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Clogged Mufflers And Exhaust Systems And The Problems They Cause

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When your muffler works as it should, you should have decent acceleration with reduced noise. However, if you have a clogged muffler or clogged exhaust pipes, you may have serious problems. Not only will your car not run well, but you could also risk illness. Here is more to know about clogged mufflers and exhaust systems and how they cause problems.

What Causes Clogged Mufflers and Exhaust Pipes?

Your exhaust system can clog at any point, including at the muffler. The muffler has an internal design to allow for the greatest airflow while muffling the engine's sound. However, if its insides break down, it could clog. Mufflers also can clog because your catalytic converter has broken down. The converter is located ahead of the muffler between it and the engine. Parts can break apart, move down the system, and get clogged in the muffler.

Exhaust pipes clog for similar reasons. If the insides of it or other components in the line break apart, then a pipe can clog. Also, debris from the outside, like leaves and animals, can enter through the tailpipe. With both mufflers and exhaust pipes, damage to either part can restrict airflow like a clog.

What Are Signs of Clogged Mufflers and Exhaust Pipes?

If your muffler or exhaust system is completely clogged, then your car's engine likely won't run. The clog creates extreme backpressure and a lack of airflow. Both of these interfere with the internal combustion process and shuts down the engine. If your muffler and exhaust pipe are only partially clogged, then you will notice a lack of power and slow acceleration. You may also experience engine overheating.

A partially clogged muffler will also change how your engine sounds. You will likely notice exhaust smells inside the vehicle as leaks may develop around the joints. In some cases, you could also smell gasoline. Your oxygen sensor will try to compensate for the lack of airflow and oxygen by increasing fuel flow. Your check engine light may also illuminate.

While mufflers and exhaust systems should last for many years, they aren't indestructible. The common way to repair them is to replace the clogged or damaged parts. A blocked tailpipe can sometimes be cleaned out, but cleaning out a muffler is usually ineffective. Your car could also need other repairs due to excessive backpressure.

If your exhaust system is not working right, or your car is sluggish and running hot, you could have an exhaust system problem. Take your vehicle to a mechanic to have it checked out before the problems get worse.   

Contact a company like Muffler Man to learn more.