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A muffler is an important component of an engine's . Mufflers perform two major functions:

- To help to channel exhaust gasses out of the engine and away from the vehicle.
- To reduce exhaust system noise that is directed from exhaust ports to the exhaust pipes.

The lifespan of a muffler varies due to the vehicle model and the overall vehicle use. Mufflers, like most auto parts, can wear out over time. As such, it is important to be alert to some of the signs and symptoms of a muffler that needs replacement. Common symptoms of a bad or failing muffler include engine misfires, a very loud exhaust noise, and condensation from the exhaust pipes.

Here are some of the signs of a broken, bad, or failing muffler that should be replaced:
- Exhaust is louder than usual. When the muffler is damaged or has a hole in it, this causes the pre-muffled exhaust to leak, increasing the sound that comes out of the exhaust system. If you hear noise that gets louder when you accelerate, you may need a new muffler.
- Engine is misfiring. If the muffler has a hole inside the unit and loses its efficiency, it can cause misfiring in the engine, particularly when under deceleration.
- Fuel consumption increases. If you notice that you're spending more at the pump than you used to, then you might have exhaust system problems.
- Condensation from the exhaust pipes. When you notice excessive condensation coming from the exhaust pipe, especially in mid-day, this may be a signal that the muffler is starting to wear out.