A lot of domestic cars these days come with a 4 cylinder engine. These engines are lightweight, take up minimal space underneath the bonnet, low-priced, and provide impressive mileage. There’s a catch, however. 4 cylinder engines sound quite lackluster compared to their V6 and V8 counterparts. That said, using the best muffler for 4 cylinder engines can solve that issue.
A muffler is not only an accessory to make your engine sound better. The best sounding muffler for 4 cylinder can also improve your car’s performance and make it more fuel efficient. So, it’s very important to get the appropriate muffler for your car. A mediocre muffler will only add to your woes.
As always, we have conducted extensive research to come up with our list of suggestions. We have reviewed the best-selling products in the market and highlighted the best of the bunch. On top of that, we will talk about the factors you need to prioritize while shopping for a muffler that befits your car.
No time to go through the entire article? Then here’s our ultimate recommendation for you: the MagnaFlow 11216. What made us fall in love with this unit is the sui generis sound it lets out. It also has a stainless steel finish which makes the muffler incredibly sturdy and beautiful to look at.
Now with that out of the way, let’s get started with our reviews!
Best Muffler For 4 Cylinder Reviews
Borla is a leading name in the brake pad industry, and it shows in the exquisite craftsmanship of the Borla 40358 Pros XS muffler. It has a perforated core that plays a vital role in suppressing obnoxious engine noise and transforming it into a deep rumble. Its 304-grade stainless steel construction guarantees its longevity.
The manufacturers have fully welded this unit to make it even more durable. You can remain 100% tension-free regarding heat and corrosion problems. The bi-directional design allows for an effortless installation. Therefore, you can install it by yourself and avoid seeking professional help, which of course, don’t come free.
- 304-Grade Stainless Steel With Full Welding: To keep the muffler safe from rust and high temperature, Borla engineers have used 304-grade stainless steel to build this muffler. They have also fully welded it to ensure it remains in top shape for years.
- High Temperature CFF and Perforated Core: The muffler has a perforated core, which comes wrapped in high temperature Continuous Filament Fiber (CFF). The overall setup facilitates instant engine sound transformation.
- Bi-Directional Installation: You can fit the muffler in your car in both directions. So, you won’t face much difficulties if you choose to DIY the installation instead of going to a muffler shop.
You can rely on a Flowmaster muffler to give you exemplary service throughout its lifespan. The best muffler for a 4 cylinder car will not be overly low-pitched, nor will it be ear-splittingly noisy. We feel the Flowmaster Super 40 series finds the right intensity of sound. It is deep and powerful but, it never goes over the top.
Flowmaster’s original 40 series had received appraisal for its acoustics. The Super 40 improves it even further, as the name implies. The company’s proprietary Delta Flow technology allows the engine to maintain low interior resonance and cancel out unpleasant noise. The 16 gauge aluminized steel build and MIG welding make the unit quite sturdy.
- Delta Flow Technology: Flowmaster’s Delta Flow Technology keeps resonance inside the engine to a minimum. In doing so, it keeps the sound emission within a desired decibel range.
- 16 Gauge Aluminum Steel: The Flowmaster Super 40 953047 boasts a 16 gauge aluminum steel body. The aluminum finishing holds up well. 100% MIG welding throws in an extra layer of protection.
- High-performance Internal Chambers: The internal chambers of this muffler curate the sound and generates a cavernous tone. For this reason, the Flowmaster Super 40 series can make your car engine roar like a high-end sports car.
Dynomax is another name that you would see constantly popping up as you search for the best muffler for turbo 4 cylinder. The Dynomax Super Turbo 17733 is an exhaust muffler that offers premium design and acoustic quality. Thanks to Dynomax’s unique flow technology, these mufflers can establish a free-flowing exhaust system and minimize turbulence.
Large flow tubes have been a distinctive feature for Dynomax mufflers, and the Dynomax Super Turbo 17733 stays true to that heritage. Because of the spacious exhaust pipes, the fumes can travel easily through them without congestion. It is available in multiple sizes to cater to a vast range of vehicles.
- Fiberglass Matting: The muffler comes with fiberglass matting to catch surplus internal resonance. It is crucial to produce an emphatic growl from your engine rather than a bland squealing.
- Large Exhaust Flow Tubes: The large exhaust flow tubes substantially increases the outflow of exhaust fumes. In doing so, it cuts back on turbulence and boosts engine ergonomics. These pipes also minimize back pressure to a great extent.
- Customizable Design: For a perfect fit, you can select the right shape and body diameters. The flexibility in design makes the Dynomax Super Turbo 17733 muffler a universal fit.
Thrush has been a strong presence in the American auto parts industry for nearly half a century. They have brought some excellent mufflers to the market over the years, and the Thrush 17649 happens to be one of them. It is a dual-chamber exhaust muffler that has a sleek brand logo embossed on its chest.
Thrush 17649 packs an impressive set of utilities other than sporting an eye-catching appearance. It keeps rust at bay with its 304-grade stainless steel construction. The muffler makes the sound level increase with a consistent pitch as you put more pressure on the accelerator.
- Two Chamber Design: This Thrush muffler processes the engine noise through two internal chambers. As a result, the sound refines to an aggressive rumble as you take the road by storm.
- Aluminized Steel Build: The core body of the Thrush 17649 is made of 304 grade stainless steel. There is also a protective layer of aluminum on top of it for greater durability.
- Flexible Design: Thrush 17649 mufflers come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Therefore, they are compatible with all types of cars. Even if you can’t find a perfect fit, a personalized welding will take care of the problem.
They say the best things come in small packages. One can cite the DC Sports EX-5016 as the perfect example for that adage. It is a bijou piece of accessory that makes your car sound as vigorous as you could imagine. The muffler gives out a profound, thundering sound as you fire up your engine.
Weighing only 2.77 pounds, the DC Sports EX-5016 is one of the most lightweight mufflers around. It has a glistening, silvery physique made of top-of-the-line stainless steel. So, rust wouldn’t be able to affect it. It bolsters your overall exhaust system. Consequently, you will not have to worry about high backpressure.
- Genuine Stainless Steel Construction: Manufacturers have crafted this with pure stainless steel. Hence, it makes it impossible for rust to build upon its surface. So, you can expect this to be in service for a long time.
- Backpressure Compensating Design: Backpressure leads to turbulence. Therefore, minimizing backpressure would automatically result in less turbulence. The DC Sports EX-5016 has been designed to keep backpressure at a minimum level.
- High Performance Exhaust System: Apart from making your car sound amazing, the DC Sports EX-5016 enhances the exhaust system of your car. So, your car would be able to hit higher horsepower benchmarks.
The name MagnaFlow should not be a stranger to you if you ever went to a muffler store. It is one of the most famous exhaust pipe brands in circulation. If you have been longing for a deep, rumbling sound to come out of your engine upon turning the ignition keys, the MagnaFlow 11216 can be a very good buy for you.
The MagnaFlow 11216 has a wide-open performance design. Therefore, it can collect more air at a time and generate an echoing grumble from the engine. The engine sound will surprise you when you hear it for the first time. It is hard to believe that a four-cylinder engine is capable of making such a formidable battle cry.
- Stainless Steel Build: The MagnaFlow 11216 has a polished stainless steel body. The muffler will retain its sparkling silvery appearance despite years of use. It is immune to corrosion.
- Wide Open Performance Design: This is a common design attribute in MagnaFlow mufflers. It enables the muffler to take in more air and use it to create imposingly resonant engine sound.
- Signature Deep Tone Sound: All MagnaFlow mufflers emit a signature deep tone sound. For this reason, most MagnaFlow users choose to stick with the brand. The peals of grumble you would get from this muffler are truly unique.
7. Walker 17886
If you are on a tight budget, then allow us to put in a good word for the Walker 17886. The aluminized steel body does a remarkable job in repelling rust. You can also see spot-welded bushings, which bolster the unit’s durability to a significant degree. We also admire the tube and partition design, which makes the muffler more ergonomic.
You can take the welding route during installation, but it is not an absolute necessity. There is also the slip fit and clamp option. Do you want the car engine to be deep but not overwhelmingly loud? Walker 17886 has got you covered on that front. Also, you can custom-fit the muffler if you can’t find a readymade fit for your vehicle.
- Aluminized Steel Build: Walker 17886 has been made with a spectacular combo of aluminum and steel. Even though it is not made of stainless steel, it fares pretty well against corrosion.
- Tube and Partition Style: The muffler uses a tube and partition style to process the air and filter out excessive noise. It is not as loud as some of the other mufflers we have reviewed, but the sound quality is still enthralling.
- Spot Welded Bushings & Spun-Locked Heads: For superior structural strength and a longer lifespan, Walker engineers have deployed spot welded bushings and spun-locked heads.
Dynomax 24250 Race Bullet Mini Muffler is aimed towards mini race cars, as the name implies. It weighs barely two and a half pounds and occupies a measly amount of space. But, it has proven its worth in the tracks and comes with Dyno test certifications. Therefore, it is a reliable accessory for four-cylinder race cars.
Similar to the Dynomax Super Turbo 17733, which we had reviewed above, the Dynomax 24250 features fiberglass matting. The Continuous Roving Fiberglass, aka CRF, technology, gives the muffler the ability to absorb unnecessary internal resonance. So, the engine continues to function and roar smoothly.
- Ultra Compact Design: The muffler has a dimension of 25’’x4’’x4’’ inches and weighs only 2.5 pounds. Since it is so small, it is suitable for most four-cylinder mini race vehicles.
- CRF Technology: Dynomax used the Continuous Roving Fiberglass technique to control engine acoustics with this muffler. CRF neutralizes the effect of unwarranted engine resonance.
- Complete Stainless Steel Construction: When it comes to rust protection and longevity, stainless steel is unmatched. Thus, the Dynomax 24250 has been sourced from premium grade stainless steel.
Only customers with specific needs would find the Flowmaster 842515 useful. But, it treats its target audience so well that we couldn’t overlook it for our list of best four-cylinder mufflers. If you have an off-road vehicle like a Jeep Wrangler and want to make it sound fearsome as it cruises through the terrains, this is the muffler to settle for.
Flowmaster’s signature Delta Flow Technology is present in this unit as well. The muffler has no separate compartments. So, it can regularly churn out aggressive rumblings. Moreover, it constantly channels streams of air through the exhaust pipe to increase engine efficiency and performance.
- Delta Flow Technology: Flowmaster’s Delta Flow Technology keeps the engine resonance in check. This enables the truck engine to make intimidating sounds befitting to its rough and tough nature.
- 409s Stainless Steel Build: The manufacturer has gone with the 409-grade stainless steel to make this muffler. This particular grade is more suitable for welding than the 304-grade variant of stainless steel.
- Flowmaster Chambered Technology: This is the loudest muffler Flowmaster has made to date. The single-chamber design of the unit makes it possible for it to produce better sound.
We will wrap up our list with the Dynomax Super Turbo 17748. It comes out with a mellower tone than some of the mufflers we mentioned, but it still rumbles convincingly. The somewhat subdued emission of sound is primarily because of the turbo architecture rather than the chambered one.
But, turbo mufflers compensate for this with their superior exhaust flow management. They direct more air through the pipes and increase engine proficiency. This particular Dynomax model can flow as much as 550 Standard Cubic Feet per Minute (SCFM). The Dynomax 17748 accomplishes this by sending air through punctured tubes.
- Fiberglass Matting: The Dynomax Super Turbo 17748 has interior fiberglass coatings to offset extra resonance. This noise suppression technique is crucial to make the engine sound pleasing to your ears.
- Exclusive Flow Director Technology: The flow director technology efficiently drives exhaust fumes through the pipes. Therefore, turbulence decreases and the engine stays fit as a fiddle.
- Aluminized Steel Construction: The Dynomax Super Turbo 17748 has an aluminized steel structure. It keeps the muffler safe from corrosion. Aluminized steel has another benefit as it can be easily welded.
Best Muffler For 4 Cylinder Cars: Buying Guide
On the face of it, mufflers appear to be a simple component. But the reality is, engineers have to consider a plethora of fluid dynamics scenarios while designing one. The slightest variations would lead to drastic changes in output. So, you have to reflect on a few things while buying a muffler for your four-cylinder engine.
What Type Of Muffler You Should Get?
Mufflers have different sound treatment techniques. Based on that criteria, you can classify them into three categories: Straight-Through, Chambered & Turbo mufflers. Each of these variants has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. To know more about them, check the following sections.
Straight-through mufflers have no obstructions in their interior design. This allows more air to pass through the tube. The tube is perforated and has a dampening material like fiberglass wrapped around it. The fiberglass takes the edge off high-pitch frequencies, but the muffler still emits a loud noise. In fact, straight-through is the loudest among the three types.
Example: Borla 40358.
Chambered mufflers have acoustic chambers. As sound waves pass through these chambers, they come across strategically placed reflectors. These reflectors throw certain sound frequencies against each other and cancel them out in the process. For this reason, chambered mufflers are not as loud as straight-through ones, but they sound better.
Example: Thrush 17649.
Turbo mufflers have even more sound restriction measures in place compared to their chambered equivalents. So, if you want more refinement in your engine sound rather than loudness, then you would love to use a turbo muffler. These mufflers also offer superior mileage and less turbulence.
Example: Dynomax Super Turbo 17748.
Get The Proper Fit
After sorting out what style of muffler you would get, the next consideration would be ensuring a proper fit. Mufflers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so there are ample personalization opportunities. The most common four-cylinder setup involves a solitary exhaust that connects to a muffler with only one inlet and an outlet.
Going with a dual exhaust setup could be a great way to spice up your car’s appearance. To do that, you can buy a dual outlet muffler. Once you install such a muffler, you would have the option to put two exhaust pipes on two sides of the car. Attach two exhaust tips, and the new look of your ride is complete.
Finally, you need to check whether there is enough space underneath your car to accommodate the muffler. If the muffler hangs lower than other components, it might sustain damage when you are driving. Also, make sure that the location of the exhaust hanger bracket is easily accessible.
Materials and Construction
Mufflers suffer a lot of difficult situations throughout their lifespan. They collide with rocks and debris, come in contact with acidic liquids, and goes through intense temperature changes. So, mufflers have to have a certain level of ruggedness to their structure. Otherwise, they wouldn’t survive more than a few trips.
If budget is not an issue, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than a three-layer muffler. The most durable mufflers in the market commonly feature an exterior casing, an inner casing, and an insulation sheet. These mufflers are expensive, but they would be in service for a longer period and are more appropriate for challenging terrains.
To minimize cost, many manufacturers choose to use aluminized steel. While aluminized steel does offer temporary protection against rust, it doesn’t last long. But, aluminized steel mufflers are easier to weld. Stainless steel is the most premium material you can ask for. If you don’t want to compromise durability, pick stainless steel mufflers.
Emission & Noise Level
Not all mufflers are cleared for on-street vehicles. Before buying a muffler make sure it adheres to the regulations of your state. Also, keep in mind that exhaust noise levels are limited by law when you are driving in locality. Your vehicle can’t be as noisy as a NASCAR car when driving through a residential area or a municipality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How Can You Tell When A Muffler Goes Bad?
If your car suddenly becomes louder than usual, then you can suspect that something is wrong with your muffler. If your muffler gets corroded, or damaged otherwise, it will start to make off-putting noises.
An underperforming muffler can also cause a surge in smoke emissions. If you are facing these issues, then inspect your muffler immediately.
Q. Can You Position The Muffler In Any Direction?
For bi-directional mufflers, it doesn’t matter which direction the muffler goes on. If the muffler is directional, however, it will malfunction if you position it the wrong way. Look for arrow signs to install it in the way it is meant to be installed. Wrongful installations make the engine noise louder or quieter than ideal.
Q. Can Exhaust Pipe Length Influence The Level Of Sound Emission?
Yes, exhaust pipe length can influence the sound output of your engine. Longer exhaust pipes are quieter than their shorter counterparts.
So, if you are aiming for a quitter engine, consider installing a longer exhaust tip. Pair it up with the right muffler, and you would get the level of noise suppression you were looking for.
Q. What Tools Do I Need To Replace A Muffler?
It is not necessary to seek professional help to replace a muffler. You can find a lot of DIY videos on YouTube that would walk you through the process. To change a muffler by yourself, you would, first of all, need a jack to raise the back end of your car. Your toolbox should also have a can of rust penetrating fluid, a wrench, some ratchets, and a cutting tool.
We hope reading this article will help you pick the best muffler for 4 cylinder cars. Our goal was to create an informative guideline apart from laying out a top ten recommendation. Each of the items we have reviewed here represents the finest four-cylinder muffler offerings in the market. So, you can pick the one that fits your needs the best without any hesitation.