The engine churns away to power your vehicle through the day and, in the process, makes some pretty loud noises as it goes. The resonator is one part of the exhaust system that helps to reduce this noise. Most people know about the muffler and catalytic converter, but not so many understand what does a car resonator do and how it differs from a muffler. This article, from The Drive's Crack Info team, will help you get all the answers about this important exhaust component.
Resonators are not present in every vehicle's exhaust system, but if yours does have one, it is situated between the catalytic converter and the muffler. The resonator's primary function is to change the sounds of the engine before they reach the muffler for a final decibel reduction. It does this by acting as a large echo chamber and canceling out high-pitched sounds.
Acoustic engineers realized that while mufflers were great at reducing engine noise, they were a little too restrictive when it came to movement. Creating a resonator that would allow the sound waves to move through more easily made it much easier for mufflers to quiet things down without removing any of the engine's efficiency or power.
Signs of a bad resonator include an unusual noise coming from the engine, a foul odor, and reduced performance and fuel economy. If you think your resonator isn't working properly, you can jack up your vehicle and take a look at it under the hood to see what is happening. A professional mechanic will be able to help you decide what your next steps should be and whether or not a replacement is necessary.