Your vehicle is an investment and with continuous use, it is common to experience problems. Have you ever noticed that your car is producing too much noise?
Chances are, there is a problem with your muffler and you need to replace it. There are various reasons why a muffler may end up malfunctioning. How much does a muffler cost? If it just needs minor repair, it can cost you as low as $20. On the other hand, if it is a complete replacement and you need to buy a new one, it can cost you as expensive as $1000.
How Muffler Works?
Every vehicle has a muffler and since the engine generates noises whenever the exhaust valves would open up, there is a need for a mechanism that would reduce the sound level prior to exiting the exhaust system. This is the most basic and important function of a muffler. It is designed to tune engine noise and to maximize performance. Depending on the type of vehicle you are using, there are various kinds of mufflers. Each type varies when it comes to performance and even sound taste. For instance, there are some vehicle owners who would want to have hot sounds while there are others who would go for high performance with a nice look.
Assessing the Damage
One of the things that you will notice when your muffler has a problem is when you hear noise out of the exhaust system. To know if there is a damage in your muffler, you should check the muffler and see if it is attached properly to the exhaust. There are cases wherein the straps putting it together might be broken. You also need to look at the fuel to air ratio. If there is any change in the ratio, it changes the number of molecules thus creating noise in the systems. That is why it is important that you chance the oxygen sensor every 50,000 miles. Another problem that can damage the muffler is rusting caused by moisture.
There are signs to watch out for to see if your vehicle needs muffler repairs. Here are some of the other things you will notice if it is finally time to replace your muffler:
- One obvious sign is when you start to hear a rumbling sound that is really loud coming from your vehicle. It is important to have car exhaust repair to avoid incurring more costs. Do not just increase the volume of your car’s radio just to get rid of the loud noise.
- Another sign is when there is a loss of power or when you experience new vibration when you are using your car. There might be an exhaust leak which means that the engine is not in its optimal performance.
How Much Does a Muffler Cost?
The cost of a muffler would vary since there is a difference between muffler replacement cost and muffler repair cost.
Here are the typical costs of changing a muffler:
- For minor repairs, you can expect muffler repair cost ranging from $30 to $500. It can even cost more. The average is at $135. If you want to reduce costs and save money, you can go to local shops for lower repair costs.
- On the other hand, if you prefer professionals to replace your muffler, you may incur much higher costs starting from $75 to $750. The cost will still vary depending on the vehicle type. If the parts are made by the manufacturer, you can expect much more expensive muffler repair cost. There are also other factors that can affect the cost like who does the work and whether you are getting it from a car dealer.
- In addition to the muffler cost, you may have to shoulder additional costs like the catalytic converter and exhaust pipes. Since you may have to replace your muffler, you have to anticipate muffler replacement cost depending on the car make.
Are There Any Discounts In Price?
Usually, mufflers are still covered with warranties. So, before you have any work done, make sure that you check the vehicle warranty. Another way to enjoy lower costs is to do it yourself. This is suitable for basic repairs. There are videos that you can use to watch how basic repairs are done. It costs about $30 to $200.
What Are Included?
When you ask for a price quotation, the muffler replacement includes the labor, parts and the hose/pipe needed. The warranty coverage differs since the muffler may have a limited or even lifetime warranty coverage. The warranty usually covers the muffler but not the pipes. There are instances where the muffler that you need are considered to be as dealer item in which case the shop will have to order. This does not affect the price, but then it may cause delays.
Shopping Tips For Buying Muffler
Since you will be spending money for muffler replacement cost, you need to really take the time in choosing a quality replacement that can at least last long. The first step is to find a reliable shop. You can use directories provided by the International Automotive Technicians Network and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. For a muffler replacement, it helps that you search for shops that offering work for exhaust system since not all auto repair shops provide muffler replacement service.
Another important tip in finding a shop is that you check the shop. Make sure there are no complaints filed at the Better Business Bureau. Read reviews and reports so you know which shop is the best one to get. When you finally get the choices, it is much easier to compare based on prices and your other preferences.