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What Does Muffler Replacement Cost?

If you’ve noticed a rattling or loud noise coming from under your car, it might be time for a muffler replacement. Many drivers aren’t sure what to expect when it comes to replacing their muffler—will it cost an arm and a leg? Is DIY the way to go?

This article will provide an overview of what goes into calculating muffler replacement cost, as well as some tips on finding an affordable option. With helpful insights and advice on muffler prices, AutoZone is here to help you get back on track.

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Factors Affecting the Cost of Muffler Replacement

When you’re in the market for a muffler replacement, there are a variety of factors that can affect the cost such as:

  • The make and model of your vehicle. Some luxury, high-performance, or exotic models have a higher price point for parts in most cases, as is the case with less popular models.
  • Any additional parts that may be required during its installation. If you need a section of exhaust pipe, a catalytic converter, a tailpipe, or exhaust hangers, the price of parts will be significantly higher.
  • The cost of labor to install it. Unless you install the muffler yourself, you’ll need to pay a mechanic to remove the old one and install the new part.
  • The availability of parts. If you’re in a tight time constraint, there might be fewer options available on short notice.

Also, more high-performance exhaust systems tend to require more labor for fitment and the parts are often more expensive than their direct replacement counterparts. It’s important to take these elements into consideration when budgeting for a muffler replacement project.

Average Cost of Muffler Replacement

Automotive maintenance and repairs can be expensive, but replacing a muffler does not have to break the bank. So, how much to replace a muffler? The amount you pay for a new muffler will vary widely depending on the type of vehicle you drive, labor costs at the shop where you have it installed, and other factors such as shop supplies and incidental parts.

Generally, an aftermarket muffler may cost between $50 and $400, although there are plenty of instances where the muffler can be much higher in price. Original equipment (OE) replacement mufflers may cost significantly more – up to $1,000 or more. You’ll also need exhaust bands or clamps to fasten it in place, and you may need gaskets, a tailpipe, and exhaust hangers or straps to finish the installation.

If you’re installing the muffler yourself, there are no labor costs. But if you don’t know how to install it or have the equipment and tools necessary, you’ll need to hire a mechanic to do it. That can range from around $50 to $200, perhaps more, depending on how complex the job is on your particular vehicle.

Tips for Finding the Best Deal

To get the best deal on your muffler replacement, it’s important to consider your needs and read customer reviews before making your choice. There may be low-cost options on the market, but if you want your muffler to last a long time, have a great exhaust note, and fit properly, then buying the cheapest part may not actually be a good deal. Find a muffler that’s backed by a good warranty, and check for AutoZone discounts and coupons online to keep your purchase costs reasonable.

Also, if possible, consider buying the parts yourself and having a local mechanic install them. You may be able to save considerably in labor costs this way rather than paying for marked-up parts at your mechanic.

Finally, take the time to talk to multiple mechanics or shops and get estimates before making your final decision. While there are general guidelines for muffler replacement times, each shop can and does set its own labor rate and fees for working on your car.

With that extra effort and comparison shopping, you can be sure to find the best deal and get your car sounding safe again.

What to Expect When Replacing a Muffler

If you’re a DIYer, muffler replacement isn’t the most complicated job you’ll ever encounter. Still, there are parts of the process you might not be prepared for if it’s your first time working on the exhaust system.

First, you’ll need to make space for yourself under the car. Secure the car up on blocks before you crawl underneath. And of course, let the car cool down before attempting to handle a hot exhaust.

Also, to protect yourself, wear gloves and safety glasses. Metal burrs and sharp edges can leave cuts and abrasions, while rust particles and dirt can fall into your eyes while you’re working underneath.

Next, all that heat tends to seize and corrode fasteners. If you need to undo bolts at exhaust flanges or on hangers, or for any other access reasons, douse them in penetrating oil to help break them loose. Give it 10 minutes or so to work its magic.

Then, name sure you have all your tools handy. A reciprocating saw with metal blades, an air ratchet or impact wrench, an assortment of wrenches and vise grips, and a couple of screwdrivers and pliers might all be helpful or essential.

A second set of hands are helpful too.

If you need a muffler replacement, AutoZone has what you’re looking for, no matter what make and model you drive. Find parts, tools, lubricants, fasteners, and accessories in-store and online today. If you decide that it’s too big a job to tackle on your own, let AutoZone help you find qualified professional mechanics through our Shop Referral Program.

FAQ/People Also Ask

How much does muffler replacement cost on average?

Between parts and labor, you can expect a muffler replacement to cost around $175 to $450 on most vehicles.

Does the make and model of the vehicle affect the cost of muffler replacement?

Yes. Since mufflers are designed differently and have unique dimensions to fit under your vehicle, you’ll need to shop according to your make and model. If you’re having a hard time finding the right fit, a universal muffler might work.

What is the difference between a mid-range muffler and a high-end muffler?

The difference between mid-range and high-end mufflers tend to be the materials they’re made of. High-end mufflers often use higher grades of steel and corrosion-resistant coatings as well as better insulation.

What factors should I consider when choosing a muffler for my vehicle?

Consider the sound you want, the vehicle you drive, and the budget you have available. Also, think about whether you want a direct fit that can bolt in or if you can handle cutting and clamping in a new one.

Can you drive with a damaged muffler?

It’s not advisable to drive with a bad muffler. Not only is the noise annoying, but it can allow fumes to enter your vehicle from underneath.

Can a muffler damage an engine?

It’s possible but not common. A muffler helps control backpressure, and a damaged muffler might allow more free-flowing exhaust than the engine should have.

How long do mufflers last?

In the average climate in the US, a muffler tends to last between five and seven years.

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