Is There Any Difference Between A Muffler And An Exhaust?
As a responsible motorist, you want to understand the basic systems in your car that keep you, your passengers and other drivers safe on Australia’s roads. The combustion process in your car’s engine produces gas. To reduce the harmful byproducts, the output has to be controlled. This is the job of your car’s exhaust.
The engine also produces noise during the internal combustion process. Mufflers do the job of minimising this. So to put it simply, the exhaust controls the output of gas while the muffler controls the noise level of doing so. It might help to remember that another word for ‘muffler’ is ‘silencer’.
Let’s explore the differences between a muffler and an exhaust in a little more detail.
Exhaust: the gas controller
The exhaust system in your car consists of piping and components that guide the gasses produced by an internal combustion process in the engine. Those gases are toxic and if they were released into the cabin in high concentrations, it would harm you and your passengers. Here’s how the system works:
- The exhaust manifold collects the gas and directs it to the piping.
- The exhaust piping leads out of the engine and into catalytic converters which break down the toxic gases into less harmful compounds.
- Next, the piping directs this relatively environmentally-friendly exhaust gas into the muffler.
Muffler: the noise reducer
In the process of transmitting the exhaust gas to the outside of the car, the engine produces noise. This will vary across different cars, so the muffler is designed specifically for each.
- As part of the same system, the piping from the exhaust system directs the gas into the muffler.
- Here, the silencer suppresses the noise through chambers, partitions and tubes.
- The muffler can act as a cushion to absorb the noise or chamber to reduce high-pitched frequencies.
- Finally, the gases are released into the atmosphere through the tail pipe.
So both the exhaust and the muffler are part of a system involved in reducing the byproducts of the internal combustion process. Both play a vital role in ensuring that our cars are safe and that any environmental impact is reduced.