If you hear a dull thumping noise whenever you run over a rough patch of road, it is likely that your muffler hanger needs to be replaced, because your muffler is hanging free and bumping against the bottom of your vehicle.
While it is a simple job, it is very dirty, so if you have an aversion to lying under your vehicle while being showered with rust and accumulated dirt, you may choose to have the hanger replaced at an auto service facility. If you don't mind the dirt, then you should expect to perform the following procedures.
Replacing a muffler hanger
Muffler hangers hold your exhaust system in place, suspended between the bottom of your vehicle and the ground. The hangers that hold them in suspension usually consist of a rubber ring or strap. While rubber doesn't last as long as metal, it is necessary to allow the exhaust system to absorb the shock of riding over uneven road surfaces.
To check which style of hanger you will need, you need to check under the vehicle and remove the old hanger. It is important that you park the vehicle on a level surface and set the parking brake. It is also very important to wait until the exhaust system has cooled before touching it, or you run the risk of severe burns.
You may need an adjustable wrench to remove the old hanger, depending on the model used.
You should wear safety glasses and a dust mask when removing the broken hanger, because the exhaust system and the bottom of your car is covered with dirt and rust that will break loose easily when it is jostled. Work gloves will protect your hands from sharp edges. Lying on a piece of cardboard is also a good idea, especially in a public area.
If the hanger resembles a strap, and is secured by bolts to the bottom of the vehicle and the top of the muffler, you will need to remove the bolts with an adjustable or fitted wrench. Doing this may require the use of a lubricant, because the bolts may be rusted and difficult to remove. Be careful to turn your head away slightly and wear your safety glasses when removing the bolts to avoid a shower of rust and dirt. Keep your mouth closed too.
If the hanger resembles a rubber ring that is connected to a hook on the bottom of the vehicle and a hook on the top of the muffler, it will likely be broken or split in half, with only one half remaining. If nothing is attached to either hook, then you can still be certain that a ring type hanger is needed.
After buying the appropriate hanger, attach it to the top of the muffler first, then to the bottom of the vehicle. You will need to lift the muffler into position while attaching the upper portion of the hanger, so you may want to recruit a helper, or find a