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94 Camry Muffler/Exhaust system

My 1994 Camry started making a motorboat sound a few days ago. The muffler is basically broken off. Took it to the shop, they said it will be $450 just to fix the existing problem, but there is another leak forming further up and they need to replace the whole thing to keep it from happening again. That would cost $1400. They said the $450 option could keep it working fine for a year, or six months, or a month.

My questions are: Is $450 a fair price to fix a broken muffler? And is $1400 even worth it to fix such an old car? I should say that that is a LOT of money for me. I would appreciate any thoughts. I think it is obvious from this question that I know very little about cars so please respond in layman’s terms. Thank you very much.

What kind of shop did you go to? I’d use the ‘mechanics files’ button above to find a good independent muffler shop and see what they give you for a price.

+1 to Texases’s comments.
There should be shops in your area that can do a complete exhaust system replacement for FAR less than the quote that you were given.

However, please don’t spend too much time debating where to have the repairs done, as you are almost surely getting colorless, odorless–but deadly–carbon monoxide inside the passenger cabin every time that you drive.

The best-case scenario is losing a few thousand brain cells as a result of breathing CO.
The worst-case scenario is that your relatives will be attending a funeral.
Please get it fixed tomorrow, or park the car until you can afford to get it fixed.

My 95 Camry needed an entire exhaust system 2 years ago. My mechanic was going to charge $900 for it all. I decided to sell it and got a 2005 Camry. I agree with the other commenters. You can get it done for less and DO IT NOW!

Yeah, $450 is too much to install a $150 muffler. Figure $150 max. The whole system can be had at Autozone for about $600 including a catalytic converter, $800 to install it is robbery. It takes less than an hour and its easier if you replace the whole system. Find another place!

Before making any assumptions I’d want to see what the quotes actuallly covered.

Shop around a bit. $450 ought to fix the whole thing. That leaking flex pipe up front can be repaired by cutting out the flex and welding in a new section of flex pipe, assuming that’s what the problem is, which there’s a 95% chance that’s what it is. I used to do it that way all the time. Customers loved it because it was much cheaper than replacing the front pipe and they got to keep their OE stainless steel pipes, and I loved it because it was a $150 job that was almost entirely labor. Win/win for everyone as long as you can find a real exhaust guy who’s willing to cut and weld rather than just change parts and charge you a fortune.

A cat back single muff system for my intrigue is 500. That does not include cat
Parts are 200, 1 hr labor is 300. Really!
Any muff shop can fix/weld or fab up just about anything
But all new parts is crazy expensive
U need to really explain WHAT they are going to fix for valid comments here

$1400 isn’t too much to spend to fix up an old car. I have an acquaintance who - about 5 years ago – he purchased a 1967 VW Beetle in almost perfect condition. He wanted to re-live his hippie days I guess. The engine had been rebuilt, the upholsterly redone, and the car repainted. It wasn’t perfect, the paint job was of questionable quality, especially on the wings and near the running boards wasn’t quite done right, and wasn’t an original VW color, some of the engine parts and suspension parts really should have been replaced with newly manufactured versions which are available from VW speciality shops, and the tires should have been whitewalls like the original, and the hubcaps weren’t the orgiginal round shiny ones, but it was still pretty good, looked good overall. And ran fine. I think this VW Beetle, 40 years old, it cost him $9000. The first thing he did was take it apart. Seriously. Engine and transmission out. Seats out. Everything that could be taken apart, apart. To almost the last nut and screw. He sanded. And rust-proofed. New wiring harness. Rebolted. Repainted. It cost him another $8000, and that’s just in parts and the labor he didn’t do himself. But he’s happy with it now, and that’s what’s important.

So $1400 isn’t too much to spend on an old car. But it IS too much to spend on THIS car, if all you need is a replacement exhaust pipes and muffler and can re-use the existing cat. If you have to puchase a new cat, then $1400 would be reasonable. Very reasonable in fact. Cats made to the manufactuer’s OEM spec’s are very expensive.

The 1400 price should come with at least a good back massage and a nice lunch. The pipe is cheap. Mufflers are about 60$. Welding takes a little time but they use a tech school kid at about 9$ an hour since welding is not an ase certified procedure on exhaust pipes. They do not have to certify the repair tech. I can weld and I could do the same job for less since there is no certification.

My vote is for just finding a generic muffler shop and getting a quote from them. There’s a decent chance that depending upon where you live and exactly what is needed, that you may get out of there for 200-400 dollars maximum.

The last exhaust I had made here involved a true dual setup with mufflers provided by me and it ran about 300 dollars total for the entire thing; and that was from the header pipes on back.