Car Maintenance: Replacing the Exhaust Hanger for Your Muffler

Using a wrench to install an exhaust hanger
You might be familiar with that clanging, scraping sound when your car goes over a bump or reaches the bottom of the hill. Or maybe you're one of the lucky (unlucky?) ones to see those sparks when the metal at the bottom of your car hits the pavement.In all likelihood, that metal is your muffler, and the reason it's ploughing into the road is because the exhaust hangers (also known as muffler straps) that hold your muffler safely above the ground are worn out. The exhaust hangers are basically rubber loops, or a combination of rubber and steel, and like a rubber band, it's pretty easy to tell if they're broken by just following your exhaust pipe on the bottom of your car back to the muffler. Chances are you'll see the exhaust hanger in two halves, with one half attached to the car and the other to your muffler, or perhaps it's gone altogether (it's pretty easy to spot -- just look at the part of the muffler that hangs down towards the road). If your exhaust hanger needs to be replaced, follow these simple steps for repair.Tools you may need:Crescent wrenchWork glovesLubricantStep 1: If the old broken hanger is still attached to the bottom of your car or muffler, remove it (usually the muffler and underside of your car have hooks, or exhaust mounts, that latch onto the hanger). If the hanger is rusty it might take some effort to get it off -- use lubricant to loosen it.Step 2: Get a replacement hanger from your local auto store, which should be able to pinpoint the correct hanger based on your vehicle make and model. To install the new hanger, first hang it on the exhaust mount attached to the car. If you have someone to help you, have him hold up the muffler so you can hook the other end of the hanger around the mount on the muffler. If you're working alone, use a crescent wrench and hook the mount on the muffler over the hole at the end of the wrench, and then lift the muffler with the wrench so you can hook the hanger over the mount -- see the photo at the top of this article for how it's done.
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