Pipe that connects to muffler under the chassis

Toyota Camry 2006.

It looks like I have noticeable rust on the joints of the pipe that connects to the muffler. Is this the exhaust pipe? Does it look like I should replace it now before it gets worse? A mechanic advised me that cleaning the rust will cause it to start leaking from the pipe at this stage. The car has about 115,000 miles.

That’s normal on a car this age.

Drive the vehicle until one those exhaust components fail. Then do a cat-back replacement.



The mechanic is right, trying to clean the rust won’t help and may hurt the situation. Hard to say if a pro-active replacement is necessary. But be sure to ask your mechanic to test that junction to make sure it isn’t leaking any exhaust gasses. They’ll get a helper to partially obstruct the tail pipe, and then observe if there’s any gasses blowing out of that pipe/muffler junction.

Well, here’s another view

How will I be able to notice if one of the junctions on the pipe fails?

That’s normal.

If something in the exhaust system fails, the car will become very loud.


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You will see some black at the seams.

Yup, looks fine to me. Where I live pretty much anything more than 5 or so years old has exhausts that look like that. They’ll still work fine for many years afterward, too.

If it fails, it will probably start as a small leak that you might not hear unless you get down on the ground near the leak. Having someone momentarily stuff a rag in the end of the exhaust pipe might make it more apparent. You may feel it puff if you put your hand nearby, being careful of hot exhaust components if the engine has been running a while. Better to do this checkup on a cold, just-started car. I agree with the mechanic’s hands-off advice.

There are locally-owned exhaust shops in many cities and I have had great advice and reasonably priced repairs from one in Superior, WI. I’d stay away from the chain stores.