1998 Camry Exhaust System

My Camry has started to make a very loud noise when running that seems to be coming from the front of the car and the car’s power seems to be diminished. This noise is present when the car is idling as well as when it’s driving. The Toyota Dealer’s Service Department, says the front part of the car’s exhaust system needs to be replaced at a cost of $1675.00. I’m told the expense is largely the part ($1300) - the front exhaust part contains the catalytic converter. I am not a car person i.e. I could not repair the car myself. So, I’m looking for feedback on whether this repair cost seems reasonable and or whether there are alternatives to replacing this very expensive part. Thanks

Brian in Delaware

A after market direct fit catalytic converter with flex joint, and flange cost about $250.00. The installed price probably around $500.00. If only the flex pipe is broken, some muffler shops will weld in a new one.

Find a good muffler shop for these repairs. No reason to take a 12 year old car to a dealer unless your getting recall repairs.

Why does it need replaced?
Clogged,leaking or broke?
Its real important to ask around and find a good local muffler shop, try to stay away from chains.

To get a comparison price, you need to know if the Camry is a 4 or 6 cylinder model and whether it is configured for California emissions which may have an extra catalytic converter in front of the normal one.

FWIW, I replaced the catalytic converter on a non California four cylinder for less than $400 in parts (There are a couple of fancy gaskets in addition to the converter itself that need to be replaced.) The work is just removal of seven or maybe 9 nuts, slide the old unit out, slide the new unit in and put the nuts back on.

Of course many of the nuts are probably amorphous lumps of rust by now that will need to be cut or burned off with a torch. So, maybe three hours labor. $1675 seems high by about $1000.

If the problem is a hole in the flexible coupling between the engine and the catalytic converter, a muffler shop may be able to weld in a new flexible coupling for even less than a non-dealer catalytic converter replacement.

Thank you. Are you suggesting that a muffler shop could install a new catalytic converter?

Thanks for the input.

Thanks for taking the time to submit a response - it is very helpful.