I have an 1991 Ford Explorer.

I just found out my muffler wasn't connected. I was wondering why it was so loud when I got it. I have been driving it for a month now and I'm hoping I didn't wreck anything.

Can it wreck something if the muffler wasn't connected while driving it?

2 Answers 2


It's possible to cause valve damage if the engine is hot and cold air is sucked up into the exhaust (by backpressure when the throttle is closed). However, you'd have to basically disconnect the exhaust right after the exhaust header, or have a cracked exhaust header, for that to happen. So it's extremely unlikely you caused any engine damage. A more real concern is carbon monoxide from the exhaust making its way into the passenger area. Usually only an issue if you spend a lot of time idling and have rust holes in the floorboards.


The job of the muffler is to reduce the noise level of the exhaust; no other damage should have occurred if the exhaust piping was disconnected there.

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