Most auto owners do not give the exhaust system of their vehicle one minute though. That is until they hear a loud boom, exhaust hissing or rattling noises coming quite scarily from the rear of their car or truck. On top of that there are health and safety concerns from exhaust gasses. You can almost bet by the time they get to that point that they are going to be recipients of a large muffler or exhaust system repair bill. Is their any way that most motorists can extend the life and driving span of their exhaust and muffler system or systems?
Basically put your car or truck’s exhaust system includes the exhaust manifold, muffler, connecting pipes and in some cases a resonator. Any automobile made in the last 30 years will definitely have a catalytic converter you can bet. Single exhaust setups use an exhaust manifold of a single exhaust pipe, muffler assembly and tail pipe that extends under of just short of the rear bumper whereas on a dual exhaust system arrangement two exhaust pipes and a muffler assembly are used together with two resonators, two tail pipes. Each assembly is connected to it s own exhaust manifold and carries the exhaust gasses to the rear of the vehicle.
The life of the mufflers and pipes is dependent largely on the type of service in which the vehicle is used. If it is driven mostly in city type stop and go traffic with few trips exceeding five miles, you can bet that the muffler will soon be rusted out, have a shorter life span and that the automobile owner will be making a visit either to his local mechanic at their garage or to his dealership service center. Since installing mufflers and exhaust systems is a specialized job many garages themselves as well as those auto owners often have the work done at shops and garages that specialize in exhaust system and muffler repair and replacement.
The reason for such short muffler life spans is that on short trips the mufflers and pipes will never get warm never mind hot enough to evaporate moisture in the system – that in the end works to rust out any steel metal components of mufflers and exhaust systems. This moisture not only clings to the metal components and is rust causing by it but wore me highly acidic in nature and most corrosive – mixing with the exhaust gas remnants and left over residuals from the internal combustion engine’s combustion process. As a result the pipes and mufflers are soon corroded and have to be replaced.
If the car is driven mostly on long and longer mileage trips, or mainly at good speeds on freeway travel, then conversely the mufflers and the pipes that it is attached to will soon get hot enough to simply evaporate this moisture, similar to how a hot kettle boils off water. Consequently corrosive action (that is rusting and the formation of rust on the metal parts and surfaces of the muffler) will be slowed down and retarded. Consequently your vehicle will have its muffler and exhaust system will last longer and have a longer life span.
Interestingly it seems that Mufflers and pipes used on a single exhaust system, will generally last longer than dual muffler installations because all the hot exhaust gasses are propelled and pass through one single pipe – that is the one solitary muffler. As a result in a single muffler system temperatures generally reach a higher value sooner rather than later. Hence the corrosive moisture has a better chance of being heated up and evaporated into the atmosphere with less of a chance that will linger on metal surfaces and components to do its rusting job.
The general rule of thumb from experienced auto mechanics and automotive dealership service writers is that mufflers and pipes should be replaced before they are rusted completely, for if there are any leaks in the system what so ever, the exhaust which are poisonous and injurious to health will escape into the interior of the vehicle where they can potentially cause the death of the occupants and riders or a serious accident if the driver becomes affected by exhaust gas and gasses.