When you think of vehicle maintenance and repairs, drivers tend to look toward the essentials: oil, brakes, wheels, suspension, etc. While keeping these components in tip-top shape is important for the safety of your passengers and functionality of your vehicle, they are not the only parts that require occasional maintenance or even replacement.
One of the overlooked, undervalued components of your Volkswagen is the muffler bracket, also known as an exhaust hanger. This is the piece that keeps your exhaust pipe safely secured in place. This bracket has a very pointed, very important job, but most people don’t consider its existence. If your bracket fails, whether it, or cracks, slips loose falls off completely, your Volkswagen becomes at risk of irreparable damage to the tailpipe and catalytic converter.
Causes of Muffler Bracket Failure
Muffler brackets should last a minimum of 5 years, but many Volkswagen owners will go the entire life of their car without having to replace the component. Others may not be so lucky.
Below are several factors that determine the longevity of your muffler bracket:
Rough terrain, especially with lots of bumps or rocks, can bounce, jostle, and even dislodge your muffler bracket.
Regardless of the terrain, any impact from flying rocks, sticks in the road, and potholes has the potential to damage the muffler bracket.
The corrosive effects of salt on metal are well-known. Those who live in areas with heavily-salted roads or near the ocean should take care to wash their vehicle more frequently to minimize salt damage over time.
Volkswagens that come with lowered suspension, and vehicle owners who make modifications to their suspension, are at a higher risk of muffler bracket damage due to increased impacts while driving.
Symptoms of Muffler Bracket Failure
Because the muffler bracket is such a simple part, despite its big job, there are only 4 main symptoms of a failing bracket. You may notice that all of the below symptoms appear at once, or only one or two appear at a time:
Noisy exhaust is the first symptom you’re likely to notice if your muffler bracket is failing. The muffler does what its name implies: it muffles the sounds of your engine by reducing the vibrations of your emissions. If your bracket or the muffler itself becomes damaged, you’re likely to hear increased exhaust noise. Additionally, if your bracket is failed due to being cracked or dislodged, you’ll probably hear sudden rattling, vibrations, or other sounds that are new to you.
When you shut off the engine, your vehicle begins to cool down as rapidly as it can, which causes any moisture in your engine to settle. As this moisture is typically full of contaminants, you may experience gradual sludge or mineral buildup in various parts of your vehicle, often in the muffler itself. This sludge can then cause clogs or rust deposits to build up in the muffler or the brackets, which can be visible to the naked eye.
If your bad muffler bracket has taken a toll on other parts of the exhaust system by shifting their alignment, or if your exhaust condensation from above has built up in your catalytic converter, then your engine may begin to misfire. If the issue is due to a faulty muffler bracket, you’ll notice the most misfires when you let off your acceleration and hit the brakes.
Hanging Exhaust Pipe
The last and most self-explanatory symptom of a failed muffler bracket is that your exhaust pipe is visibly hanging low. If this is the case, it’s time to bring your vehicle into a mechanic, as this is a potentially dangerous situation.
Import Motorworx for Muffler Bracket Failure
Visit Import Motorworx of Lawndale, Culver City, West Los Angeles, and South Bay, CA today. We specialize in maintaining and repairing only high-end imports in the greater West Los Angeles area, because high-end cars deserve high-end treatment. Our technicians maintain elite certifications and receive ongoing training to ensure that your vehicle is maintained by experts you can trust. Contact us today to set up an appointment.