How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 190

How do certain mufflers provide more horsepower?
A muffler's job is to control the flow of exhaust from the cylinders to the outside air, so that the abrupt fluctuations in pressure created by the opening cylinders are smoothed away by the time the exhaust leaves the car's tail pipe. The pressure fluctuations create sound and, by smoothing them away, the muffler quiets the engine. But the easiest ways to smooth away the pressure fluctuations also impede the flow of exhaust from the cylinders. The result is that some exhaust is trapped in the cylinders and interferes with the operation of the engine. The car's gas mileage drops. A good muffler smoothes out exhaust pressure without impeding its flow and without reducing gas mileage.

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