Difference Between Muffler and Catalytic Converter

What is the difference between a vehicle’s muffler and a catalytic converter?

  1. Their Roles
  2. Where Are They Located?
  3. Effect on Pollution

Have you ever seen what is under your car? Aside from the usual dust, grime, and mud that can be found there, you will find a long system of metal piping and chambers that run along from below the engine, across the middle of the car, all the way to the end. Within that system of pipes, you will find two large metal chambers referred to as the muffler and the catalytic converter. If you know about these two essential car parts, have you ever wondered what the difference is between a muffler and a catalytic converter? 

In this article, we discuss their functions, where they are located on the vehicle, their effect on pollution, and how much they matter in keeping your vehicle running properly. 


Similarities Between A Muffler and Catalytic Converter 

Similarities Between A Muffler and Catalytic Converter 

Let’s have a brief rundown as to what the similarities are between your car’s muffler and catalytic converter prior to learning their differences. 

Both the muffler and catalytic converter are part of your car’s exhaust system. The exhaust system of an automobile is responsible for taking collecting gasses from the cylinder, reducing the level of noise, and removing harmful substances that result from internal combustion. So, basically, it gets rid of what’s considered a waste product. 

Your car’s muffler and catalytic converter are important because they both deal with unwanted pollution in their own way. Continue reading on to learn about the difference between a muffler and catalytic converter when it comes to roles, location, and effect on pollution.  

Their Roles

The differences mainly come from the unique roles of the muffler and the catalytic converter. 

Let’s start first with the catalytic converter. The catalytic converter takes harmful chemical gasses which result from burning fuel to operate the engine, namely nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide which damage the and change them to nitrogen gas, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. As opposed to the muffler, the name itself is very descriptive of what it does — it muffles or silences the resulting noise from the engine. As a result, it’s quieter and less bothersome to the driver, the passengers, fellow motorists, and people your vehicle passes by.

Where Are They Located?

Where Are They Located?

Both components, being part of the exhaust system, are located underneath the car. Multiple tubes running from the engine converge into one central pipe which then connects almost immediately to the catalytic converter which is under the middle part of the car. 

After the process of converting gasses is performed by the catalytic converter, it goes on all the way down the exhaust pipe onto the next bit which is the muffler. Now depending on the vehicle, the muffler may be located farther back down the line, and for some, it can come before or after a resonator. However, the normal location for the muffler is somewhere in the rear half of the vehicle always behind the catalytic converter.


Effect on Pollution

Without the muffler and the catalytic converter, more pollution will be produced by vehicles. Noise pollution is a big concern, especially in crowded urban areas as well as residential areas, which is why mufflers are crucial vehicle parts. In most countries, they have established a Decibel limit for how loud an automobile should be. For example, in the European Union, the limit is 72 DB. In the United Kingdom, it’s 74, in the United States of America, it’s 95, and in the Philippines, it’s 99 decibels. 

The same goes for the catalytic converters. The catalytic converter is part of your car’s emission and exhaust system. Emission testing is required and a standard is enforced in order to maintain air quality. 


Key Takeaway

Knowing how important both the muffler and the catalytic converter are and since you already recognize what they both do, it’s equally important to understand how vital it is to have quality mufflers and catalytic converters. That’s why if you need spare parts, partnering with a quality automotive parts provider in the Philippines such as Roberts is something that you need to consider.

Rest assured that whether you’re looking for mufflers in the Philippines or catalytic converts in the Philippines, Roberts has it for you. Click here to contact us for more car part products inquiries.