5 signs of bad exhaust resonator that you shouldn’t overlook

18 May 2021 0 By Edith M.
5 signs of bad exhaust resonator that you shouldn’t overlook

When your car starts making a lot of noise, one might suppose that the car’s exhaust resonator functions improperly. This is obviously a problem that you shouldn’t overlook, otherwise, it might lead to a more serious problem in your engine. Did you ever wonder what’s the purpose of the exhaust resonator? How to know if the latter is broken? How to choose the best exhaust resonator for your car? This article will answer all of these questions for you.

What’s an exhaust resonator?

The exhaust resonator is mainly responsible for modulating noises emitted by the car’s engine. However, the resonator doesn’t reduce the sound as the muffler does, but it changes the annoying engine noises to a more pleasant and more silent one. Thus, while these two parts work together, your vehicle will emit less obnoxious noises that could disturb passengers and other nearby people.

What are the symptoms of a bad exhaust resonator?

For every car owner, it is important to regularly inspect the vehicle so that the potential problems are fixed in time. You should know that the resonator may have some trouble by recognizing these 5 symptoms below:

Excessive engine noises

As we mentioned above, the primary sign of the problem is the noise. Your vehicle may produce an uncommon buzzing sound or a rattling noise. Also, the excessively louder noises when you start the engine are considered a bad sign as well.

Unpleasant smell

Not only the noises, but you will also perceive toxic fumes and unpleasant smells ejected from the leaking exhaust. In this case, you should take it seriously and fix the problem immediately since these stinky fumes are truly harmful to your health.

Check engine light

A broken resonator will interrupt the engine controller functions and consequently make the engine light illuminated. Thus, always check your car’s dashboard. If the light is flashing, it means there is something wrong with the engine and we suggest you bring your car to an auto repair shop for a diagnostic.

Lower engine performance

A malfunction exhaust resonator may hinder exhaust expulsion. As a result, the exhaust will return to the engine and increase the back pressure on the car components. This may finally lead to lower engine performance and decrease fuel efficiency.

Engine shutdown

Lastly, if you overlook a broken resonator, pressure will gradually increase in the engine, and in the worst-case scenario, your vehicle may ultimately stop running. Therefore, do not wait until it has totally collapsed!

Top 5 exhaust resonator brands in 2021

Once you notice one or more symptoms above, it’s time to take your car to a mechanic in order to replace your malfunctioning exhaust resonator. For that reason, we have listed the top 5 trustable brands of resonators as follows:

Vibrant Performance

For more than 30 years in the automobile industry, Vibrant Performance has been considered one of the most famous exhaust resonator companies with an impeccable reputation. The best-selling product is the Vibrant Performance 1794 Bottle Style Resonator, which has gained many positive reviews from customers due to its high quality and nice sound.


Walker is another trustable brand from Michigan, firstly founded in 1908. The company has a long track record in producing premium and affordable exhaust resonators. The top-picked product is Walker 21398 Resonator that is made from aluminum steel. The latter comes with a corrosion-resistant property and is best known for its durability. In addition, the brand offers a warranty and good quality assurance as well.

Street Legal Performance (SLP)

Established in 1987, Street Legal Performance is now based in Michigan and has launched a variety of performance enhancement mechanical parts. We recommend their SLP Performance 31064 Loudmouth Resonator because it can help minimize drone produced from the engine. One downside of the latter is its high price, however, it will probably last longer than most other brands.


Dynomax is a company specialized in chip-tuning and preparing cars for races. It manufactures many auto parts and equipment, including exhaust resonators. For example, the Dynomax Race Bullet 23235. The latter is impressively lightweight but durable. Most importantly, it can also change an annoying drone into a deep-toned sound like a race car. This is the function that you cannot find in any other brands.


Flowmaster has the mission to provide the highest quality exhaust products and it offers a large variety of models for almost every type of car: the latest race cars, SUVs, or even trucks.

And let’s not forget their Universal Resonator. The latter will filter out the annoying droning noise while keeping the rich exterior sounds derived from the exhaust. In addition, it also comes in different sizes and designs so it can suit your vehicle perfectly.

As you can see, the big pipe under your car is more important than you think. Although a resonator is not a must, it is indeed worth investing in. It reduces annoying noises and helps increase overall engine performance as well as providing a smoother driving experience.