Mufflers and catalytic converters are separate components of your car’s exhaust system.
The muffler reduces engine noise while the catalytic converter controls emissions. It is important to understand the differences between these two components.
We will explain the differences between mufflers and catalytic converters in this article, so that when you see them next time, you know exactly how they differ.
Catalytic Converter is For Removing Harmful Substances from Exhaust
The catalytic converter reduces harmful substances in exhaust gases. Catalysts in this component convert toxic gases into harmless ones, such as carbon dioxide and water vapor.
In the converter’s ceramic honeycomb cells, these toxins are converted at high temperatures. It can be passed back out the tailpipe of your car without harming anyone once the conversion is complete.
Muffler Suppresses the Sound Coming from the Engine
Essentially, the muffler is a device that reduces engine noise. Mufflers are typically found at the end of exhaust pipes, and they are often referred to as “silencers.”
Basically, a muffler prevents unwanted sound waves from leaving the vehicle through its tailpipe. As a result, they are trapped inside a chamber with walls made of metal tubes and baffles, which absorb their energy and prevent it from being released into the environment in order to promote social harmony.
Differences in the Build of Muffler and Catalytic Converter
Depending on your vehicle’s make and model, mufflers come in all shapes and sizes. They are fixed under the car, between the exhaust pipe and the tailpipe.
Mufflers are typically made from stainless steel, but they are also available in aluminum, titanium, and copper if you are looking for something lighter and cheaper.
The first muffler appeared in the late 1800s when Hiram Percy Maxim patented his own invention of the silencer to reduce not just engine noise, but also smoke from train engines which was causing pollution problems on city streets during this time period. His work on automotive mufflers and firearms silencers made him a pioneer.
Catalytic converters, on the other hand, convert pollutants from an internal combustion engine’s exhaust into harmless gases by reacting them with oxygen in the presence of a catalyst, such as platinum, palladium, or rhodium.
As opposed to Muffler, it uses ceramic honeycomb cells covered with precious metal (usually platinum) for this purpose. At around 600° Celsius, unburned hydrocarbons in gasoline react with oxygen molecules to form carbon dioxide and water.
Difference in Versatility of Usage
It reduces the noise of an engine by reflecting spent gases or diverting them to absorb their energy in a metal container. Mufflers are generally found on automobiles and other internal combustion engines.
Catalytic converters are devices that treat exhaust gases after they leave an automobile’s internal combustion engine, reducing harmful substances and smog-causing pollutants by changing nitrogen oxides (NOx) into less hazardous substances such as nitric oxide or water vapor. An automotive catalytic converter will reduce most of the negative emissions from an engine. As well as diesel and gasoline engines, catalytic converters are found in many other models.
Difference in Durability
According to driving conditions, a catalytic converter’s lifespan varies. The more miles a driver puts on their car, the shorter the catalyst’s lifespan will be. In addition, it is important to consider how hot it is outside and whether you are stuck in traffic all day.
Depending on these factors, the average life expectancy of a catalytic converter ranges from five to ten years. It is easy to tell if your catalytic converter has reached the end of its useful life by the smell of rotten eggs or other unpleasant odors coming from your tailpipe while you are idling at a red light, for example. If this occurs, it’s probably time to replace the part with an OEM replacement.
Generally, you should check your catalytic converter’s health around 50,000 miles so that you can act before it fails.
Now about muffler
It is normal for a muffler to last between four and eight years. Life expectancy largely depends on how much you ride and where you live.
You can expect a muffler to provide you with uninterrupted service for 50,000 to 80,000 miles.
Difference in Price
Generally, the price of a catalytic converter is higher than the price of a muffler. In the catalytic converter, valuable metals such as rhodium, palladium, and platinum are present, so it is more expensive overall.
On the other hand, the muffler is made from stainless steel or other types of metal that are not so expensive.
Will removing the catalytic converter make the exhaust louder?
It is true that removing the catalytic converter will make an exhaust system louder.
Even if you remove the catalytic converter, the muffler controls the noise. However, the catalytic converter does suppress some of the sound coming out of the exhaust when combined with the muffler. However, the suppression is so small that you won’t be able to notice the difference most of the time.
Will removing catalytic converter hurt the engine?
The catalytic converter is an important part of the exhaust system of a car. This process converts toxic gases from gas and oil into less harmful emissions that cannot be emitted into the atmosphere.
The catalytic converter also reduces heavy metals in fuel such as nickel, lead, mercury, etc., which might cause health hazards if discharged unattended.
However, removing the catalytic converter won’t harm your engine since the exhaust is already out of the engine setup, and the emissions are already treated before they exit the tailpipe.
Is it Legal to Remove Catalytic Converter or Muffler?
It is illegal to remove or modify a catalytic converter since it operates essential pollution control equipment on the vehicle at all times – even when it is idling! If this component needs to be removed, it will only be for repairs or replacements.
It’s against noise ordinances and laws to remove your muffler without following up with a follow-up inspection, which could result in a fine if caught.