Exhaust Leak Repair Cost (2023 Price Comparison)
Exhaust gases come out of the tailpipe, which is usually at the bottom of the back of a car that runs on fossil fuels. If a car suddenly starts producing unusual noises or decreases its mileage drastically, it is likely that there is some problem with the exhaust. As you identify the problem, it is essential to get it fixed as soon as possible, because it can damage the car and all the passengers sitting inside it. In this article, you will find all the information you need about exhaust leak repair costs.
If you are experiencing the same problem with your car or truck and wonder how much it would cost, this article is for you. Let’s get to it.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix an Exhaust Leak in 2023?
On average, the repair of an exhaust leak costs about $150–$350, which can vary based on the extent and nature of the damage. Some leaks can be repaired at home with DIY kits, while others need professional help.
In the case of repairs, the major portion of the cost goes into labor, which costs about $50–$60 per hour and takes about half a day.
However, if a component has to be replaced, you will also have a catalytic converter, resonator, catback, and muffler. The problem with either of these components can lead to an exhaust pipe leak. Most of the time, the components can be repaired, but sometimes they need a complete replacement, which adds to the cost of the new component.
Average Costs of components of Exhaust
Be mindful that these are average costs that have been found after comparing the prices of components in a variety of cars. The prices can change drastically based on the type of vehicle you own.
For example, the cost of exhaust leak repair on an Audi A3 is about $700–$800, while the same can be done on a Honda Accord for about $300–$400.
What are the signs of exhaust leaks?
Now that you know the cost of exhaust leak repair, let’s look at some of the symptoms of a car’s exhaust problem.
1. Unusual Engine Noise
The most common sign of an exhaust leak is the engine making a strange sound. Typically, the cars produce loud rumbles that are more audible when accelerating. Sometimes, the engine also produces hissing noises and intermittent popping when you take the car out on the road.
2. Loss of Acceleration and Power
Oftentimes, the car does not speed up or pick up the acceleration as usual when there is a problem with the gas exhaust system. You will notice that the car does not speed up as you push down on the gas pedal. The problem will become more severe if the exhaust leak goes unrepaired.
3. Loss of mileage
When there are exhaust leaks, the engine is hurt, and the car gets less mileage. It also loses power and makes a loud noise. It disrupts the air-to-fuel ratio, making the engine inefficient and decreasing the average distance a car gets on a gallon of fuel.
4. Gas smell
The smell of gas fumes inside the car is probably the most dangerous sign of an exhaust leak. If it goes unchecked, it can lead passengers to develop serious medical conditions. You should get the vehicles checked as soon as you detect this symptom.
Small exhaust leaks often go unnoticed because the symptoms aren’t as bad as they could be. Furthermore, not all vehicles will exhibit all of these symptoms. Some cars may show just one of the mentioned symptoms if they have a gas exhaust problem.
How serious is an exhaust leak?
Although the repair of an exhaust leak can disrupt your monthly budget, it is a serious problem that cannot be ignored. In addition to hurting the car, exhaust leaks can hurt the health of the people in the car and cause serious health problems. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Dangerous Fumes Can Be Fatal
Smelling gas fumes inside the cabin is the most dangerous symptom of an exhaust leak. Most cars don’t have airtight passenger seats. Instead, dangerous gases have to leave the car through the whole exhaust system. If the fumes are not being vented out from the car’s bottom, they can often find their way inside the passenger cabin.
Carbon monoxide is one of these gases, and it is known as the “silent killer” because it makes passengers feel drowsy and then asphyxiates them, which ultimately results in death. Chronic exposure to other gases can lead to other medical conditions too.
2. Car Damage
Not only can exhaust leaks let dangerous gases into the passenger area, but they can also let more oxygen into the engine. It might not sound like a problem, but let me explain: the engine will draw more fuel because of the excess oxygen, and much of that will go unburnt.
It is not much of an issue in small concentrations, but when there is a lot of it inside the engine, it is a potential fire hazard. Inside the catalytic converter, the temperature is very high, so any unburned fuel starts to burn as soon as it gets inside.
It will lead to problems like clogging of the unit and damage to the interior substrate, which stops the unit from operating normally.
Factors that Influence The Cost of Exhaust Leak Repair
We’ve talked about how much it costs on average to fix an exhaust leak, but the costs can vary a lot depending on different things. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Type and Model of Cars
While the fundamental design of exhaust systems in all cars is almost the same, the size and shape of components vary between different makes and models. For example, the same parts that cost about $30–$70 in a Honda Accord can cost as much as $200–$1200 in a Ford Mustang.
|Vehicle||Exhaust Parts Cost||Labor Cost|
|Honda Accord||$30 – $180||$90 – $220|
|Ford F150||$70 – $495||$90 – $220|
|Toyota Rav4||$60 – $1300||$90 – $320|
|Ford Mustang||$90 – $1400||$80 – $230|
|Toyota Camry||$35 – $750||$90 – $330|
|Nissan Almera||$65 – $1400||$70 – $215|
|Dodge Ram 1500||$30 – $320||$90 – $270|
2. Damaged Components
As mentioned earlier, the cost of different components within the exhaust system varies significantly. While the cost of an O2 sensor is about $15–$20, the price of a cat-back can reach as high as $800. So, there is about a $780 difference right there, due to factors that determine the overall cost of exhaust repair. So, it is one of the most important things that affects how much it costs to fix an exhaust.
If you have to replace inexpensive items such as O2 sensors and mufflers, the cost will hardly go over $300. However, parts like the catalytic converter and catalytic back can easily cost more than $500 to replace.
3. Nature & Extent of Damage
Most of the time, the damage to the exhaust system is minor and can be repaired quickly. It does not require a complete part replacement or extensive labor. Hence, the overall price of such repairs will not be as high. On the other hand, if the damage is so bad that it can’t be fixed without replacing a whole part, it can be very expensive to fix.
Should You Repair or Replace the Damaged Component in a Car’s Exhaust?
Whether or not a part needs to be replaced or fixed depends on how bad the damage is and how it happened. If the exhaust pipe has a small hole, it should be fixed using epoxy or exhaust tape. That said, if inexpensive components like mufflers and oxygen sensors are damaged, it is better to replace them altogether.
The repair cost of these components is about the same as that of new ones. Hence, by replacing it with a new part, you will get added durability and peace of mind.
In contrast, if expensive components such as catalytic converters and catalytic backers are damaged, it is better to get them fixed if possible. The cost of a complete replacement for these units is too high compared to repair prices. Thus, opting for repair seems a wise option in these cases.
If you struggle between the choices of replacement and repair, follow the golden rule of comparing the prices of the two. You should always choose a complete replacement if the cost difference between the two is small, and a replacement if the difference is large.
However, when selecting a repair, always consider the maintenance costs. You should not go for repairs if the maintenance of that repair is costly.
FAQs On Exhaust Leak Repair Cost
How much is it to fix an exhaust leak?
An exhaust leak’s cost depends on the damage’s extent, the type of component, and whether it needs replacement or a minor fix. Taking all of these factors into account, the average fix for an exhaust leak costs around $150–$350.
How serious is an exhaust leak?
An exhaust leak can put the environment, vehicle, and passengers inside at risk. It should be taken seriously and fixed as soon as possible.
Can an exhaust leak damage an engine?
An exhaust leak makes the engine inefficient and decreases the mileage. Long-standing leaks can damage the components of the engine as well.
What are the signs of an exhaust leak?
The most notable signs of an exhaust leak include unusual noise, a decrease in mileage, the inability to accelerate, and a gas odor inside the passenger cabin.
How do you stop an exhaust leak?
You can either fix the damaged component or replace it altogether to stop the exhaust leak.
Where are the most common exhaust leaks?
In most cases, the exhaust manifold of the exhaust system is responsible for leaks. It is followed by the joints that run the length of the system.
Exhaust Leak Repair Cost: Final Words
The exhaust pipe leaks in a vehicle are concerning, as they damage the environment and negatively impact the engine and the health of passengers inside. Thus, you should get them fixed as soon as possible. The cost of exhaust leak repairs will depend on a variety of factors, including labor costs, the cost of components, and the extent of the damage.