A common necessary repair for many older cars or cars exposed to road salt is small holes appearing in the muffler. These will grow over time and can lead to an odd sounding exhaust note and fumes escaping the exhaust system. A common fix is to use muffler tape to cover the hole and prevent further damage.
Muffler tape is specifically designed to bond with the metal due to the heat the exhaust system produces. It is typically agreed that this will be a temporary solution but will work in a pinch if you need to put off replacing the muffler completely.
How to Apply Muffler Tape
- Depending on the ride height of the vehicle you may be able to access the muffler by laying on the ground; or you may need to jack up the rear of the car.
- Locate the muffler. The muffler is a large metal can that sits at the rear of the car. It is typically very close to the exhaust tips and will be easy to find.
- Clean the muffler to remove any road grime or dirt. These materials will prevent the muffler tape from bonding correctly to the metal.
- Wrap the tape around the muffler with an excess of 1 to 2 inches to either side of the hole you are covering. Ensure that the whole is completely covered with multiple layers of tape.
- Lower the car off of the jack stand and start the engine. Let the car idle for around 20 minutes to build up heat and allow the tape to bond to the muffler.
Damaged or improperly repaired mufflers do run the risk of a vehicle not passing a smog test. Be aware of this if you have a damaged muffler and are not planning on completely replacing it.
When jacking up only one portion of the vehicle always be certain that it is in park and that there is no chance of the car rolling off of the jack.
Exhaust elements get extremely hot after driving. Be aware of this when you first start this repair. It may be necessary to wait for the exhaust to cool down after jacking up the car.