Today, almost all vehicle manufacturers are trying to deliver more fuel-efficient vehicles (or vehicles that don’t even need fuel, like electric cars). The consumer demand for greener vehicles has two primary motivators. One, for the purpose of environmental friendliness. And two, for the purpose of saving money on gasoline.

However, you don’t need to buy a new car to become more fuel-efficient. There are upgrades and repairs you can make on your current vehicle that will improve efficiency. One important component that can hurt or help your gas mileage is your muffler, as well as the rest of your exhaust system…

Controlling Exhaust Flow

There is a common misconception that a high-quality muffler is all about adding horsepower to your vehicle. While a good muffler does inadvertently make your vehicle more powerful, it is doing so by increasing the efficiency of the power it is already creating. It is able to do this by properly controlling the exhaust flow that needs to be mitigated from your engine. When your engine is able to breathe easily without pushing the exhaust throughout its system, it is able to save energy for producing more power.

This helps improve your gas mileage, causes your vehicle to produce less carbon, and also improves the performance of your vehicle.

What Difference Does it Make?

On average, a quality muffler upgrade can improve your engine’s efficiency by up to 5%, though 3% is a more common number. This means that your engine needs up to 5% less fuel to meet the same performance standards you expect from it. This increased efficiency can be used by the driver in one of two ways: they can drive with more power or more fuel efficiency. So, if you match this increase in efficiency with steady, non-aggressive driving, you’re going to see an increase in fuel economy.

That 3-5% increase in efficiency can manifest in roughly a 0.5-2.0 mpg improvement to your fuel economy.

The ‘Sedan’ Muffler Advantage

The “sedan advantage” refers to the fact that smaller vehicles (not just sedans) get more of an advantage from having a quality muffler. This is because larger vehicles typically have stronger engines that can push the exhaust through their system without much trouble, so the gains in efficiency are much smaller and less noticeable.