While we certainly can’t recommend a muffler delete for your car because of potential legal ramifications, the truth is muffler deletes are an extremely popular and common alteration to vehicles in the United States.
But what exactly is a muffler delete, and when would you want one? We answered both those questions before diving into everything else you need to know.
What Is a Muffler Delete?
Just like the name implies, a muffler delete is when you remove the muffler from your vehicle’s exhaust system. It’s not a complicated idea, and it’s not a hard concept to wrap your head around.
The muffler attaches to the end of the exhaust system and dampens sound, and that’s about all it does. There are multiple ways to complete a muffler delete. You can use cutouts, add pipes, or simply circumvent the muffler entirely.
When Do You Want a Muffler Delete?
While there are rumors out there that a muffler delete will increase your overall horsepower, the truth is that you won’t notice any notable difference there. That’s because the backpressure a muffler creates is nominal, and it has almost no impact on performance.
But while a muffler delete won’t transform your ride into a performance monster, that doesn’t mean there’s no reason for a muffler delete. The truth is that most people opt for a muffler delete because they want a louder car.
Some people prefer the sound a car makes without a muffler, and others simply want a vehicle that makes more noise. A muffler delete is the easiest way to accomplish this, and it’s about the only reason you would want a muffler delete.
Are Muffler Deletes Legal?
No matter where you live in the United States you can’t legally complete a muffler delete. Many people believe that as long as you stay under local noise ordinances, you can remove the muffler, but that simply isn’t the case.
While mufflers don’t increase emission levels, protect your engine, or have any sort of performance or environmental impact, every state still requires mufflers on vehicles.
Can You Pass an Inspection With a Muffler Delete?
If you live in a state where you need to pass a vehicle inspection every so often, the mechanic should not pass you if you have a muffler delete. In fact, if an inspector catches an automotive shop passing vehicles with a muffler delete, they can be subject to monetary fines or lose their ability to perform state or county inspections.
So, when you take your vehicle with a muffler delete to the inspector and your vehicle fails, you don’t take out your frustrations on them – they’re just doing their job.
How Much Does a Muffler Delete Cost?
Just because muffler deletes are illegal doesn’t mean you can’t find a mechanic to complete the job for you. As long as the mechanic isn’t inspecting your vehicle, nothing is stopping them from performing a muffler delete and letting you deal with any legal ramifications.
With that in mind, you can usually find a shop that will complete a muffler delete for about $100 to $200. It’s not an expensive job, which makes sense because you’re mostly just removing a component. But while that’s mostly what you do, it’s not the full job.
How Do You Complete a Muffler Delete?
While completing a muffler delete is pretty straightforward, if all you think you need to do is remove the muffler, you’re wrong. That’s the first step, but from there you need to install a delete pipe and an exhaust tip.
Typically, you weld these components in place, but if you need to reattach the muffler to get through inspections, then you want to consider other ways to attach the delete pipe and exhaust tip.
Otherwise, you’ll end up needing to grind off the welds and reweld them after the inspection. If you’re going through an inspection every year, this can quickly get tedious and time-consuming.
While muffler deletes are illegal in all 50 states, you can rest assured that they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. They’re a phenomenal way to make your vehicle louder, although it might tick off your neighbors.
They’re also especially popular for track cars, and for those they’re completely legal! If you’re thinking of adding a muffler delete to your vehicle just be aware of the local laws in your area and try to keep it friendly with the neighbors!