Yes shocked, but not be an electric car. I was doing an inspection under my car to see what winter might have done when I noticed some rust on my muffler. So being curious I went to a couple of websites to check prices. About $400 for a new muffler and that’s not including installation. So my question is: Does anyone know of a way to remove/prevent rust on exhaust systems?

That would be a losing battle. Exhaust systems rust. Unless they’re made of stainless steel. And if the muffler is showing rust on the outside, there’s a whole lot more rust on the inside. So eventually the muffler will require replacement.


What make/model/year? I’d imagine there are less expensive non-factory alternatives.

Rust is normal. If there are no holes leave it be. Make sure your replacement is a quality one(stainless) not el-cheapo that will rust off within a year or two.

Without knowing the year, make, and model of your car it’s hard to say whether you should be shocked or not.

Personally, I’m not surprised. Unless you have a stainless steel exhaust system you should expect rust. Unless the exhaust is leaking I recommend ignoring the rust.

Want a real shock? Let your car sit a few days in damp weather and look at your brake rotors.

It’s an 04 Accord. And yes, aftermarket parts are less expensive but they also tend to be of lesser quality.

Are there holes? Does it make noise?

No holes, no noise. I’m just trying for preventative maintainance.

I wouldn’t hesitate in installing a quality aftermarket muffler like a Walker muffler. You have to remember, Honda doesn’t make their own mufflers. They purchase them from a supply vendor. And for all we know, that could be from Walker or another muffler supplier.


No noise, no holes, no error codes no problem. some rust is nothing to worry about. It may last a very long time before there is a problem, then you get to choose OEM or after market and with after market you get to choose regular or stainless. I would go with after market stainless if you can find it.

You guys give up to easily. I’m going to try a wire brush and some hi heat engine paint.

Oh, yes, crawling under the car to wire brush some surface rust off the exhaust sounds like a great idea.


It’s your car. Have fun.

Don’t forget your safety glasses. Rust in the eyes is no picnic.

Yeah well, I’m one of the unemployed so I have to watch my spending. And I don’t like paying for things if I can repair them.

If you are doing this to make the muffler last longer, you are doing no good. It’s the rust on/from the inside that will be the problem. Of course, even with rust your muffler may still go ten years or more.

Rust on the outside of your exhaust is normal. Unless it’s rusted through, it doesn’t need replacing and will probably last for many more years. I put a new muffler on my truck last fall and it already has rust spots on it. Painting it is an exercise in futility, the paint probably won’t hold up long and it’s still going to rust from the inside out anyway.

You’re probably right. I’m just experiencing a tough economic time.

Condensation on the inside of the pipes and mufflers is what causes the exhaust system to rust out, and you can’t paint the inside.

Find some other preventive maintenance to perform. Check the owner’s manual for a maintenance schedule.

For those who do a lot of short trip driving in the winter, I advise drilling a small (1/8 inch max.) horizontal hole in the back of the muffler at the bottom, just above the rim. This allows that nasty condensation of water/acid to be blown out and lets the muffler last longer before it rusts through from the inside.

When car manufacturers started to put the mufflers near the rear bumper, muffler life shortened, because the gasses were a lot cooler when they reached the muffler, causing more condensation since the muffler often did not warm up. It’s even worse on dual exhaust systems!

Drilling a hole for condensation sounds like a great idea. Thanks.

First off…surface rust means nothing. Mufflers rust through from the inside-out. Removing the surface rust is NOT going to prolong the mufflers life.

Second off…this IS a Stainless steel muffler. Contrary to what others have said Stainless steel DOES rust. They don’t use very high quality stainless steel in these mufflers. If you want a muffler that doesn’t rust at all…you need a much higher quality stainless steel…that $400 muffler will turn into a $5000 muffler.