If you’re got a faulty factory muffler, that’s gonna create all kinds of trouble on the road. Most importantly, the truck will sound like a beast, and not in a good way. Secondly, a malfunctioning muffler is known to have a negative effect on the power output, fuel efficiency, and the powertrain in general. So, it might be a wise idea to start looking for an aftermarket replacement.
Third-party mufflers are (relatively) affordable; the installation doesn’t take much effort, either. The question still stands, though: how do you know which muffler is the perfect fit for your vehicle? I’ve got your back on this one! In this guide, we’ll find the Best sounding muffler together. We’ll go over the different kinds, their pros and cons, the key features, and more.
#1: Figuring out the Right Price for a New Muffler
The first thing that you need to know for sure is how much you’re willing to pay for a new muffler. Now, the entry-level price range is 50-60 US dollars. Here, you’ll find decent-quality mufflers that are usually a bolt-on, direct-fit installation. While they won’t introduce a significant boost in HP/torque, these mufflers will still be a great improvement over the stock gear. Moving up the ladder, we’ve got the $60-100 range.
Mostly, the higher price is justified by the race-track-ready attitude. I would recommend these units only if you’re serious about racing or off-roading in the wilderness. They rarely break down and always perform at the top of their game. Last, but not least, mufflers that cost 100+ bucks provide a big boost to the powertrain. Plus, they sound like a million bucks and are protected by a premium-quality coating.
#2: Performance Muffler, Straight-Through, or Multi-Baffle: Which one to Pick?
- Most trucks come equipped with the so-called multiple-baffle silencers. To keep the engine noise to a minimum, they have to sacrifice the performance a bit. So, if you want more airflow and a really strong growl, going for an aftermarket replacement should be on the list.
- Turbo silencers, in contrast, let more air flow freely. The sound will still be “dialed down” a bit, which is good news for the average drivers. Overall, the difference in performance is next to none, because the gas flow is still rather poor. But, as a cheap replacement, turbos will do.
- And then there are the straight-through mufflers. These were introduced a while ago, but are very popular to this day. Some folks like to call them the glass-pack silencers. They have two big pros: first of all, the straight-through mufflers are pretty affordable. Secondly, they have a very distinctive sound, considered by many drivers to be perfect for racing/off-roading.
- As the name suggests, performance mufflers are all about increasing the powertrain’s potential. They add extra HP, torque, improve the acceleration, and even provide 1-2 extra MPG. Mostly, performance silencers are manufactured by Flowmaster, Thrush, and other well-known brands. The tone is more aggressive, but not overly loud. The bad news is – you’ll have to pay 100+ US dollars for a muffler like that.
#3: And what about the Material(s)?
There aren’t that many options when it comes to the material. The vast majority of mufflers are crafted from steel. However, there are different kinds of steel out there, with stainless, aluminized steel being the best choice for the entire exhaust system. Aluminum is naturally resistant to rust and corrosion. Salt, water (or, rather, humidity), and dirt on the road can ruin the muffler in the blink of an eye unless it’s got anti-corrosion coating.
#4: Compatibility and Easy Fitment
I know I said earlier that most mufflers take very little time and effort to install and that is very much true. Still, it’s important to make sure that you’re investing in an aftermarket muffler that’s 100% compatible with your truck. Otherwise, you’ll have to do some cutting, drilling, and maybe even ask a mechanic for help.
First, check the muffler’s diameter: it needs to match the exhaust system. Plus, if the new muffler is even slightly larger than the stock one, the truck’s clearance might not be enough for it. Next, I always check the package to see whether it includes all the necessary installation hardware (bolts, nuts, washers, and clamps), or not.
#5: More Things to Consider
Another important thing to keep in mind is your truck’s exhaust configuration. Now, most trucks have a single-pipe system; some vehicles come with a stock dual-exhaust design, though. If that’s the case, you’ll have to buy a pair of mufflers, not just one. Otherwise, you won’t get much sound dampening. Last, but not least, make sure the aftermarket muffler is street legal.
How do you figure that out, though? It’s pretty simple: if you see in the specs that it has successfully passed a smog test, that means you’re good. A third-party muffler without a smog certification won’t pass the “exam”, preventing you from renewing the registration on the truck. Different states have different laws. So, check the local regulations first. Also, it would be best if the silencer was protected by a warranty (at least a one-year guarantee).