How to Make an Exhaust Quiet

Updated April 17, 2017

When exhaust systems are mounted to the vehicle, exhaust noise is not only transferred from the tailpipe's sound but through vibration of the vehicle. Ride comfort can become affected by a constant droning of exhaust noise. Old mufflers with degraded baffle material will be louder. After-market performance exhausts can increase the sound as a result of expanded pipes and chambers designed to allow the gases to freely move through the system with little dampening. Sound control is achieved when vibrations and exhaust noises are dampened.

Repair any exhaust leaks. Exhaust leaks will create a significant amount of noise. Pipes or mufflers with rust holes or significant damage should be replaced.

Install sound dampening materials in the cabin of the vehicle. Exhaust sound can be significantly dampened through the installation of sound dampening mats. The mats are installed against the bare metal of a cabin, requiring the removal of the interior contents. To obtain maximum sound reduction, dampening material should be installed not only on the floor and walls of the cabin, but also the ceiling, under the upholstery, and in the walls of the vehicle's doors.

Replace the muffler. The muffler design is the most significant contributor to sound control in the exhaust system. Mufflers with multiple chambers allow the sound waves to collide with one another, creating a cancelling or muting effect. Mufflers designed with sound absorbing baffles use material, such as fibreglass or stainless steel fibres, to absorb sound in the muffler.

Add or replace your current exhaust tip with a resonated exhaust tip. Resonated tips are manufactured with sound dampening material in the wall of the exhaust tip. As the exhaust gases and associated sounds leave the tailpipe, the resonated tip will absorb some sound waves.

Install a sound-dampening exhaust wrap. High-temperature exhaust wraps are available that not only dampen sound but insulate the exhaust system. Wrap the high-temperature, sound-dampening material around the exhaust pipes and muffler to dampen the vibrations transmitted into the air and vehicle.


Installation of high temperature exhaust wraps should be done when the exhaust system is cooled to avoid burns. Spray exhaust wraps with a silicone covering moisture barrier. When moisture becomes trapped in the exhaust wrap (road splashes, weather or condensation), the moisture will rapidly degrade the underlying metals and reduce the overall life of the exhaust system.

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About the Author

Skip Shelton has been writing since 2001, having authored and co-authored numerous articles for "Disclose Journal." He holds a Bachelor in Science in education and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in management from Northwest Nazarene University. Shelton also operates a small automotive maintenance and part-replacement shop.