Pros & Cons of Exhaust Baffles

Written by michael gunderson
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Pros & Cons of Exhaust Baffles
Some bikers remove the exhaust baffle from their motorcycles to make them louder. (Motorcycle exhaust image by Crisps 85 from Fotolia.com)

An exhaust baffle is an acoustically tuned metallic chamber placed inside a motor vehicle's muffler to cancel out, or muffle, the sound from the vehicle's exhaust outlet. They are specifically designed to cancel out louder sounds emanating from the vehicle exhaust while simultaneously allowing softer sounds to pass through. They are used in almost all vehicles, from cars to motorcycles and even trucks.

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Pro: Noise Reduction

Exhaust baffles are used primarily to reduce the loud noise generated by a vehicle's engine. Such loud noises are a nuisance and are characterised as noise pollution. Most countries worldwide have specific laws against such noise pollution. Thus, exhaust baffles prevent noise pollution and help motorists uphold the law.

Pro: Little Maintenance

Exhaust baffles are simply constructed and have no internal parts. As a result, they require little or no maintenance and have a long service life.

Con: Back Pressure

The most obvious disadvantage associated with exhaust baffles is the increased back pressure they cause. The combustion of motor fuel in any vehicle engine leads to the formation of exhaust gases as by-products. These exhaust gases are then pushed out of the vehicle via the exhaust system through the muffler and exhaust baffles. This process leads to the formation of additional pressure (back pressure) on the vehicle engine, leading to a reduction in engine horsepower output and torque and increasing strain on the engine.

Con: Leakage

With time, exhaust baffles may deteriorate due to wear and tear and exposure to exhaust gases and heat. This deterioration causes leaking, which can create an irritating rattling sound every time the vehicle is used. Since exhaust baffles cannot be repaired, they will have to be replaced entirely. This increases the costs associated with vehicle maintenance.

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