2009 Ford Escape - New muffler is loud

I went and had a new muffler and maybe tailpipe put on but also my car was louder when it came out of the garage. I said to the guy “omg it is louder” so he brought it back in but it was close to closing. He told me probably a leak in the exhaust manifold and we don’t do those. The loud noise is coming out toward the front. He told me to bring it to another shop but I don’t want to pay a diagnosis fee if that is not the problem. I just saw the answer about the rag in the tailpipe and stalling. Sounds like a great idea. After work today that’s what I will be doing.

Can you give us some more details on why you got a new muffler and tailpipe? Was it just due to noise?

It is very possible the “loud noise” you were hearing was due to a leaking exhaust manifold. So if you had the muffler replaced, fine, but it wouldn’t have fixed the real problem.

Is the new muffler identical to the old one? Some mufflers are a lot louder than original equipment mufflers. I assume that the new tail pipe attaches to the catalytic converter. If the noise is in front of that then it’s the exhaust manifold. Have the guy that replaced the muffler put it up on a lift and show you where the leak is. If it is in the manifold then you should hear it when the car is running and on the lift. Identification is easy. The small amount of exhaust gas should not be a health issue.

Either you look under the hood or crawl under the car to see where the noise is coming from or you have a shop do it fir you. It should not have been hard to determine so pick a different shop anyway. A quick inspection should be all that is required and should not really cost anything for an estimate.

Has anyone inspected for a missing (stolen) catalytic converter? Unfortunately that’s a pretty common reason these days a car owner will suddenly notice a loud exhaust noise coming from the middle to front of the car.

A tailpipe is the pipe you see sticking out from under the rear bumper.



I highly doubt the catalytic converter is missing because it would have been just as loud when you brought it to the shop. And it would have been noticed when the vehicle was up on the lift.

But what can happen is when trying to remove a rusted on muffler from an existing exhaust system, the entire exhaust system is going to get jostled and wiggled. And this can lead to an exhaust flex joint opening up that was ready to fail anyway.


And when these open up, the exhaust becomes very loud.


I was suspicious of that flex joint on my Corolla. Looks ok, no sound, looks more like the new one at the top of the photo. I used a big paint brush to apply some soapy water to it with engine idling, saw no indications of a leak using that method. Not sure the best way to test it though.

OP, that flex joint is there to allow the engine to move a little with respect to the exhaust system. It is covered with that woven-wire looking fabric, but inside it has an accordion-pleated solid pipe, so it shouldn’t leak at all.

And did you take it to the shop and just say put a new muffler on it, or did you ask the shop to properly diagnose the loud noise??

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