What will you do if you see strands of what looks like human hair coming out of your muffler? Would you call the police to investigate, or would you try to cut the hair off and do an investigation yourself? In this article, I’ll answer the question: “What is muffler hair?”
If you see hair coming out of your muffler, it is not human hair. Some car manufacturers like Honda and Ford use fibrous insulating materials that look like human hair as part of their mufflers. They use them as sound deadeners.
If these fibers are coming out of your muffler, it is starting to deteriorate. This is a sign that you need to replace your muffler. If your muffler fails, its hair will begin to come off and go out through the tailpipe.
Read on to learn more about the hair in your muffler, what it is, what it is for, and what it means if you find it coming out of your tailpipe.
What Is Muffler Hair?
Muffler hair is not human hair. Some car manufacturers, such as Honda and Ford, use fibrous insulating materials to deaden or silence the sound inside their mufflers. These fibrous materials look like human hair, but they are not.
If your muffler is deteriorating, this stuff will start to come off. And since the muffler spews exhaust gases, the hairs will come out to the tailpipe. They are the “hairs” you see coming out of your muffler.
While they look like human hair, they are made of plastic materials or fiberglass. Some car manufacturers use them to reduce or mute the loud exhaust noise coming from the engine.
If these hairs are not included in the mufflers, you won’t be able to bear the noise of the engine exhaust even for just a few minutes.
Some say Honda only uses this method of sound deadening on mufflers. However, other car owners say they also saw these fibrous “hair” looking materials in their vehicles manufactured by Ford Motor Co.
When your muffler goes bad, it spews these black hair-like fibers from your exhaust pipe. Their lengths may stretch up to 10 feet or more. They don’t smell or catch fire but shrivel when exposed to fire or flame.
If you see these fibrous plastic materials coming out of your muffler, it is a sign that it is badly damaged or getting too old. You need to repair or replace the muffler if it’s already old.
What to Do When You Find Hair-like Fibers Inside the Muffler?
You may wonder why Honda and Ford use hair-like materials inside their mufflers. They are using this material to keep their mufflers from rattling. Mufflers start to rattle when they age, and their parts loosen up.
The fibers prevent the noisy rattling of the internal parts of the muffler so that they won’t create so much noise. But when the muffler deteriorates or is damaged, it cannot hold the insulation. When that happens, the hairs will be pushed out of the tailpipe.
To drivers who don’t know the details, hair coming out of the tailpipe or muffler is scary. Will they think it is a result of foul play? Some of them may even wonder if there is a crime committed. So, they will call the police to investigate.
Some car owners have called the police only to discover they are not human hairs. Now you know, so you don’t have to be afraid when “hairs” come out of your muffler.
The best thing you need to do is head to the nearest car service shop and let them inspect your muffler. Perhaps it badly needs a replacement.
Again, what is muffler hair? Muffler hair, unlike the name suggests, is not human hair. It is made of fiberglass and muffles the sound from the muffler.
Is It Safe to Drive with Muffler Hair?
Muffler hair only affects your exhaust system, particularly your muffler and the tailpipe. It will not affect your ability to drive your car safely. In other words, you can still drive your vehicle even if muffler hairs are coming out of the tailpipe.
You don’t have to panic if these hairs show up while you are already driving. Just schedule a time to get your car to a car service shop so they can check and repair or replace your muffler.
The car service center will probably recommend a muffler replacement. If the muffler’s hair is already exposed, this means your muffler is no longer intact. It is getting old because it is starting to lose its hair – pun intended.
And one more thing: in many countries, operating a vehicle with an external combustion engine is against the law if its exhaust system is not working. A muffler is a part of the exhaust system of your vehicle.
So, your muffler must always be in good condition because it must be able to reduce the noise coming out of your exhaust. If its hair is already falling out, then it can no longer do its work.
Driving around with a noisy muffler will most likely earn you a fine, at the very least. Your car may even be impounded until you fix it. So, while driving a car with falling muffler hairs is safe, it will be inconvenient for those within hearing distance.
Again, what is muffler hair? A muffler hair is a material used to muffle the noise from the engine and slow down the exhaust.
Can You Ignore Muffler Hair from the Exhaust Pipe?
In one sense, muffler hair coming out of your tailpipe is a serious matter. If you delay the repair of your muffler, its efficiency will reduce. And this might cause engine damage. So, you must attend to this issue right away.
What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Muffler?
It takes time before a muffler goes bad. So, if yours is already failing, perhaps you have ignored the signs that it manifested for some time. If you want to get your muffler lasting for a long time, you need to be aware of the signs that it is no longer doing its work:
1. Engine Misfire
You don’t have to be an expert mechanic to know if an engine is misfiring. If you notice it is jerking and stuttering, the engine is misfiring. This can be due to several factors. The most common cause is a failing muffler or a malfunctioning exhaust system.
Your engine is not functioning efficiently if it is misfiring. Its performance will be significantly affected, and you may experience different engine problems. It’s not just a minor problem but a serious one because it affects your engine and exhaust system.
2. Increased Fuel Consumption
If you have to fill up the tank more frequently than before, take a look at your muffler. Inspect its condition. If it shows frayed “hairs” coming out, then that could be causing your need to gas up more times than before.
If you also see the other signs, a bad muffler contributes to the problem.
3. Engine and Exhaust Noise
The muffler is there to silence the noise coming from the engine exhaust. It has tubes inside its baffled chambers where it collects exhaust gases. This way, the engine noise is muffled, dampened, or silenced.
The muffler reduces the sound produced by fuel combustion inside the engine cylinders. It does not just silence the noise but also combines sound waves so they will cancel out each other.
How Does a Muffler Work?
Consists of Baffles and Tubes Made of Stainless Steel or Aluminum
A muffler works as a silencer of engine and exhaust noise. It consists of baffles and tubes made of stainless steel or aluminum. It is typically coated with aluminum to protect it from corrosion. Its work is to absorb or dampen the exhaust pressure pulses that create excessive noise.
The gasses still expand as they enter the exhaust manifold. This will produce a pressure wave that goes forward through the exhaust system. Every pressure pulse makes a noise that can increase or decrease in frequency depending on the engine’s revolution per minute or rpm.
Mufflers Contain Several Perforated Tubes
Inside the shell of mufflers, there are usually several perforated tubes. The perforations on the tubes direct the exhaust sound waves through the silencers or mufflers. As the sounds enter the muffler, a resonator inside the muffler directs them to where they should go.
Creates Sounds That Cancel Out the Sounds the Engine Creates
The resonator produces sound waves similar to those that enter the muffler and cancel them out. In this way, the muffler creates sounds that cancel out the sounds the engine creates.
Though the engine’s sound is not canceled out, the resonator reduces it to a level acceptable to human ears.
Produce Resistance Through Louvered Tubes and Baffles
Additionally, mufflers create resistance through louvered tubes and baffles. By resisting the flow or direction of the sound, the pressure pulses will file up and dissipate, causing them to lower the energy and sound level that they create.
As a car owner, you need to know the working principle of mufflers. If you know how it works, you will see its importance. You will be encouraged to inspect your muffler regularly or as part of routine maintenance.
Refer to your car owner’s manual. It would contain instructions on properly maintaining your muffler so they won’t cause any problems to your engine.
Remember that mufflers are prone to corrosion since they are constantly exposed to the elements. It is not unusual for them to experience the problem of muffler hair falling out of the shell.
If what seems to look like the hair is coming out of your muffler, it is not human hair.
Car manufacturers such as Honda and Ford use fibrous materials in their mufflers for sound deadening. When your muffler is getting old, this is the hair that you will see coming out of your tailpipe.
If you see them in your muffler, it is starting to deteriorate. This is one of the signs of a failing muffler. There is no other way you can fix this issue but to replace your muffler.