CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Too Hot For Duct Tape?

It’s finally warmed up enough to try to track down an annoying thump from the rear of the 1999 Camry when I hit bumps. It turns out that when I replaced a couple of sections of the exhaust, the muffler seems to have moved back a quarter of an inch or so, and the rear flange now bangs into a bolt head when the muffler bounces.



I fixed it temporarily with a wad of aluminum foil folded over about eighty times, but I doubt that will last. So I think I need a permanent pad/spacer made out of something soft and heat resistant enough to stand muffler temperatures. In a cooler spot, I’d probably use duct tape, but sticking duct tape to the muffler seems to me to be a bit iffy. I’m sure the stuff will burn if it gets hot enough.



Anyone have any other thoughts?

Forget the duct tape. Check out the car parts store, I bet they have something that’s made for exhaust systems/heat.

The muffler moved back 1/4" or so? Unless you determine why this happened it’ll probably keep moving.

Once you solve the problem, you may regain the 1/4".

For the record, parts stores sell muffler repair kits with a fabric-like material and a liquid-steel type of material that is intended to repair exhaust systems. I’ve used it on a rot hole in a very old cat converter with excellent success.

But in your case first you need to determine and solve the cause that moved your muffler back.

Aftermarket bolt on exhaust parts could have caused the shift.

If you loosen the clamp at the front of the muffler you should be able to drive the muffler 1/2 " deeper over the pipe. Use a flat block of wood and hit the wood, not the muffler. If you can’t ,then take the muffler off the front pipe and trim the end of the front pipe 1/2 ".

Steel wool would work, but will disintegrate over time. You could also use mineral wool pads.