Where to have exhaust work done?

My son needs a muffler assembly on his 1999 Lexus ES300. Where to have it done? One of these muffler chains, like Monroe? An independent specialist muffler shop with good reviews? Brakes Plus which seems to be honest? An independent general mechanic we have used who seems to be honst but expensive? Probably the muffler chain would be the cheapest, but if they are like some other chains (oil, transmission) I would be worried.

Any besides the muffler chain for me. If I liked my mechanic I’d use him, even if a bit more expensive.

I would either use my regular mechanic or an independent muffler shop. I would avoid a chain shop like the plague.

Mr. Melott you may slam me all you want but is it not time for your son to start making decisions for himself. There all kinds of reviews in the internet and he should have a few people he knows that may know of places they would recommend.

Edit: A simple Google search for Colorado Springs, Co ( I think that is where your son is ) shows many exhaust repair places with reviews and an Angies list of places.

Welding the pipe has been offered, but in my view that’s like putting a band-aid on skin cancer. Please chime in if you think I am off base here.

If the system is basically ok, but there’s a break in a pipe, maybe because of an accident, then weld it. Otherwise, unless the car is otherwise on its last legs, or rusty, you’ll be replacing the exhaust someday, and it will not be cheaper then. Add the cost of the welding and the future replacement, and you see you are wasting money with the weld.

I’ve actually had good experiences with a Meinike (sp??) down the street. I don’t let them do anything but exhaust work, and always have to listen to the upsell of all the stuff my vehicle “needs,” but the quality of exhaust work from this shop has been very good.

Unless it’s grossly expensive, why not use the independent mechanic? At least you’ll only need to do the work one time. I think getting recommendations from folks you know in the area is the best way to find a mechanic. It’s so hard to generalize. I hate to throw out all branches of any particular chain or all dealers or all any particular category. So much depends on the local ownership/management.

I have had good luck with independent muffler and bend their own pipes shops.

Any well recommended auto repair independent shop should have no problem to replace your muffler. That’s who I’d use.

I use a good local independent muffler shop that has been in business for more than 50 years that I know of. Having said that, based on my family’s experiences many chain muffler shops do a decent job if you are or appear knowledgeable and have a genetic immunity to the upsells and miracles in a bottle that my offspring have.

1 Like