Rust, noisy or leaking exhaust are common problems of a bad muffler, and often the only fix is to replace the muffler. We will show you how we changed the muffler on a Nissan Altima; the instructions apply to many makes, including Acura, Ford, Audi, Toyota, Honda, BMW, Lexus, Porche, Chevrolet, etc. The key is to buy an exact fit muffler for your particular make, model, and year.


What you will need

You will need a few tools and a new muffler to fix your exhaust problems.

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  • Car Muffler
  • Metric Socket
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Ratchet
  • Penetrating oil
  • Grinder
  • Work glasses
  • Gloves


Allow the muffler to cool down before you start replacing it.

Jack up your car

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Use your floor jack to raise your car. Ensure the car is in the park, and you have set the emergency brakes.


  • Allow the vehicle to cool down for at least a couple of hours before working on the exhaust.
  • You may prefer to disconnect the negative battery terminal as well.

Locate Old Muffler Flange

how to fix a muffler leakSpray penetrating fluid on the bolts and let them soak for at least one hour.

Line up your muffler and pipe

The layout of the new muffler and the pipe.

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Pay close attention to the gaskets and O-rings that may come with your muffler.

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O-ring is used to seal leaks at the muffler and pipe flange.

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Gaskets were installed at the pipe-to-pipe flange.

Remove the muffler bolts and clamps.

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This is the most tricky part of this job. Due to high heat, the exhaust bolts can be tough to remove. Always use the correct size of the socket wrench. Do not use an adjustable wrench on the exhaust bolts; you will most likely strip the bolts. It may be wise to have a spare exhaust clamp and bolts if your old clamp gets damaged.

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Remove the muffler exhaust hangers. These are easy to remove as they typically slide right out. Often some force is required.

The end of the exhaust hanger has a larger diameter, and you will need to slide the rubber exhaust hangers over the ends. If you end up damaging any exhaust hangers or your existing ones are damaged, you can easily find replacement exhaust hangers online.

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Once you remove the exhaust clamps and bolts, you should be able to slide out the old exhaust. Typically you can pull the old muffler towards the rear of the car. In some cases, you may be able to drop the muffler down.

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If the old pipes limit you from removing the old exhaust, you can cut the pipes as long as you have a new replacement pipe ready. Some stock mufflers are welded where your new muffler may have clamps and joints; in such case, you will have to cut the old pipe to remove the muffler.

Always wear eye protection and gloves if you must cut out the old exhaust pipe. Be careful so that you don’t get injured. Also, pay attention to any wires or other parts near the exhaust. You don’t want to cut anything else accidentally.

Install new exhaust

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Now you are ready to install the new muffler. Line up the old muffler next to the new one. Make sure you have the orientation of the pipes correctly. Some joints can be tightened before you install the muffler into the car. If you are not sure, don’t make any connections yet.

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Start installing the new muffler on the car. You may also consider upgrading the muffler at this point. Some car owners choose to delete the muffler and go with a straight pipe, but that may be illegal in some states.

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Use the rubber hangers to secure the muffler in place.

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Next, connect the pipe from the new muffler to the exhaust system’s flange.

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Continue by putting together the exhaust pipes. Make sure to install the gaskets when applicable. Some exhaust pipes use an o-ring at the joints. Connect the new pipe to the old pipe. Make sure to install the gaskets that came with the muffler.

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It is common for aftermarket exhaust systems to come with a sleeve. You will use the sleeve to join the two new pipes, typically in the middle. You should make this connection last if at all possible. The sleeve is four to five inches long and can be used to adjust when the pipe is too short or the angle doesn’t match perfectly. You should use Muffler and Tailpipe Sealer at joints and connections. The exhaust sealant can help create tight connections. You don’t want to have exhaust leaks at joints right after you install a new muffler.

Can’t remove muffler bolts

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Sometimes, there is no option but to cut the old bolts. Prepare for the worst. Bolts may need to be cut using an angle grinder.

The average cost to replace a muffler

The cost to replace the muffler varies depending on your car’s location and model. Average prices to replace the muffler range from $300 up to $800 when performing independent repair shops. At the dealership, it can cost over $1000.

We hope you find the How to Replace Muffler Without Welding guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your vehicle.

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