labor costs.
Choose the Right Muffler
Checking with your car manufacturer is the best way to find the right muffler for a replacement or upgrade. Find out what size muffler you need and what parts you will need to attach it to your car. You can shop at auto part stores or through reputable online merchants. Used mufflers are not recommended as they can wear too quickly.
Prepare Your Car
Move your car into an area where you can move under the car easily and safely. Have a jack readily available as well as a wrench, hammer, lubricant, ratchets, and a hacksaw. You might not need all of these tools, but having them ready is advisable. Working with a partner can help you complete this project safely.
Taking Off the Old Car Muffler
Start by raising the car with the jack to give you access to the muffler in the back. If you have a lift to further support the car, this will be even safer. Remember to never place yourself entirely under a car that is only supported by a jack, use jack stands. If there are hangers in place, remove them and their brackets now. Take the lubricant and spray it on the bolts of your muffler system to help loosen them. Take the ratchets or a wrench and begin to pull these bolts off the old muffler. If you can not remove the bolts, you might need to use the hacksaw to saw them off. Clean off the area around the bolts with a rag and remove any foreign objects which might be lodged in the undercarriage.
Replacing the Car Muffler
Have a friend or a lift balance the new car muffler in its intended position. Once there, begin to screw in the new bolts to attach the muffler. Add the muffler hangers to further secure the piece. The bolts should be tight and the muffler will be attached to the body of the car as a result.
Checking Your Work
Once the car muffler is in place, it’s time to test your work. Turn on the car to see if things have gotten quieter. If not, turn the car off and recheck the bolts to see if they need tightening. If not, check the hangers to see if they are tight enough. Check the car again by starting the engine. Another possible problem may be loose gaskets. Try removing the entire muffler and starting the process again.
A car muffler project can be give you a great sense of achievement while saving you money. And if things aren’t working out well, a mechanic is only a phone call away.