Comparing 5 Muffler Types For Sound, Power and Mileage

Purchasing an aftermarket muffler can be an extreme sport. You are looking for quality car noises, while at the same time working on a limited budget. The market is littered with several muffler types and you are uncertain over which route to follow. We provide a comprehensive guide that compares the performances of 5 types of mufflers to enhance your next shopping experience. The comparisons are based on sound quality, power and mileage. Let us delve into these in detail.

Turbo muffler

The turbo muffler uses fiberglass packing to reduce exhaust noises. The turbo muffler contains an s-shaped pipe that permits the flow of exhaust gasses with little restriction. The setup allows easy and free-flow of gas and sound, while the fiberglass packing absorbs sound waves.

The turbo muffler is designed to limit exhaust restriction. It is beneficial for increasing the horsepower (up to a 10% increase). Its installation does not affect the gas mileage. 

The turbo muffler is among the quietest aftermarket mufflers. The sound gains are low. 

Chambered Muffler

It is one of the most popular types of aftermarket mufflers. Its simple design features well-spaced deflection steel plates. These plates repeatedly bounce the sound waves against each other, canceling exhaust noises.

The noise levels of chambered mufflers depend on the number of chambers within the muffler. Those with fewer chambers will be noisier than stock mufflers. More chambers mean the noise levels will be lower. 

These mufflers add very little horsepower to the engine. The power gain is less than 5%. Chambered mufflers do not have any impact on gas mileage.

Straight through muffler

It is a unique type of muffler that balances horsepower and noise quality. It is a straight, single chamber muffler. The design facilitates easy and fast exhaust of gasses and sound. 

The muffler design features a fiberglass packing that is crucial for suppressing noises. 

These mufflers are extremely loud. The flow of gas and sound past them is unrestricted. They provide a modest horsepower gain in, the range of, 5-15%, depending on the engine size. Like any other muffler, its installation never affects gas mileage.

Exhaust baffle

It is an accessory whose insertion into the muffler chamber or the exhaust tip results in additional noise suppression. Exhaust baffles are more popular for use with motorcycles than with cars.

These accessories are critical for reducing engine noises and can cut noise levels by 30%. Their installation has no impact on horsepower. They don't affect gas mileage.


Specialized noise reduction devices that are beneficial when driving at low RPM. The resonator is part of the aftermarket muffler and is also available in selected stock mufflers. These devices do not reduce exhaust noises. They lower unpleasant engine noises. It includes hums or drones that make driving at low RPM unpleasant.

Resonators have little impact on the intensity of exhaust noises. They eliminate hums. 

Their installation cannot impact horsepower gains or losses. They also do not affect gas mileage.


What type of muffler should I get for my car?

The type of muffler depends on your noise quality preferences. It also depends on the available budget, ease of installation and its impact on horsepower gain. Consult an expert if you are unsure about the perfect type for your car.

Do mufflers affect gas mileage?

Mufflers do not affect gas mileage. They can only suppress exhaust noises.