Removing the Old Muffler
- Raise your car using the car lift. Never get under the car with only the car jack as your support. If you can find a drive- on lift, so much the better.
- Examine the muffler setup. Try to understand where bolts and nuts go. The muffler should be connected to the rest of your car’s exhaust system by three or four bolts per pipe, and should be attached to the body of the car with rubber muffler hangers.
- Liberally spray lubricant, like WD-40, all over the bolts. Tap the joints that hold the bolts a few times with a hammer or wrench to get the lubricant to start working its way into the rust. If you should notice that the bolts are severely rusted then you should spray it heavily with the lubricant and let it sit for up to 24 hours.
- Grab the floor jack and use it to hold the muffler, raise it enough to take the tension on the muffler hangers. Then use your gloved hands to pull the hangers off.
- Unbolt the muffler with a box wrench or a crow’s foot wrench. If the lubricant’s magic is not enough, you might have to use a propane torch or hacksaw to separate the muffler bolts. Using propane torches is not advisable due to the hazards it poses. You might get burned with more than you’ve bargained for.
- You can now lower the muffler with the floor jack, but be sure that it is balanced so it will not fall on you. Get someone to assist you on this one to avoid getting conked out of service by the muffler. The gaskets that used to seal the two sections of exhaust should fall away. If it does not, use your tapping prowess to remove them.
Clean the surfaces of the exhaust with a rag. Loosen the muffler hanger brackets by looseninng the bolt that holds them to the main part of your car.
Replacing the Muffler
- We’re going to use the floor jack again in installing the new muffler by balancing it on the floor jack. Raise it until you can fasten it to the forward sections of the exhaust system.
- When in place, attach the new bolts and nuts to the new muffler with the wrenches to the forward section. Make sure that the replacement gaskets are also in between the two sections of the exhaust system.
- Hang the replacement muffler from the body with the new exhaust hangers by raising the muffler to the highest level you can with the floor jack. (Just don’t crush it to the bottom of the car.) Slip the new hangers over the mounting brackets of the muffler and on the car body.
- Lower the floor jack until the muffler is at the desired height. Retighten the bolts you loosened in “Removing the Muffler” Step 4. The muffler will now be firmly attached to your car.
- Remove the floor jack and start your car so that you can check the joints for any leaks. Carefully move your hand around the attached joints and feel for pulsating air. If you have a leak, check the tension on the bolts. If the bolts are firm, then you may have neglected to reinstall the gaskets properly. Separate the exhaust and try again.
- Turn the engine off and carefully lower your vehicle to the ground, you are now officially done!
Congratulations! You have successfully replaced your faulty muffler with a new one. Don’t be fazed by the number of steps enumerated in this article. If this is the first time you are to do this, you can always ask a friend to help you out. Happy driving!