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Fixing Exhaust Leak due to Corroded Flanges

My 2002 Lexus ES300 sounds and runs fine (to me) but it won’t pass inspection because of an exhaust leak. The dealer says that the leak is due to the corroded connection (flanges?) between the muffler and the pipe in back of it. They claim that the only way to fix the leak is by replacing both the muffler and the pipe, to the tune of $1000. I hate replacing parts that work just fine. Is there a way to somehow seal/fix that leak in the corroded connection, or am I stuck having to replace both the pipe and the muffler in order to pass the inspection? If it would be possible to just duct tape that, I’d do it, if you know what I mean. :slight_smile:

JBWeld Expoxy. Find the stuff anywhere but make sure you read the label and get the “high temp” stuff that is rated for the proper temperature. This can be a temp fix to get you though a short or long period of time.

Do you think it’s possible to find a shop that can apply JBWeld Epoxy for me, or is this strictly a do-it-yourself project?

this is a do it yourself project. if you take it to a shop, just have them do it right and cut out the rust, and weld on a good pipe/piece of metal to last you 5-10 years. do it right if you are already at the pros.

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Go to an independent shop and get their estimate. ( as opposed to the dealer )
Sometimes they’re just little two bay stand-alone shops ( Tandy’s muffler, here a block away ) and THEY may be able to effect a more permanent repair, like welding, as opposed to a replacement.

DGAWGS, I’d love to find a shop that will do what you say! But the two I’ve taken it to, dealer and another one, both want to replace the muffler AND the pipe (and charge me $1000), because the corrosion is right in the part that holds them together. How do I find the shop you are talking about??

Look up a muffler shop in the area. Not a Midas or Mieneke, but a small independent shop. They will cut off the 2 rusty ends and weld a pipe in to connect them together.

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Find a good local mechanic. You don’t have to use Genuine Lexus parts. The vehicle is 12 years old. Why spend that kind of money. There are very good aftermarket exhaust systems available. Walker is one that I’ve used with very good results.

Replace the exhaust components because you can’t weld on rust.

Any independent shop can install a new pipe/muffler at half that price if not lower.


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Forget the JB Weld. I do not believe it will pass inspection either. Have a shop weld the 2 sections together or splice in a section.

The parts are about $300 at, what are they from parts stores near you? Do NOT go to the dealer for this, nothing special about it, any good mechanic can do this.

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And DO NOT go to the chain muffler shops. Look on the mechanics files on this site for a good shop near you.

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Happy to report a totally successful experience! My exhaust is fixed, the car passed inspection, and all for $95! Lou’s Custom Exhaust in Waltham, MA rocks! Thank you CarTalk friends for pointing me in the right direction.

Add them to the Mechanics Files. That way others will know of your good experience and use them too.

So what did they do? Replace the muffler and pipe, replace the flanges, weld it together, mix up some JB?

Everyone that kno headers kno they leak. And the exhaust noise may not b ur muffler. As many times I had to fix my bent flanges and replace the gaskets I learned a better flange was needed. I built a solution. Ex fix. C Flange Bracket. Hope to get it out this year.

Duly noted!
Thank you for adding to our kno-ledge base.


I flagged anthonypeterson as Spam. I hope he writes his patent application better than he writes posts.

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I watched the video. Here’s a question: can something really be spam if it mentions something that can’t be bought yet? Anthony said as much. Seems like at this point he’s sharing a solution to an issue.

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