In recent years, there has been a considerable push toward modifying cars for performance purposes, with muffler deletes being one of the most popular changes. There are some valid reasons for this. By removing the muffler, you can tweak the performance and sound of your car to be more aggressive. But of course, this does not happen without disadvantages as well. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about muffler deletes.
Muffler Delete Cost
If you are considering a muffler delete, you will be surprised by the total expenses. The parts themselves are usually between $50 and $250; while hiring a mechanic to execute the repair will only cost you between $100 and $200. However, you must keep in mind that the cost varies from one vehicle type to another. For example, a Dodge Charger muffler delete will most likely cost between $115 and $125, while an Infiniti G37 muffler delete would cost between $200 and $250.
However, because muffler deletes are banned on cars going on public roads, you may have a more difficult time finding a professional willing to execute the work.
Additionally, the only challenging aspects of removing a car’s exhaust are removing a welded muffler and installing the constructed pipe. So, depending on who is conducting the removal, a muffler delete can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, with a professional taking less time than a DIY enthusiast. So it all hinges on who is performing the job.
Mufflers and Muffler Types
Exhaust system mufflers by Kevin Fanciulli / CC BY 2.0
A muffler is a device installed on a motor vehicle’s exhaust pipe, designed to reduce the noise and pollution produced by the engine.
Mufflers come in five types; multiple baffle silencers, performance silencers, turbo silencers, straight-through silencers, and silencer inlets.
1. Multiple Baffle Silencers
This type of muffler contains perforations in its walls which allow emissions to leave the exhaust system. Multiple baffle silencers are frequently factory fitted/pre-installed, and they are very effective in reducing engine noise. The disadvantage is that it is restricted in its operation.
2. Performance Silencers
Performance silencers have a reputation for being among the market’s most popular mufflers. The reason for this is that they have a resonating chamber that changes the engine sounds into something deeper and more forceful.
3. Turbo Silencers
The turbo silencer is an S-shaped restrictive muffler that allows air to move along a channel that enables emissions to enter the silencer before forcing them into a tube. It is quite good at reducing engine noise, but its restrictive construction results in a poor flow of exhaust gasses.
4. Straight-Through Silencers
Straight-through silencers make use of a perforated tube. The gas is driven from the silencer’s inlet to the outlet here. This occurs with little flow restriction. The openings in the pipe allow the gas to escape discreetly.
5. Silencer Inlets
For this muffler type, the air/emissions flow through the muffler tube with silencer inlets, giving it a distinct sound. However, silencer inlets are not suitable for all vehicle types, so you should check if they are suitable for yours before purchasing them.
What is a Muffler Delete?
A muffler delete is a modification that can be done to a vehicle’s exhaust system. It removes the mufflers from a vehicle’s exhaust system, which can result in a louder and more efficient vehicle engine.
Muffler deletes are one of the most popular upgrades for enthusiasts wishing to give their car a deeper, more aggressive sound while maintaining factory performance. It has long been common practice to remove or bypass the factory muffler, to open up the engine compartment, and allow exhaust gas to discharge more freely from the exhaust ports, improving flow and minimizing back pressure in the exhaust system. Many car types feature two or more mufflers on the exhaust system, which may be removed as desired. You can also make a straight pipe exhaust system by removing the muffler and catalytic converter. While the two services are sometimes referred to as the same procedure, the straight pipe exhaust requires more changes.
Advantages of Muffler Deletes
Here are the top advantages of performing a muffler delete on your car or truck:
1. Higher Performance
The biggest advantage of a muffler delete is that it makes the car more responsive and powerful. Car engines generate a significant amount of gas, which must pass through the vehicle’s system before being discharged out of the exhaust pipe. With a muffler delete, these gasses are eliminated faster, and the vehicle’s performance is eventually reduced because back pressure is reduced to a minimum, as back pressure can hinder vehicle performance.
2. Aggressive Exhaust Sound
The increased popularity of muffler deletes stems from the fact that they give your vehicle a far more aggressive (and loud) sound.
The sole aim of your muffler is to limit the amount of noise produced by your car. So, if you want a louder vehicle with a more aggressive sound, it stands to reason that a muffler delete will do the trick.
3. Reduced weight
Removing your muffler can significantly reduce the weight of your vehicle and improve its performance and handling characteristics. Exhaust systems can be very heavy and add a lot of unnecessary weight to the vehicle if they are not designed properly. Reducing the weight can improve handling and reduce the amount of engine power sent to the wheels through the drivetrain, which can improve fuel economy.
4. Increased Horsepower
As back pressure is lessened, the horsepower of the car increases. It works best in vehicles with restricted muffler chambers, which ultimately hinder the passage of gasses, produce backpressure, and diminish engine horsepower. Without the mufflers restricting airflow through the exhaust system, the engine can produce more horsepower and torque without working any harder. However, this advantage mostly applies to older vehicles.
Disadvantages of Muffler Deletes
While there are advantages to having your exhaust muffler removed, there are also some disadvantages that come with this procedure. These include:
1. Loud Exhaust
One of the most common complaints among car owners is that removing the muffler from the exhaust system increases the amount of noise their vehicle produces while it is running. While this is one of the benefits, it might work in either direction for certain people. The noisy exhaust may sound exhilarating at first, but it can rapidly become unpleasant.
As you rev the engine higher, the sound becomes even louder because the more air that passes through the exhaust, the louder it will be.
2. Lower Performance
Again, while this is one of the advantages, it is also one of the disadvantages. This is because, rather than increasing horsepower (as it does in older vehicles), it has the reverse effect in modern models. Newer mufflers are significantly less restrictive, and the manufacturer modifies the Engine Control Module (ECM) to work with the muffler. As a result, having a muffler delete done on a modern car will most likely result in some loss of engine performance.
Almost every time the subject of muffler deletes comes up, the issue of legality arises. So let’s get to it. There is a prevalent notion that as long as your car noise keeps within your state or local noise ordinance, you will be fine – this is just not the case. It is worth noting that if you intend to carry out a muffler delete on your vehicle in the US, you will be breaching the law.
While you are unlikely to be stopped for removing your muffler, you may be pulled over for breaching municipal noise restrictions.
However, if a knowledgeable officer pulls you over, there is a good possibility you will get more than one ticket.
4. Emissions Inspection Failure
Emissions testing is presently required in 34 states. If you live in one of these states where your car must pass a vehicle or emissions test, a muffler delete will not suffice. Your car may occasionally display an engine code that prevents an accurate emissions test, resulting in a failed test.
Occasionally, the technician will notice what you have done and fail your vehicle. In any case, if your car requires inspections, you will almost certainly need to reinstall all of the factory equipment, or you will not pass.
Factors affecting muffler delete cost
Dual twin-pipe muffler delete exhaust system
The cost of a muffler delete varies according to several factors; some of which include:
1. Car Type
When you remove the muffler, you will still need to connect the exhaust system to the tailpipe. The parts required for this vary depending on the type of vehicle you drive.
Furthermore, the work will be determined by the type of car. For example, if your car has a complex exhaust system, the cost could be substantially more than if it has a simple one.
2. The make and model of the vehicle
As with the price of the vehicle itself, the make and model will also affect the cost of a muffler delete. In general, newer vehicles will be more expensive to modify than older vehicles. This is because older vehicles often have fewer components and parts to remove than a more recent model vehicle. This makes modifying an older vehicle less expensive and easier. Newer vehicles on the other hand will require more components to be removed as well as a custom exhaust setup which is more expensive.
3. Replacement Parts
When calculating the cost of a muffler delete, consider any other costs that may be required to alter your car. This includes the cost of replacing parts that might need to be modified during the process. The cost of performing a muffler delete depends substantially on the level of modification required. However, you can have the mechanic disassemble your exhaust system so that he may utilize any old parts that were not damaged during the removal process. This will help to save time and money in the long run.
Labor rates vary depending on where you reside and the type of shop you visit. There is a significant disparity in hourly rates between the city and the country.
Furthermore, the type of store you visit has an impact. Expect to pay more if you visit an exhaust shop rather than a regular auto repair shop.
Can You Perform A Muffler Delete Yourself?
Yes, you can. If you intend to remove your car muffler yourself, there are two things to keep in mind. First, be sure to use the right tools for the job. While it is possible to remove the car muffler by hand, using a socket wrench makes the job much easier. That way, you do not have to squeeze your hand into the exhaust. You will also need rubber gloves and safety glasses to protect your eyes and hands from hot sparks and debris.
Lastly, be patient and take your time. Do not take shortcuts that could result in costly repairs later down the road. Also, keep in mind that not all vehicles use the same type of exhaust setup. Some manufacturers weld the pipes together, while others use a clamp-type design. Check your vehicle owner’s manual to find out what type of exhaust system you have before removing the muffler.
Outlined below is a step-by-step process to enable smooth completion of the job.
Step 1: Jack up your vehicle.
Raise your vehicle with the jack until you have enough room below to work comfortably.
When you have reached the right height, place the jack stand under your vehicle. See your vehicle’s owner’s manual if you are having difficulty.
Step 2: Take out the clamps.
The muffler is commonly found on the exhaust pipe of a car. U-shaped clamps secure it to the exhaust pipe as well. These nuts rust fast, making removal difficult.
Before beginning, spray the nuts with a rust-preventive solution (such as WD-40) to make the process easier. Using a suitably sized pipe wrench, loosen and then tighten the retaining nuts.
In some circumstances, you may be able to weld the exhaust pipe. In this scenario, you will need to cut it with a saw.
Step 3: Install The Tailpipe
You do not need a tailpipe if your exhaust system does not have an exhaust pipe. However, it is recommended that an exhaust pipe be fitted to optimize performance. A 3-inch straight pipe connecting to the exhaust pipe and exiting the car through the rear exhaust port is sufficient. To connect the new pipe to the old exhaust pipe, a 90-degree exhaust adapter is required.
Clamp the pipes together. However, if you require a more permanent alternative, consider welding the pipes to the exhaust pipe.
A qualified mechanic with the appropriate tools and knowledge should be able to safely conduct the delete with no complications. It is also essential to be aware of any laws in your area regarding vehicle modifications and to ensure that you are operating within the law before performing the procedure.
Before opting for a muffler delete, it is critical to conduct research and measure the benefits against the potential drawbacks.
Jim Wicks is the founder of MotorVehicleHQ. With over two decades of experience in the automotive industry and a degree in Automotive Technology, Jim is a certified car expert who has worked in various roles ranging from a mechanic, car dealership manager, to a racing car driver. He has owned more than 20 cars over the past 15 years. Ask him about any vehicle you see on the road and he can tell you the make, model and year. He loves the aesthetics of all things cars, and keeps his vehicles in pristine condition.
In his free time, Jim enjoys getting his hands dirty under the hood of a classic car or taking long drives along the country roads. His favorite car? A 1967 Shelby GT500, a true classic that, according to Jim, “represents the pure essence of American muscle.”