Buying a new muffler


My son’s car (1997 Ford Ranger) needs a new muffler and pipes, and work on the brakes. Will a Midas or Meineke muffler place suffice or should I take it to a mechanic?


Midas and Meineke work fine…but I’ve been able to do better with a local mechanic. Last time I had a muffler replaced I got a life-time warranty on the muffler AND PIPES. Midas or Meineke do NOT warranty the pipes. About 4 years later I had a leak…they replaced the whole system for $35. Their initial price was about $100 LESS then Midas.


Midas or Meineke will do. They are specialists and will have everything you need on hand. A general shop may ask you to leave the Ford with them overnight while they send out for the parts – and charge you a markup besides. Midas or Meineke do good work; you merely have to resist their upsell for other work.


An independant muffler shop would be best. Most “regular” mechanics will need to order in the pre-made exhaust parts, whereas an exhaust specialist will be able to bend their own pipes and slap on generic components they buy in bulk, which will usually wind up being significantly cheaper. I agree that the chain muffler shops are usually OK if you avoid their upsells.


It all depends. I once bought a cheap muffler with a lifetime warranty on sale at Midas. Shop around for local muffler shops. If your son plans to keep the car for a long time, look for an exhaust system with a lifetime warranty.


FYI. whereas an exhaust specialist will be able to bend their own pipes

not all pipes can be bent in house. if the bends are to close together (or something like that) then a shop made pipe won’t fit worth a toot. I inspected a car in central illinois (Car-x) that does not even do exhaust work anymore. he has a bender and a small inventory of pipe but only because he has to. when he gets exhaust work he sends it down the road and does all the other car repairs he can.