Muffler(silver) and exhaust pipe on a Ducati 695 motorcycle

A muffler (or silencer in British English) is a device for reducing the amount of noise emitted by the exhaust of an internal combustion engine. A US Patent for an Exhaust muffler for engines was granted to Milton and Marshall Reeves in 1897.



The patent for an Exhaust muffler for engines was awarded to Milton O. Reeves and Marshall T. Reeves of Columbus, Indiana of the Reeves Pulley Company on 11 May 1897. US Patent Office application No 582485 states that they have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Exhaust-Mufflers for engines ....[1]


Dual tailpipes attached to a the muffler on a passenger car

Mufflers are typically installed along the exhaust pipe as part of the exhaust system of an internal combustion engine. The muffler reduces exhaust noise by absorption—the exhaust is routed through a series of passages and chambers lined with roving fiberglass wool—and/or resonating chambers tuned to cause destructive interference wherein opposite sound waves cancel each other out, and Catalytic converters also have a muffling effect.

Changing the muffler / mini-muffler / catalytic converter combination can change the sound of a car's exhaust system considerably. Removing a vehicle's muffler or installing a less effective muffler than the original can cause the vehicle to violate noise regulations. Nevertheless some vehicle owners remove their car muffler in the belief it will improve performance, or just to make them louder.

Types and positions of mufflers

A muffler on a large diesel-powered truck
  • With cars, lengthwise underneath, blowing backwards at the rear
  • To the sides before the rear wheels.
  • With large diesel-powered trucks:-
    • Mounted vertically behind the cab
    • Crosswise under the front of the cab, blowing sideways.
  • With motorcycles:
    • Usually, beside the engine and rear wheel blowing backwards.
    • In more modern motorcycles, under the seat blowing backwards from under the back of the seat. (Under-slung)
    • Under-engine exhausts first reached popularity with Buell motorcycles, though by 2008 most manufacturers began using the under-engine design as well.

Motorcycle enthusiasts sometimes use the term "raygun," "drag pipes", "pea-shooter" or "hotdog-style" for the old shape of motorcycle exhaust silencer/muffler with a long straight cylindrical barrel that merged roundedly at each end into the pipe, as in this image and this image.


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Muffler — Muf fler, n. 1. Anything used in muffling; esp., a scarf for protecting the head and neck in cold weather; a tippet. [1913 Webster] Fortune is painted blind, with a muffler above her eyes. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mus.) A cushion for terminating… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • muffler — index damper (stopper) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • muffler — → mofle …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  • muffler — (n.) 1530s as a kind of wrap for the throat, agent noun from MUFFLE (Cf. muffle) (v.); as an automobile exhaust system silencer, it is attested from 1895 …   Etymology dictionary

  • muffler — ► NOUN 1) a wrap or scarf worn around the neck and face. 2) a device for deadening the sound of a drum or other instrument. 3) N. Amer. a silencer for a motor vehicle exhaust …   English terms dictionary

  • muffler — [muf′lər] n. 1. a scarf worn around the throat, as for warmth 2. any of various devices for deadening noises; specif., an automotive exhaust device containing two perforated pipes packed in sound deadening material …   English World dictionary

  • muffler — /muf leuhr/, n. 1. a scarf worn around one s neck for warmth. 2. any of various devices for deadening sound, as the sound of escaping gases of an internal combustion engine. 3. anything used for muffling. 4. Armor. a mittenlike glove worn with a… …   Universalium

  • muffler — [1] A unit through which the exhaust gases are passed to quiet the sounds of the running engine. The British term is silencer. [2] A hollow, tubular device used in the discharge line of some systems to muffle the thumping sounds made by the… …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • muffler — [[t]mʌ̱flə(r)[/t]] mufflers 1) N COUNT A muffler is the same as a scarf. [OLD FASHIONED] 2) N COUNT A muffler is a device on a car exhaust that makes it quieter. [AM] (in BRIT, use silencer) …   English dictionary

  • muffler — UK [ˈmʌflə(r)] / US [ˈmʌflər] noun [countable] Word forms muffler : singular muffler plural mufflers 1) old fashioned a long piece of cloth that you wrap around your neck to keep it warm 2) American a silencer on a vehicle …   English dictionary

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