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Front Flex Pipes

I have a 1985 Honda Accord, which has about 70,000 miles, and is in very good condition overall. I take care of it, drive it only occasionally, and house it in a private garage. In 2004 my mechanic said the front flex pipe was damaged and had to be replaced, which I did, at a cost of $270. Now, four years later, he says that it is going bad and needs to replaced again. Is it possible that this pipe needs to be replaced after only a few years? If so, what causes the damage? Thanks for any help you can provide.

Is there another name for a “front flex pipe” part of the exaust system?

I’ve Always Called The “Front Flex Pipe” Part Of The Exhaust System, The “Front Flex Pipe”.
However, there could be another name, I suppose, but would it be more descriptive?. It’s in the front (of the exhaust system). It flexes. It’s a pipe.

You can purchase just the flex section of the pipe instead of the entire pipe assembly Here’s an example

Call your local auto parts stores. Some are now carrying these aftermarket flex pipe sections at a substantial savings.


I have an '89 Accord and I’m on my third flex pipe . . . the original plus two replacements. I bought the car new and have done the replacements myself. It seems that the problem is where the flex material joins to the rigid pipe part . . . it just flexes so many times (the engine “moves” a lot) and it is like a piece of wire . . when you bend it back and forth until it finally breaks. I’d say that 4 years is kinda low, but what are you going to do? It sounds like crap when leaking and allows exhaust to exit just under your feet . . dangerous. Check the motor mounts like MET002 suggests, and check to see if the exhaust is loose . . are all the hangers in place? Rocketman

You don’t drive much, do you?

Please define “going bad.” If the flex pipe is not leaking, then it’s OK, and does not need to be replaced. If it’s leaking, then it’s bad and should be replaced. There is no “going bad.” I suspect profit motive at work.

Rust, I suspect, is part of the problem. Worn engine mounts can contribute to flex pipe failure, but there aren’t enough miles on this car to account for bad engine mounts. It’s worth checking, however, as are the exhaust system hangers.

Rubber parts (engine mounts, exhaust hangers) age with time, even if you don’t accumulate many miles, and it’s possible they are contributing to the problem. Mostly, it’s just a function of time and rust, which, as Neil Young told us “never sleeps.”

If the flex pipe is leaking, you can hear it. If it’s not leaking, leave it alone.

yep check the enginge antiroll mounts,they will allow to much movement and break the pipe,while there check the motor mounts for sagging.


Thanks, everyone. I don’t recall the mechanic saying that the flex pipe was leaking, just that that was the cause of the loud noise that happens when I start the ignition. I thought it was my muffler going, but apparently not. I will ask about the leaking part though. He said that it is driveable for now, but that one day it will fall and drag on the ground. Does this make sense?

Yes . . . and once the pipe eventually does come apart . . . you may ruin the rest of the exhaust system while it scrapes on the ground as you try to drive it to the mechanic. As I recall (last one I did was last Winter) . . . there is a hanger which would prevent the middle pipe and CAT from falling onto the ground, but your hangers might be missing after 23 years. BTW . . . wanna sell it? Rocketman

Thanks, everyone, you are all great! And, Rocketman, I appreciate your interest in whether I might sell this 23 year old beauty. I don’t want to, because it has great sentimental value, and my mother, who suffers from severe dementia, is always happy to see her car. You see, it was my parents who bought it in 1985. I am just taking care of it–for them, though my father passed in 1994. Too much information, I know…

Stephanie, after 23 years, it definitely would not hurt to let your mechanic look very closely at all of the engine mounts. They all have rubber padding; very dense rubber, but rubber does not last forever nonetheless.

The engine mounts themselves are not expensive but ask about the installation cost, because it can be time consuming to raise an engine off of its mounts. In any case, disconnecting the flex pipe would be one of the steps in that process as well.