Like other parts of your exhaust system, a muffler is easy to ignore, at least when it’s in perfect working order. Located at the back of your vehicle, a muffler tones down the engine noises – without it, your car would be a roaring monster. With time, mufflers break down and need replacing.
How much does a muffler cost? A superior quality, performance muffler costs between $75 and $300. The cost varies depending on the choice of steel metal, quality, and thickness.
Dig in for further insights into the cost of replacing the muffler and keep your car running smoothly and quietly.
Cost of Installing or Replacing a Muffler
Aftermarket mufflers come in various shapes and sizes to fit all budgets. Generic aftermarket replacement mufflers are the most common and affordable. Such mufflers are universal – they can be fitted on any car make and model.
They’re more affordable than brand replacement, but that comes at a cost. They retail for $20 to $50 because they’re crafted from low-quality materials. Installing such a muffler on your car might prove expensive since they require extra parts and extensive modification to fit with the rest of your car’s exhaust system.
Mid-market mufflers retail for $50 to $100, are forged from better quality metal, and are primarily meant for mid-sized sedans.
High-performance mufflers are mean for luxury cars or motoring enthusiasts who want nothing but the best. Most of these mufflers are custom-made and, therefore, carry a premium price tag. A custom muffler will set you back $300 to $500 but are worth every penny since they have a long lifespan.
Besides the cost, the type of vehicle, usage frequency, and driving conditions are important considerations when replacing a muffler. A mid-range muffler is okay for most cars because it’s durable and affordable. Driving in adverse road conditions, including snow, salted road, ice, and rain, lowers the lifespan of your exhaust system.
Poor road surfaces also shorten the lifespan of a muffler. If you face adverse driving conditions frequently, you’re better off with a higher quality muffler. A well-crafted muffler can withstand harsh driving conditions and serve you for a long time.
Cost of Repairing a Damaged Muffler
If the muffler isn’t extensively damaged, you can repair the damage instead of replacing it. If you suspect that your muffler is damaged, it’s best to consult a reliable car repair shop in your area. Sometimes you could be dealing with a case of broken clamp or a loose but functional muffler.
The mechanic can inspect the exhaust system and identify the extent of the damage. Muffler problems include simple issues such as a missing or worn gasket. Rust and physical damage may also perforate the muffler, creating holes. A skilled mechanic can quickly repair the damage by welding a patch if your muffler has small holes. Most shops will recommend a muffler replacement if it sustains extensive damage.
Naturally, fixing a broken muffler is cheaper and will set you back about $100 depending on the labor rates in your area and the amount of work required. However, you should be aware that repairing a muffler is a short-term solution, and you’ll eventually have to replace it. You’re likely to get the best muffler repair prices at the local, independently owned car repair shops.
What’s the Lifespan of a Muffler?
You could be wondering, “how long does a muffler last?” The lifespan of a muffler depends on various factors, including the quality, car model, and driving conditions. Naturally, a muffler on a daily driver will wear out quicker than one on a less frequently used car.
Typically, a new muffler will last from 2 to 4 years in average driving conditions or between 40,000 to 80,000 miles. The lifespan will be much shorter for motor vehicles driven in areas with salty air or lots of snow.
Telltale Signs of a Broken Muffler
If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to replace your muffler:
- Loud Noises: If your car starts roaring like a monster when speeding down the higher, the muffler has sustained some damage.
- Decreasing fuel economy: If you’re making more trips to the gas station than usual, it’s time to have the muffler checked.
- Bad odors: A damaged muffler results in exhaust fumes making their way into the car. Exhaust fumes are dangerous and could prove fatal.