Aftermarket mufflers are meant not just to manage engine noise but also to improve it as well. And one muffler that promises to do that is the AEM muffler. Known best for its precision sensors and air intake systems, AEM claims that its aftermarket mufflers provide a sportier sound while retaining an OEM fit and finish. In this review, we checked whether AEM mufflers are the real deal or are just blowing up smoke.
- Brushed stainless steel construction
- Drone-free sporty sound
- Designed to meet OEM standards
- Limited AEM warranty
- A clean throaty sound. We immediately saw an improvement in exhaust noise after installing the muffler on our car's exhaust. The sound was not grating and had no back popping issues that usually plague other aftermarket mufflers.
- Easy installation. All the necessary fasteners are included with the muffler and the connections lined up perfectly. It took us roughly 30 minutes with basic tools and a couple of jack stands. We still recommend having the muffler installed by a professional though, especially if you don't have prior experience in car parts repair and replacement.
- High-quality stainless steel construction. You certainly won't worry about corrosion with this muffler.
- Limited to only a few makes and models. AEM mufflers are only compatible with a select few models, mostly from Korean and Japanese brands. So if you should decide on getting this muffler, make sure that it matches the specific make, model, and year of your vehicle first.
- Strong burn-in smell. Brand-new mufflers typically have a "burn-in" smell caused by the chemicals used during the manufacturing process, but we find the AEM muffler's burn-in smell lingered far more than we expected it to be. Granted, it is not that overpowering, but the odor can be disconcerting especially if you have a sensitive sense of smell. Thankfully, the odor disappeared eventually.
- The steep price tag. AEM mufflers can reach up to $600 online, which might be a bit high for those who are just looking for a simple replacement muffler.
The bottom line
If it's a better sounding engine you are looking for and don't mind the price, the AEM muffler makes a great choice. It can give your car a more aggressive tone for years to come, thanks to its design and solid construction.