Repairs and Maintenance

My Muffler Has A Hole In It – Should I Fix It?

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Car repairs can be expensive, and no one likes spending any more money than they have to. If you’ve noticed that your vehicle’s muffler has a hole in it, you have a couple of options. You can either:

  1. Buy a new muffler. There are lots of inexpensive replacement mufflers out there, not to mention a bevy of after-market performance exhaust systems to choose from. Check out ExhaustVideos.com to listen to all the popular exhaust system sounds. They even have a Tacoma exhaust page!
  2. You can try and fix the hole in your muffler using any number of patch kits.

For sake of argument, we’re going to say that you’re going to repair your existing muffler with a patch kit. We’re also going to assume that everyone understands the dangers of a leaking exhaust system (carbon monoxide in your truck’s passenger compartment is a killer).

How To Fix A Hole In Your Muffler

A good muffler repair kit is affordable, fairly easy to apply and easily found at most auto parts stores. You can also check out the larger chain stores like WalMart and Target; chances are they may muffler repair kits for purchase.

There are several muffler repair kits on the market and it can be difficult knowing which one to purchase. You may be inclined to go for the least expensive, but that’s not always the best idea. You don’t want to repair your muffler today only to have to repair it again in a month’s time. Here are some tips for finding a good kit:

  • Look for a kit that comes with an epoxy paste rather than tape. The epoxy paste will enable you to fill any holes rather than just cover them.
  • Look for a temperature rating in excess of 2000 degrees. You probably don’t need something that resists that much temperature, but it can’t hurt.
  • There’s a difference between a muffler patch kit and a general exhaust repair kit – you want a patch kit.

The first thing you want to do after buying your kit is to clean your muffler. When your vehicle’s exhaust is cool to the touch, wash it all down with soap and water. Either dish soap or a vehicle washing soap will work equally well. You may want to brush off any loose dirt with a wire brush before you wash your muffler; it will save you some time. Once you’ve scrubbed your muffler clean, allow it to dry completely. If you’re in a hurry, wipe down your muffler with a clean, dry towel rather than simply waiting for it to air dry.

When your muffler is dry, crawl back under your car and fill any holes that you see with epoxy. If you’re bought a kit that utilizes tape, tape over the holes, making sure that the tape is completely sealed against the muffler body. If you’ve used epoxy, allow it to cure as directed before starting your car. If you start your vehicle too soon, the epoxy will simply run out of the holes that you tried to fill and your time (and money) will have been wasted.

Important note about muffler repairs:

You will eventually have to replace your muffler; a patch kit is not a permanent fix. After you’ve patched your muffler, be sure to look at it once a month or so to be sure that your holes are still filled (or covered). Also keep in mind that small holes in the muffler can leak carbon monoxide, which could then find it’s way into your car’s interior and poison you and your passengers. So, you know…buy a muffler sooner rather than later.

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