Muffler Deletes – What are they and are they good or bad?

Back when performance and modifying your car was just starting, everyone was doing whatever they could for weight loss, performance and sometimes a just a bit of noise and show. There’s many ways to achieve these goals, but some are more widely adopted due to the fact hat they’re inexpensive and easy to do.

One of the easiest and most popular mods that help your car get a lighter is the classic muffler delete. Quite simply, it’s a pipe that bolts in place of the bulky factory muffler and essentially makes your car loud! Factory mufflers, especially on dual exhaust cars and trucks, are extremely heavy and can weigh up to 100 pounds. Most muffler deletes, depending on type of material, flanges and tip size can be up an 80% reduction in weight. That’s noticeable.

Most muffler deletes come with tips that make your exhaust have a modified look. But if you couldn’t tell from the look of the new exhaust, you’ll certainly be able to tell by the sound. Since there are no mufflers, the exhaust becomes really loud.

We always hear people ask is it legal to remove a muffler? Technically, a muffler delete does not increase emissions as it removes no smog equipment. But some cities and towns can have laws against an exhaust that goes over a certain decibel level limit or even just having a modified exhaust at all. We recommend checking with your local laws to find out what’s considered illegal.

Another common question we hear is a muffler delete the same as a straight pipe? 99% of the time, a straight pipe is referring to a catalytic converter delete. It’s a straight pipe that simply replaces the cat. This absolutely is not smog legal, BTW. A catalytic converters job is to reduce emissions while a muffler’s job is to reduce noise.

And of course, everyone wants to know does a muffler delete add power? Just about every modern car has a very efficient oem factory muffler. It’s able to tone down exhaust sound levels while still allowing smooth flow that doesn’t rob much power, if any. So for most cars, the muffler delete will not add any power. Some cars will gain some power, but generally it’s not much, usually under 5 horsepower. However, if you have a car modified for more power, and still has the stock mufflers, then you’ll have more gain.

We thought it might be good to come with a muffler delete pros and cons list.

Muffler Delete Pros

  • Inexpensive when compared to an axle back or exhaust system.
  • Lightweight and a significant weight difference over stock.
  • Perfect for someone looking for a louder exhaust without breaking the bank

Muffler Delete Cons

  • Can drone in the cabine
  • Can be too loud for some

If you have anything to add to his article or if you have any questions about muffler deletes, exhausts or anything for your car at all, please leave a comment below.

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19 comments
  1. I have a Mitsubishi Eclipse Gt’01 will a muffled delete be any good or should I leave it as is, and what cars/trucks do you think would benefit from it most?

    1. None. No cars will benefit anything from a Muffler Delete. Get a Catback or Axelback Exhaust.

      Muffler Deletes sound like Crap. It will make your car sound like a ricer 4 cylinder.

      Do it right and not cheap. You can pick up something nice for around 500 bucks.

    1. Imagine someone with a really deep voice sitting in your back going “uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” forever.

  2. Removing the DEF components is just one step in what those in the performance-diesel circles call doing a “delete.” Emissions-related components on diesels are there to reduce the amount of harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) and exhaust particulates released into the air. Diesel exhaust is dirty, and at some point the oily soot and carbon buildup from the exhaust recirculating through the engine will clog up the EGR valve, EGR sensors, EGR cooler and diesel particulate filter (DPF), and gum up turbo vanes. Performance and fuel economy fall off as these components plug up, and the frequency of your Duramax’s “regens” will increase in frequency trying to keep the DPF clean.

    1. Here’s the issue with that.

      If you do that to a truck that still under warranty they will not fox anything if if breaks if the problem is in the driveline.

      A good controller can get HP and Torque Gaines without “Rolling Coal”.

  3. Just curious if doing a muffler delete can cause any deadly fumes to go into the main compartment of the vehicle? Can it be dangerous for infants? TiA

    1. Muffler deletes do not remove any smog equipment, they just remove the muffler which makes your car louder. Check your local laws to see if they allow this.

  4. Hi,
    Just deleted both mufflers and the mid-resonator from my Civic Type R.

    I’ve been reading that what I did probably affected low-end torque. Is that actually true? You can find a lot of opinions on the Internet that can be confusing and misleading,

  5. I just deleted the mufflers on my 2012 Challenger 3.6 V6. It sounds pretty good, but in stop and go driving it is a little loud at low RPM. Highway driving sounds pretty good. It doesn’t sound like a ricer. It does sound like a muscle car. Would I do it again, I don’t think so.

  6. Does muffler delete affect or damage the engine?
    Does muffler delete have a side effect or bad feed back on the engine?

    Just looking some idea if i delete my muffler does effect or damage the engine.

  7. My 2012 VE SV6 LFX has intergrated headers would this mean that the only real exhaust ‘upgrade’ would be deletes?
    for sound at least.

  8. We’ve actually done this muffler delete from my brother’s car. The sound is ok, better than the stock and it sounded like a muscle car. But if you ask me if I’m gonna do it again? probably no :).

  9. When you buy a car make sure you check the muffler and exhaust. Don’t let sneaky crooked mechanics fool you , Evan at fancy dealerships in Minnetonka!!!!!!!!!!!

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