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Acura 1998, 2.3 CL Muffler + Options (Generic Replacement?)

Hello! Have a 98 Acura 2.3 CL; Muffler making lots of noise. Would like to replace it. Any problem with my buying a “generic” replacement (example: Autozone Acura 98 2.3 CL muffler replacement + resonator) rather than one directly from dealer? So far opinions: mechanic said Acura mufflers are expensive, run $280 with parts+labor, and mechanic also said a loud muffler may also involve fixing a pipe that connects to muffler. Autozone said they had a replacement part (muffler plus resonator specific to 98 Acura 2.3 CL) for about $99 (no labor) and that it would work as a replacement for a loud muffler, but could not comment on pipes. Acura dealership said the parts alone cost $206 for muffler plus a gasket, if muffler was only issue. My question: any problem with a generic, and what to do? Am thinking as follows: buy a generic muffler (the acura muffler from autozone, a part which can be returned), go to mechanic and check out car (general check) and see if the muffler also works and can be installed; if not + larger problems, go with mechanic’s suggestions and return part. Some other issues: car dragging a little bit. Muffler though is very loud, confirmed hole in muffler. Thanks for your advice!

3rd option: Take it to an independent mechanic and have them order the part and do the work. There’s no need to take a 13 year old car to the dealership.

Glad to hear you Acura 2.3CL is still going strong…I have replaced parts with Honda-make or Napa as needed. All parts that required replacing have been the original ones, and my current mileage is 235K! This car deserves an award and salute!!

I never go to the dealer, except for one electrical issue. Otherwise, I have used independent shops with Honda/Acura expertise.

If you pick the muffler up and it feels a little light in weight it’s a cheap muffler. I won’t mention the brand.
If you the pick the muffler up and it has some weight to it, it’s a good muffler. Again, I won’t mention the brand.


I have a '97 2.2 CL, which is basically the same car. I needed a new rear muffler about a year ago, and I let my independent mechanic install a non-factory muffler from his normal supplier.

I have no reason to think it isn’t just as good as a Honda muffler, and I don’t worry at all about how long it will last.

I suggest you let your mechanic replace the muffler, and don’t worry so much about where it came from

They probably won’t be able to save the chrome tips. I’ve learned to live without them.

Hello! Based on comments I am going to go to mechanic first to see if issue is not only muffler problem (hole in muffler) but if a hole in connecting pipe. Does it make sense to ask mechanic after they evaluate car during checkup what parts I should buy for muffler/etc? Reason: to save some money, get car evaluated, buy parts mechanic recommends, then only get charged for check-up + labor.

Have tried a muffler shop for a est. ?

I never do that. False economy, as far as I’m concerned.

I let my mechanic find his own parts and I pay him whatever he charges.

If your mechanic is willing to work with parts you provide he’s either a saint or a nut-case.

You’ll have to decide which it is

Some years ago on my son’s Acura, I ordered direct fit Walker parts from Rockauto. Everything fit just fine and the quality was acceptable. Normally, the OEM parts will be a heavier steel but how many mufflers and exhaust pipes does anyone go through anymore? I’ve had a number of cars for a number of years that never needed any exhaust parts.

Before you pay anybody to do anything, have the car put up on a lift and examine the exhaust system to SEE WHAT PART OR PARTS HAVE FAILED !! Do you KNOW it’s the muffler or are you just guessing it’s the muffler ? Most decent cars today come with stainless steel exhaust systems that last a long time…

Any set of aftermarket exhaust parts will make the car quiet again. Cheap aftermarket exhaust systems for this car usually last 4-6 years. Honda parts may last a little longer, but will cost a lot more, may not even be the same as what came from the factory. Many dealerships sell and install aftermarket pipes and mufflers such as Walker because they have figured out nobody wants to buy a $500 muffler or a $600 midpipe to get stainless steel back under their car.

You do need to have the exhaust system inspected to confirm what needs to be replaced. If by “car is dragging a little bit” you mean exhaust pipes are dragging the ground, you definitely have more issues than a hole in the muffler. Generally, dragging pipes means broken pipes. Many Honda/Acura vehicles that get their first replacement exhaust system needs everything behind the catalytic converter.