Performance Mufflers – Vehicular Autotune

Performance Mufflers – Vehicular Autotune

Rice or nice? He’s there every morning in the parking garage as I leave for class, sitting in his white 2000 Honda Civic, seat pushed back and heavily reclined. He always gets a smug little smirk on his face as he slowly depresses the accelerator and pulls out of the garage.

He’s there every morning in the parking garage as I leave for class, sitting in his white 2000 Honda Civic, seat pushed back and heavily reclined. He always gets a smug little smirk on his face as he slowly depresses the accelerator and pulls out of the garage. As he does so, one of the most maddeningly horrendous sounds comes pouring out of his muffler. I cringe. My eye twitches ever so slightly. He has a performance muffler. He has a goddamn performance muffler. That pompous sonofa–

 

 

Blatant use of technology to mask the inadequacies of a vehicle—that is the purpose of these particular exhaust systems. My dear, dear friend in the Civic bought that muffler and installed it on his car for the sole purpose of making it sound like he was rocking a V8 or a V10 under the hood. And judging from the way his car strained to make its way out of the garage, it’s pretty obvious he wasn’t. To me, it is one of the most infuriating things in the world. Right after the powdery residue the bottom of a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. These mufflers are the equivalent of Autotune. People use Autotune to make themselves sound like they can sing, similarly, people with small engines use those damn things to make it appear as if they have a big engine. Just like some people stuff socks down their pants to make it seem like…you get the point.

 

Just like autotune takes away from those who can legitimately sing these pieces of equipment do a huge disservice to the engineers behind a vehicle’s engine. Car and motorcycle manufacturers such as Ferrari and even Harley Davidson have entire departments dedicated to the harmonics of their engines. They have scores of engineers analyzing the pitch, tone, NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) and use everything from statistics to computer modeling to ensure that their engines emit a sound that is appeals to drivers and customers. There are entire teams of engineers who have spent years upon years earning degrees, slaving away in libraries, memorizing formulas, and being terrible at picking up women in bars, who now work for companies in the ‘make-this-engine-sexually-arouse-everyone-within-a-three-mile-radius’ department. Countless hours of thought and manpower go into the design and construction of these engines. And then you have some punk college kid throw a special little muffler on his car and think it’s the same deal. It’s not. By doing so, a person is undermining and devaluing the entire process of making an engine. For many people, especially the manufacturers, a vehicle’s engine is essentially a love affair. Hours upon hours of love and dedication are poured into this single aspect of a vehicle, they get to know the subtleties of the equipment, right down to individual knuts and bolts. You can’t get that from a little muffler.

 

 

It’s cheating. I sure as hell can’t play football. I mean, come on, I debated through high school; I’m on a dance team in college, and I may or may not enjoy the occasional Smirnoff Ice. Cards on the table, you’re looking at the MVP of the bench of the SLU flag football team. But just because I am horrendous at football doesn’t mean I can start taking steroids, bulk up, and start trucking some frat boys on the field and smashing bottles of bourbon. That’s not the same. I wouldn’t work for my athleticism or my hypothetically chiseled body for which ladies would be lining up for. I would have cheated. I tried to find a shortcut to something that other people have worked for and earned using legitimate means.

 

That damn Civic driver, to me, is every T-Pain, steroid juicer, and pant stuffer combined into one. There’s a serious chance he’s the last one, too, judging from his general demeanor. But I digress. People can make all the arguments they want. They can say that if you’re paying a good deal of money for these mufflers, then they’re legitimate. They can say that it’s not the same thing—it’s not mimicking larger engines, it’s simply adding body to some sounds. But to me, the simple fact of the matter is that Skippy’s Civic did not emit a deep…farty growl before hand, and now it does. Skippy is guilty of being a poser and stealing glory. Case closed, ladies and gentlemen. I will now go enjoy a Smirnoff Ice after my dance practice and proceed to not prepare in any way shape or form for my football game tomorrow.

 

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