Choosing between a Glasspack and a Muffler for Your Vehicle

Without noise suppressors, or mufflers, the gas-powered engine of any kind of vehicle would be too loud to drive comfortably or safely. There are several different kinds of mufflers available for the noise reduction in both cars and motorcycles. While a muffler’s primary role is to reduce the sound of the engine, the wide variety of different types available regulate the range of sound, buying one requires you to consider level of back pressure. The more back pressure, the louder the muffler. That means the price of a new muffler is going to vary. A chambered muffler will not produce the same sound or efficiency as a glasspack, for example, due to differing designs. Faced with the glasspack vs. muffler decision ultimately comes down to personal preference – louder, vs. quieter.

The Role of a Muffler

With the introduction of the internal combustion engine, a part was needed to heavily reduce its vast noise output in order to keep cities and streets quiet. This of course is where the muffler comes in. Mufflers are installed in the exhaust system of a car although they have no role in filtering emissions. The muffler works to reduce engine noise by reducing sound pressure. Unfortunately, an inevitable side effect of this reduction is that the car’s engine will inevitably lose efficiency because of pressure. One of the reasons many motorcycles sound so loud is that the owners have removed the vehicle’s muffler in order to avoid that particular side effect to make the motorcycle run faster.

Removing a Muffler

Removal of the muffler of any vehicle is not only a bad idea, it is also illegal. When the muffler is removed on a car the noise level immediately changes. In late model vehicles, the difference is noticeable and can be annoying, but because the vehicle’s catalytic converter also mitigates sound, it isn’t unbearable. In older vehicles the noise can be unbearable and lawfully illegal. Furthermore, removing the muffler impacts the engine compression ratios, hampering vehicle performance. For anyone wanting more noise, thrush mufflers will increase sound output. Less ideally, holes can be punched in the muffler with a spike which will also increase a muffler’s sound but increase under-car engine emissions. Replacing a muffler can be expensive. Replacing a muffler with an inexpensive glasspack for $20-$50 dollars, plus installation costs, may be the way to go. The following topics can help you decide when it comes down to glasspack vs. muffler.

Different Muffler Designs

Not all mufflers were created equally’ there are many different shapes and sizes available, which means varying performance, price, and sound. Most mufflers are stock resonator mufflers or spiral baffle mufflers. The goal is simply to reduce sound; engine efficiency is not taken into account. Glasspacks are another older muffler design where the exhaust pipe passes straight through the muffler. They are fine at reducing back pressure but not too effective when it comes to noise cancellation. Mufflers like the Corsa Performance Muffler is more expensive and will use chambers to reduce sound while also maintaining engine efficiency. The reasons some car owners choose a glasspack over a more expensive muffler design is for the bonus noise or the lower price. They are easy to install relative to a chambered muffler and are commonly available.

The Most Popular Kinds of Mufflers

Several popular muffler brands advertise improved miles per gallon while still maintaining appropriate noise reduction levels. Flowmaster is one of the most popular and longest standing exhaust systems and come with a 10 year warranty. Gibson systems advertise at least a one mpg improvement and come with a lifetime warranty, while Borla claims a seven to ten percent efficiency improvement on a million mile warranty. Bassani is one of the most popular brands for motorcycles as the company initially designed only motorcycle systems and later moved into cars. These brands however are all fairly expensive. Glasspacks, thrush mufflers, and rhino mufflers are all less likely to break the bank.

Mufflers reduce engine efficiency a small amount, an a trade off necessary to maintain good quality of life when driving any gas- or diesel-powered motor vehicle. Muffler technology is finding new ways to improve muffler design yearly. Future mufflers may not generate the same levels of back pressure and impact internal combustion engine performance less. Due to the flexibility of this particular car part, glasspack vs muffler is an easy choice.