I got two VERY different work proposals: replace the mid muffler ($750) remove the mid muffler (about $100). I drive a 2003 Passat wagon and would truly appreciate the car talk community’s opinion. Thank you!
Get a second opinion. Go to a local (not chain) muffler shop that has a good reputation.
the $100 removal cost is fom a reputable local exhaust mechanic. The $750 is VW dealership repairshop…
What would the local shop charge to replace the mid muffler?
$150 (not $100). They are also replacing flex hoses… I am learning about exhaust systems!
I’d have the independent shop replace it at $150. You’re talking 50 bucks more to have the exhaust operating as designed. Removing the mid muffler will probably make it louder, and might make it make a very unpleasant drone at certain RPM’s, which will get real old real fast if that happens to be the RPM you cruise down the highway at.
Dealer wanted 750 to just replace resonator? Or was this for a cat back system? What did they charge for resonator price and labor? 650 for res and 100 install?
looked online. walker midmuff is 450. another one was 300. i suppose bobs muffler shop could fab up something close. maybe not.
Thanks to all repliers! I decided to forgo the VW factory replacement resonator/mid muffler (not a cat back system- they cost lots more!) and opt for the exhaust shop replacement resonator/mid muffler. That will save me several hundred $$ and the work will be completed in one shop. The exhaust shop apears to have a good reputation.
Volkswagon has a special talent for making the simplest things cost $1,000 to fix. They used to be “The People’s Car”. Now they are only for people who can afford to keep them running.
@Stoveguy that’s interesting. Bob does almost all of my muffler work too, at 32nd St and South Seneca. Good guy, reasonable, fast. I’m glad to see another recommend him.
I am waiting for OP to post a pic of bobs work. A traverse mid muff install should be cool. Maybe angle the muff at a 45 degree slant?
I would not replce the resonator, and I’m not sure why so many are recommending it.
I had the same choice to make when my '98 Contour took a rock to the resonator. I replaced it with a straight pipe. Under acceleration only, it got ever so slightly more raspy…not even louder, just a more assertive tone. (Oh, and the parking brake mechanism above the resonator quit rusting out!)
So, OP, have the indy shop cut off the resonator and replace it with a test pipe. Ask them to clamp it into place and let you drive it before permanently welding it
I’m 99% certain you’ll be satisfied with the sound…and you’ll have saved $$$. If not, NOW have them put in an aftermarket resonator…you’ll only be out the $100 extra, and likely even less, as much of the cutting off the old stuff was already done, theoretically lowering the labor cost of replacement.