by Joshua Thomas
The muffler is a crucial part of the exhaust system that helps dampen noise produced by the engine. And this makes it more comfortable and tolerable to be both inside and outside the vehicle.
Moreover, a muffler facilitates the flow of gas produced by the engine, which in turn makes the engine run more efficiently. Better yet, it gives your vehicle some personality as it makes the exhaust sounds sportier.
If you are fresh on the market for the best mufflers for the money, here we review a wide selection of hand-picked models to help you choose an ideal one for your vehicle.
1. Flowmaster 817633 (Best Overall)
2. Thrush 17715
3. Vibrant Performance 1141
4. Thrush 17651
5. MagnaFlow 10416
6. Walker 18558
7. Walker 18138
The Flowmaster 817633 is not your typical car muffler. Indeed, this is a very expensive and top-rated muffler that until now has been reserved only for professional car tuners.
One of the most distinctive factors of this muffler is its signature V8 sound. It will give your car some personality when it comes to the exhaust sound. Besides this, it is made in the USA using stainless steel for maximum durability.
Moreover, the chambered design of this muffler will make your engine run more efficiently as it will effectively evacuate gas and dampen excessive noise.
Furthermore, installation is quite easy by even beginners, and this model comes with metal O-rings for a direct fit install.
The only caveat we have with this model is its high price. But other than this, this is an exceptional muffler that sounds terrific in person.
The Thrush 17715 is one of the few mufflers on the market that can be installed in any direction as it has a reversible and flexible side. Also, this muffler has a simple design and a much more attractive price point.
However, it is still an excellent model that does an excellent job evacuating gas from the engine and dampening the noise as well.
Moreover, to fight corrosion and make this muffler last longer, it has an aluminized shell on top. The inside of the muffler is made from lightweight aluminum.
One of the distinctive features of this muffler is the Tri-flow design that gives it a classic sports car sound that is a signature sound from Thrush. Also, to prevent gas leaks or water from escaping the exhaust, it has spun lock heads on the inlet and outlet.
The choice of material means it is not very heavy-duty, and the design is also quite basic. However, these should not be deal-breakers as the muffler does a fantastic job.
This Vibrant model is a straight-through muffler that has one of the best build constructions we have seen. Indeed, this model is a high-grade T304 stainless steel that is exceptionally durable and will not corrode even when it comes in contact with engine gas and water vapor.
Also, the 3 inches inlet and outlet are standard, so this unit will have no difficulty fitting on almost any type of vehicle. Moreover, the design means that gas produced by the engine can be evacuated more efficiently and quickly.
Therefore, you will get a boost in performance in your vehicle by using this muffler, and it is also super-quiet. All in all, if the price is not an issue, this model from Vibrant is one of the best mufflers on the market.
As one of the best muffler brands on the market, Thrush makes excellent mufflers for different vehicles. Their Thrush 17651 is an excellent representation of this fact and one of the best turbo mufflers in the industry, especially when it comes to heat resistance.
Indeed, this muffler has superior resistance to temperature because of its T304 stainless steel build construction, which means that it will not degrade over time.
And this is a 2.25 inches inlet and 2.25 inches outlet muffler that is very easy to install and is reversible as well to ensure you get more flexibility as you can install it on any side.
Despite its small price, it still does not sacrifice build quality, and it even has the Thrush logo embossed on the muffler. And while it could be better sounding at that price point, the sound it makes is still acceptable.
This MagnaFlow is another simple and yet highly effective muffler that produces an exceptional sports car sound.
What makes it one of the best MagnaFlow mufflers on the market is that it is made from high-grade stainless steel. Hence, it offers excellent resistance to high temperatures and will not degrade even if you run your vehicle for an extended period.
This top-rated muffler is also made in the USA, and so you can expect it to have better attention to detail as well as being very durable.
Moreover, the inlet and outlets are both 2.5 inches, so they are industry sizes and do not require any adapters to install on your current exhaust system.
The only caveat we have with this model is that it is a bit pricey when compared to others. However, for the money, you get a high-quality muffler that will last a long time as well as produce an exceptional sound which will add some dominant personality to your vehicle.
One of the most distinctive features of the Walker 18558 is that it has a unique design that will help diminish vibrations. This makes it more efficient and produces a better exhaust sound quality.
Furthermore, this is one of the few in muffler review that has an inlet and outlet of 1.75 inches. Indeed, this is quite small and not every type of vehicle's exhaust system uses this diameter.
In terms of build construction, this is a superior muffler as it has welded bushings as well as spun lock heads that prevent the muffler from breaking apart under vibrations. Therefore, you can use this model as a heavy-duty muffler with no problem.
Moreover, there are separate chambers in this muffler that effectively cancel out sound waves, so that it produces a more pleasant sporty sound.
Additionally, the chambers facilitate the movement of gas inside the muffler, making your engine run more efficiently.
The Walker 18138 is part of the Tru-Fit mufflers from Walter that focus on fuel economy, durability, and efficiency. But what we like about it is that it is one of the most affordable mufflers on the market right now.
Additionally, the built construction is from an aluminized steel which means that it offers excellent resistance to corrosion and will also last a long time.
Moreover, there are two chambers inside that facilitate the flow of gas and noise, thus making the engine run more efficiently.
Not to mention that it does an excellent job dampening the engine sound, as this is one of the quietest straight-through mufflers we have seen.
The first important aspect to consider when purchasing a muffler online is the size. It needs to be of the right size and not exceed your vehicle's maximum muffler length as it may add unnecessary weight to your exhaust pipe.
Additionally, your inlets must match the exhaust pipe diameter as there are several types of diameters on the market.
You need to measure and make sure that the muffler has the right inlet diameter that will fit your vehicle. If not, you will need an adapter to install.
Moreover, some mufflers are super-sized, and when installed on the outlet on your exhaust system, there must be sufficient clearance under your vehicle.
Another crucial factor is style. The muffler is divided into 3 main styles: Chambered, Turbo, and Straight-Through. Here is a brief overview of the different styles of mufflers that you can buy.
The straight-through muffler is a single straight exhaust pipe that will allow maximum exhaust of gas from the engine to pass through.
It has a simple design with a fiberglass packing inside so that liquid like water and gases does not stick to it. This type of exhaust allows for the quick exhaust of gases and is hence very ideal for racing.
However, the major drawback with the straight-through muffler is sound. Indeed, this type of muffler can be super-loud. If you choose to go with this type of muffler, you need to inquire with your road authority office if it is allowed or not.
As its name suggests, the chambered muffler consists of different chambers inside the muffler that help channel the sound and gas emitted by the engine.
Additionally, the chambers are oriented inside the muffler in such a way that they help cancel out the sound energy, thus dampening the sound.
This type of muffler is the most silent type. Therefore, it is ideal for city driving as well as an excellent attachment to a family vehicle because it produces a low sound level.
As you may have guessed, the turbo muffler is intended for racing purposes and is the loudest muffler on the market.
The way this type of muffler works is by having a series of chambers aligned in an S-pattern inside the muffler so that it can guide the gases inside the exhaust efficiently.
When compared with the chambered muffler, the only difference is that the turbo muffler does not cancel out the sound waves inside. At least, not as efficiently as the chambered muffler does.
The material used in the construction of the muffler will dictate its durability. There are two types of materials used for mufflers, aluminum, and stainless steel.
Aluminum is a cheap metal that offers decent resistance against corrosion and heat. On the other hand, stainless steel is more expensive to make but has superior corrosion resistance.
You will need to choose between those two types of materials based on the price you can afford.
It is crucial to go with the best muffler brand on the market, to ensure that you are getting the highest quality muffler for the money,
You do not want a no-name muffler as the quality and durability may suffer. That said, you cannot go wrong with top brands like Walker, Dynomax, and Thrush, amongst others.
In addition to going with a good brand, it is vital to go with a model that also has a form of warranty.
Most reputable brands will offer at least a one-year warranty on their mufflers, but if you want more peace of mind, you may want to go with a model that offers an even longer warranty than this.
Flowmaster 71236 Exhaust Muffler - Walmart Link
Thrush Thrush Welded 17661 Exhaust Muffler - Walmart Link
Thrush Thrush Welded 17651 Exhaust Muffler - Walmart Link
Flowmaster 9430452 3 In(C)/2.5 Out(D) Super 44 Series - Walmart Link
Borla 40348 Pro XS Muffler - Walmart Link
MegaBrand N1 4" Burnt Tip Muffler Exhaust 2.5" Inlet Universal - Walmart Link
Walker Exhaust Pro-Fit 17886 Exhaust Muffler - Walmart Link
Flowmaster 953047 3 In(C)/Out(O) Super 40 Series Muffler - Walmart Link
AUTOSAVER88 3 Inch Inside Inlet Muffler Universal Stainless Steel Welded Muffler Deep - Walmart Link
Dynomax Super Turbo 17733 Exhaust Muffler - Walmart Link
Walker Exhaust SoundFX 18138 Exhaust Muffler - Walmart Link
MagnaFlow 4in Round Center/Center Performance Muffler Exhaust 10416 - Straight-Through, - Walmart Link
Flowmaster 71236 Exhaust Muffler - eBay Link
Thrush Thrush Welded 17661 Exhaust Muffler - eBay Link
Thrush Thrush Welded 17651 Exhaust Muffler - eBay Link
Flowmaster 9430452 3 In(C)/2.5 Out(D) Super 44 Series - eBay Link
Borla 40348 Pro XS Muffler - eBay Link
MegaBrand N1 4" Burnt Tip Muffler Exhaust 2.5" Inlet Universal - eBay Link
Walker Exhaust Pro-Fit 17886 Exhaust Muffler - eBay Link
Flowmaster 953047 3 In(C)/Out(O) Super 40 Series Muffler - eBay Link
AUTOSAVER88 3 Inch Inside Inlet Muffler Universal Stainless Steel Welded Muffler Deep - eBay Link
Dynomax Super Turbo 17733 Exhaust Muffler - eBay Link
Walker Exhaust SoundFX 18138 Exhaust Muffler - eBay Link
MagnaFlow 4in Round Center/Center Performance Muffler Exhaust 10416 - Straight-Through, - eBay Link
As we have seen, the muffler allows you to tune your vehicle's exhaust system so that it gives it more personality and a sportier feel without spending much money.
Additionally, some muffler types also help to cancel excessive engine noise as well as make the engine run more efficiently since the gas exhaust is more effective.
Our muffler review above showcases some decent models for the money, and you can be sure that there is something that will suit your vehicle.
About Joshua Thomas
Joshua Thomas just simply loves cars and willing to work on them whenever there's chance... sometimes for free.
He started CarCareTotal back in 2017 from the advices of total strangers who witnessed his amazing skills in car repairs here and there.
His goal with this creation is to help car owners better learn how to maintain and repair their cars; as such, the site would cover alot of areas: troubleshooting, product recommendations, tips & tricks.
Joshua received Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.