Muffler Madness

I turned into a gas station, thinking I was in the drive, but NO. I ran over the curb (including the sidewalk)and tore a hole in the muffler where it attaches at the front, and well, it’s pretty bad. I sound like a jet engine. The Midas mechanic wanted $507 to replace it. The muffler price was $394. I looked at parts online and saw a new ‘Bosal’ muffler for about $100 and a muffler kit (bolts and stuff) for about $15-20. I don’t need a new tail pipe or any of that. What’s the big difference in price? Would a mechanic be willing to put a muffler on that I had shipped to him? The website is

I would suggest you start by finding a local  [b] independent[/b] muffler shop.  Let them take a look and give you their recommendation.

Generally automotive chain outfits are poor choices.  Often the work is poor and the parts are second rate. 

Having a well known name does not mean quality work.

Before you buy any parts that you can’t install yourself locate a mechanic who will do the work with the parts you supply. As this is damage and not a rotted out pipe it is likely some fabrication maybe required to make all the parts you buy mate up and connect to the damaged pipes you aren’t replacing.

If would be very hard to give a precise estimate of labor costs since you are providing parts the mechanic can’t see, and there could be custom work needed to put humpty dumpty back together again. If you supply the parts be flexible with what the labor charges might be when the job is done.

Find an independent mechanic, rather than a chain muffler shop, to replace the damaged muffler. You’ll save money and probably get a better repair job.

Any decent mechanic can fix this.

DO NOT take Internet-purchased parts to a mechanic and ask him or her to install them. It’s an insult.

Would you take your own steak to a restaurant and ask them to cook it for you?

We have an independent muffler shop (not a chain) in my town that does all my muffler work. I think it has been in business since 1946. I once replaced a muffler on my 1978 Oldsmobile. I bought the parts at NAPA and went to work. I spent two hours and turned the air blue breaking loose some of the nuts. When the muffler went out again, I took it to the independent shop. The new muffler, with installation cost less than the muffler I bought from NAPA. I was in and out in less than 15 minutes. I recommend an independent shop. They will have the parts.

Depends on the mechanic really. The guy I use for engine/transmission issues mainly deals in aftermarket go fast stuff. About 60% of his business is people bringing in parts they bought elseware for him to install, turbo kits, aftermarket heads, big cams, etc. He gladly installs them with the understanding that only the labor has a warranty. I’ve never had an issue with him and I don’t know anyone who has. He doesn’t do much in the way of oil changes, radiator flushes, or tune ups, as his cliental tend to do those things themselves.

But as for the OP, I agree that he/she should take the minivan to an independent mechanic and I agree that the OP shouldn’t just show with an internet muffler and tell the guy to get to work, I would certainly check with what their policy is on customer-provided items.