What is an Exhaust Resonator?

What is an Exhaust Resonator?

When it comes to cars and exhaust, most people will mention the catalytic converter, header, and the muffler. However, the exhaust resonator is something only a few recognize. Also, often, people mistake the resonator with a muffler, but these two have different functions in a vehicle’s exhaust system.

Here’s a look at what an exhaust resonator is and what it does.

What is a Resonator?

An exhaust resonator is a component installed in the exhaust system after the catalytic converter. It’s before the muffler, and it’s called a pre-muffler. Some cars have a resonator while others do not. Resonators work in combination with a muffler.

How Does a Resonator Work?

A resonator cancels out a range of sound frequencies. An engineer decides on the suitable range that would be ideal to hear and build the resonator to get rid of that frequency: irritating buzz or a loud drone produced by harsh noises or intervals. Resonators also decrease engine back pressure and increase performance.

An exhaust resonator takes the sound waves produced by the exhaust pulses and fine tunes them into an organized pattern. You can enjoy a distinctive engine sound coupled with improved power and efficiency.

Is There a Difference Between a Resonator and a Muffler?

Although most people think of a muffler as similar to a resonator, they have a difference. Mufflers moderate the engine noise out of an exhaust system. Also, mufflers have multiple baffles and chambers that allow the exhaust gases to pass through. The alignment of the baffles and chambers determine the type of exhaust note you receive.

A few mufflers have a high pitch while some are throaty and deep. Moreover, they are functional at all RPM levels. Unlike resonators which decrease engine back pressure, mufflers increase engine back pressure which could interfere with the performance.

On the other hand, resonators do not affect the exhaust note or volume. Exhaust pipes provide a smooth exhaust note and compliment mufflers when it comes to the reduction of annoying drone. Furthermore, resonators get rid of the ping-y and raspy noise from your exhaust.

When Should You Install or Replace a Bad Resonator?

You need to install a resonator if you’re looking for that rumbly sound. Also, you may need a new resonator if you’re repairing your exhaust system. Failure to replace the resonator could interfere with how your engine works.

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