Right Driver

Can you drive a car without a silencer or muffler?

If you remove your silencer or muffler your car will be louder than it was when it came out of the factory and that means you will be breaking the law unless you are driving it to a place of repair.

If you get pulled over by the police they could give you a vehicle defect rectification notice. This gives you 14 days to fix it and show the proof to police – usually, a receipt from a mechanic will be enough if it is a muffler repair. The station duty officer may want to sight the car to verify it; it’s a good idea to take some photos of the new muffler on the car just in case you are not parked nearby.

Bear in mind that if you get this notice, you cannot drive it unless it is to a place of repair. You might also get a notice if you have a cracked muffler which is making much more noise than usual.

What is a muffler or silencer?

It’s part of your exhaust which dampens the sounds made by the engine. If you remove is, the engine will be much louder. People often want to modify their exhaust to reduce this dampening because it can rob the engine of power. Or they may want the car to sound ‘better’.

Example of a car muffler

The maximum noise from a new car is 74 dB(A) (A-weighted decibels) which is the same as Europe’s regulations.

Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

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