When it comes to vehicle repairs, people often worry about the cost. It’s difficult to give concrete numbers for the price of most vehicle repairs, as what you pay will depend upon your car, exactly what’s wrong, as well as whereabouts in the country you are. But what you can do is arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can about the issue you’re having, so you’ll understand how much it can cost to get it fixed.
In this article, we’ll cover a range of information when it comes to the prices of exhaust repair and replacement, including common issues, how much it costs, and other issues you can face.
Simply put, your car’s exhaust takes the waste gases that are produced in the engine, and vents them back out into the atmosphere. The exhaust is made of several parts – the exhaust system is the name for the various pipes, tubes and parts that make up the exhaust. The exhaust starts at the engine and runs underneath your car and out the back.
The exhaust is made up of a manifold, pipes, silencer or “rear box”, catalytic converter and downpipe. Each of these parts can fail or have problems, but in general most people experience problems with the parts furthest away from the engine, so the rear box, catalytic converter and pipes on that side.
A lot of exhaust problems are caused by corrosion. Exhausts do wear out over time, with both the weather in terms of rain and snow from the road rusting the outside of the pipes alongside the gases over time damaging the inside of the pipes, meaning that eventually the exhaust can corrode and start to leak.
The most obvious way that you’ll know that your exhaust could have a problem is generally the noise that it makes. If your exhaust has a hole or a leak in it, you’ll hear a growling, rattling engine noise from the rear that gets louder as you rev the engine. This chugging sound is a good sign that your exhaust has a problem, and you should speak to a mechanic about it as soon as you can.
Other common issues can also be diagnosed by sound – if you hear a rattling or scraping noise from the rear of your vehicle as you’re driving along, that could be a sign that a section of your exhaust has come loose and is dragging along the road as you drive. Again, you should get this fixed quickly as it can be dangerous.
Another common problem is excessive smoke coming from the exhaust. While some diesel vehicles will naturally expel smoke from the exhaust, if there’s lots coming out at all times when you’re driving, this could be a sign that your exhaust has a problem.
You can also conduct a simple visual inspection of your exhaust pipes and systems – just look underneath the vehicle for any holes or lots of rust on the exhaust pipes. If you do see any holes or excessive rust, speak to a mechanic who can assess the damage.
When it comes to exhaust issues, the most common solution is to replace the exhaust. This usually means replacing the back section, including the rearbox, downpipe and nearby pipes. If the issue is a hole or leak caused by corrosion or other damage, it’s generally worth having a car mechanic replace these parts anyway, as the other parts of the exhaust will likely fail at a similar time. As the exhaust is designed to be replaced, this isn’t generally too expensive to do. And, as we’ve mentioned, you’ll end up saving money as opposed to replacing individual parts frequently.
However, if the issue is specific to only one part of the exhaust, for example the rearbox, or a sensor, it may be cheaper to simply get that part repaired or replaced. You’ll need to speak to a mechanic to ensure that you’ve diagnosed the correct part.
So, let’s move on to the big question. How much will getting the exhaust of your car repaired or replaced actually cost you? Well, we’ve included a table to the right which shows the average prices across the country for an exhaust replacement, so this should give you a good idea of how much you could expect to pay.
However, this table is assuming that the vehicle is an average sized car with an ordinary petrol engine – something like a Ford Focus or VW Golf. You could pay less than the prices in the table, more like £200-£250, if you drive a small city car with a small engine.
For large cars, or performance vehicles with powerful engines, the price can increase quite significantly. For many larger vehicles like 4x4s or SUVs, expect to pay around £400 for a new exhaust. For cars with performance exhausts, the price may increase to as much as £600 or even more.
While most exhaust issues are to do with corrosion or holes in the exhaust caused by damage, there are a few other common problems to be aware of. In most of these cases, the issues can be fixed by either repairing or replacing the specific part, so expect to pay around £100 to get each issue solved – except for a catalytic converter, which can cost around £300-£400.
The catalytic converter is a key part of your exhaust, it helps to remove harmful toxins from the car’s waste gases. However, it can become clogged or damaged, or even fail an MOT as emissions are now tested. If this happens, you’ll need to replace your vehicle’s catalytic converter.
The exhaust systems of diesel vehicles contain what’s known as a diesel particulate filter, or DPF. Like a catalytic converter, this filters soot and harmful chemicals from the waste gases. This can also get clogged or wear out over time, sometimes meaning they need to be replaced.
Exhausts feature a number of sensors to monitor the amount of gases flowing through the system. These can fail, which will likely cause a check engine light to come on your dashboard – if this happens, speak to a mechanic and get the relevant sensor replaced.
|Replacement exhaust cost to supply and fit||£180|
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|Full annual car service cost||£240|