How to Quiet Exhaust Without Losing Performance

Tired of your old neighbor granny complaining about the noise your roaring car makes and want to make the exhaust quieter? Well, quietening down the exhaust isn’t a major job, and there are a plethora of quick fixes. 

However, folks avoid doing so, thinking that it will ruin their vehicle’s performance. I also own a muscle car with a roaring exhaust, and I have quieted it down after my lovely wife complained that it makes a lot of noise. 

So, I tried several ways to make the exhaust make less noise. In this post, I’ll share some tried and tested ways that will make your car quieter without hindering performance. 

Why Is My Car So Loud?

Unless you are using a stock exhaust, you’ll definitely wonder what made the exhaust so loud! There are a multitude of reasons why the silent exhaust system is not noisy and is disturbing your neighbor’s child’s sleep. 

Sometimes people get exhaust systems that are too much for their car’s motor. And in some cases, the exhaust is too old to be quiet. One of my friends had a different issue, and there was a leak down there.

The leak can cause a squeaky noise whenever you rev the car. Lastly, not getting the car serviced on time is also a major cause of those loud noises. 

How to Quiet Exhaust Without Losing Performance: 5 Easy Ways to Do It 

These are the five easy ways to make that crying child silent (pun intended). Of course, all the ways I've listed have zero effect on the performance, so you can still enjoy that punchy drive with ultimate comfort and quietness inside the cabin.

1. Inspect the Exhaust Pipes 

Before I explain to you the tips, it would be great to inspect the exhaust pipes. If the pipes don't leak, you don't have to try the leak-repair tip. Instead, look for any signs of damage or any protruding parts. 

Also, check if the exhaust emits black smoke when you rev the car, as it is a sign that something is not right with the motor. 

Ask someone to move the car back and front while you pay attention to the pipe. If you hear any suspicious noise like something breaking down, it may require seeing a local mechanic. 

However, if just the exhaust is loud and everything else is good, follow the before-mentioned tips and get rid of the hassle.

2. Find the Leak and Fix It 

A roaring exhaust sounds good, but a leaky one isn't anything more than your wife shouting at you; it sounds bad, lol! Jokes apart! Park your car somewhere so that you can slide under it to inspect the exhaust pipes. 

Have a flashlight in hand, and pay attention to every area. Then, ask someone to start the car and rev a little as it will help you find the leak quickly. 

Is the leak small or big? As the type of material you’ll be using to fix it will be different! 

Here’s how to fix a big leak 

Fixing a leak doesn't require seeing a mechanic, and all it needs is some effort and a good heat-resistant epoxy. My friend fixed his leaky exhaust pipe using Dynomax 35958 Hardware Muffler Cement, and the results are good. 

Read the instructions carefully, and then apply the adhesive or cement to the leak. Make sure the pipe is not hot, else you may end up burning your hands. 

It would be great to clean the leaky area with sandpaper, as it helps get rid of the rust. Now apply the cement carefully and cover the entire hole. Let it dry for some time, and take your car for a spin. 

Don't rev too much as the filling may come out. Be gentle to the gas paddle, and ask someone to listen to the exhaust note.

Here’s how to fix a small leak 

Small leaks don’t need cement or epoxy, as a good-quality exhaust tape will do the job. Take a piece or two of the tape, and apply it to the leak gently. Now press the tape, and you are good to go. 

However, there's a downside to using the tape, and it is the short lifespan. You may have to reapply the tape every 15 days!

Here is a video on how to quiet a car exhaust by fixing leaks:

3. No Leak? It’s Time to Get a New Muffler 

If there is no leak on the pipe, you have to buy a new dampener! Soundproof mufflers can be great to quieten the loud exhaust. Moreover, installing a muffler is easier and not a messy task like fixing the leak. 

The opening of a soundproof muffler has a bigger circumference, so the sound of the motor gets suppressed, and it is not noisy as before. The biggest perk of using a muffler is that there’s no impact on the performance. 

You will find plenty of good mufflers in the market, or ask a local mechanic to recommend you one. Now get into some action, and remove the existing muffler. Follow these steps to do it quickly like a pro.

  • Spray some WD-40 on the nut holding the muffler. The lubricant will help you loosen the bolts easily. Now take a wrench and split the muffler clamps.
  • Pull the muffler gently to remove it. Now you are all set to install the new one on its position.
  • Place the muffler on the exhaust pipe, and fix the clamps. Now tighten the bolt carefully, and it’s done. 

Need some more assistance in replacing the muffler? Here’s a quick video to watch out to install the soundproofing equipment yourself at home.

4. A Silencer Can be Really Helpful 

The purpose of a silencer is to quiet the loud sound, so it is the best auto part you can buy. However, the silencer is narrower than the exhaust pipe, so the noise gets suppressed and becomes less effective and quiet.

However, your car will still perform the same, and the performance won’t take a dip after installing the silencer. Go to a local store, and ask the receptionist to recommend you something based on the car make and model.

Installing a car silencer is incredibly easy, and all you need to do is slide it on the exhaust pipe and tighten the nuts. This is a quick solution that’s effective as well.

5. Don’t Want to Spend Money? Make a DIY Muffler 

So, you have got an old car, and you don’t know when you will trade it for a new model, it is not the best call to spend anything on it. However, quieting the car is still possible. There are multiple DIY mufflers or silencers you can make at home to do the job.

I’ve seen a lot of people using the empty soda can, and here’s how you can install it.

  • Take out a soda can from your fridge, and drink it. Don’t throw the can inside the bin, and take it to your garage. 
  • Drill some holes on the backside of the can so that the smoke can pass easily. 
  • Now cut the can from the front side (where it has a hole for drinking), and make it suitable for the car’s exhaust pipe.
  • Use some exhaust cement or epoxy to fit the can properly on the pipe, and let it as it is for some time. 
  • You can now drive the car to check how quiet it has got after the procedure. 

There are plenty of other DIY ways as well you can follow to quiet the exhaust without losing performance. However, I am not a big fan of DIY hacks as they don't last long and may make your car look a little funny. 

Here is a video on how to make a DIY muffler/silencer for your car:

Other Helpful Tips to Suppress the Loud Sound 

If there is still some noise, get friends with these helpful tips. 

Get the Car Serviced 

If the motor is noisy and the filters aren’t clean, you cannot get rid of the noise. So get your car serviced on time, and it will really help you quiet the exhaust down. 

Make the Cabin Soundproof 

This one works well if you don't want your kids to hear the loud roars. Making the cabin soundproof is an excellent solution if you do not want to use anything on the exhaust pipe. 

The noise enters the cabin through the windows and the weatherstripping, so make sure both of them are in good shape. Also, play some good music while driving, so your kids don’t care about the noise your gorgeous car makes. 

This one is the cheapest way to quiet it down without losing performance. 

Use the Right Auto Parts 

Using a silencer with your Chevy that's designed for Ford won’t be a great help! Using the right part that fits your car’s make and model is essential to serve the purpose. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q:  Does making an exhaust longer make it quieter?

A: Yes, longer means a little quieter! But that doesn’t mean you should get a long tailpipe installed. Always go for soundproofing mufflers that are perfect for your car and fit nicely.

Q: How long does the exhaust tape last?

A: Well, it depends on several factors like the tape you are using, the size of the leak, and how you have applied it. Always buy branded tape, and use it on small leaks only. On average, this hack will serve you for about 10-15 days, and then you have to reapply it. 

Q: Will exhaust silencers reduce power?

A: Nope! The exhaust silencer does not reduce power, so it is a great way to quiet the loud noises. Always use branded silencers like the one your car manufacturer makes to get a nice fit and unhindered performance. 

The Rundown 

A car with fewer exhaust notes will make the journey pleasurable while your neighbors stay happy. So, use these five “how to quiet exhaust without losing performance” tips and make the exhaust quieter than ever.

I’ve been using a muffler for quite a long time, and it works great. There is no noticeable effect on the performance, and my muscle car still runs like a rocket.

Got any questions in mind? Drop them in the comment section, and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Drive Safe!

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