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Exhaust Repair - How/What to do?

kibukibu Posts: 38
edited July 2015 in Hyundai
I come here because I know very little about cars and I'm also not a native English speaker, so the names for each part confuse me. I hope you guys can help me, or point me in the right direction. Any advice is highly appreciated!

My recently bought 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe has Exhaust problems according to a mechanic who checked it a couple weeks ago. From his inspection I remember he said something had been taped together with heating/heatresistant tape? And that there is a leak by the exhaust.
Over the past couple days the car is becoming very loud, like a race-car, I've been reading up that this could be from the same problem.

He gave me quote of $1150 for doing
- Catalytic Converter
- Resonator
- Assembly, Parts and Labor

This repair seems very expensive, he said he delivers only thorough work with quality parts.

Now, the thing is, I'm only driving this car 12 miles a day, that's it. No long trips and no crazy driving. I only need it to run for about 5-10k miles and then I am moving.

What are my options? I'm thinking perhaps
- Get quotes from other mechanics in my area?
- Order parts myself? I hear you sometimes can get OEM parts much cheaper than name-brand..
- Repair only a part of it?

Comments

  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 126,124
    My advice... Look for a local exhaust shop, not a full-blown mechanic.

    Tell them you need a cheap fix, that you are only keeping the car for a year, and ask them what they can do.

    While I appreciate good mechanics that only use quality parts and do quality work, sometimes what you need is a band-aid, or at least a cheaper alternative.

    This advice is based on the car being 14 years old, and probably not worth more than a few thousand dollars.

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  • kibukibu Posts: 38
    Thanks! Hadn't even thought of that. Yeah I basically got the car for $350 and immediate put in $800 in the rear brakes, still a good price though. But now shelling out $1200 is a bit much. (Car has 186k miles)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You need a muffler shop with a good welder. Depending on the damage it might not be possible to "patch it up" (you can't weld rust) and of course they can't cut off a bad catalytic without replacing it (against Federal law to do that). But it's certainly worth a look. Some creative welding might be the perfect solution. It's hard to say without knowing exactly where the leak is, and why it's leaking so badly.

    In any event, do something quickly. The way you are driving is dangerous.
  • kibukibu Posts: 38
    Thanks for the advice @Mr_Shiftright . I think the mechanic that inspected the car mentioned that the car has quite a bit of rust, so that might actually be the problem.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Sometimes they can cut out a rusty section and piece in some pipe, but if the catalytic is badly rusted and leaking, you'll have to do something about that. They make universal cats which are considerably cheaper than factory ones.
  • kibukibu Posts: 38
    I see, I'm bringing it to a mechanic nearby tomorrow, he'll tell me on Monday what the deal is.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,051
    kyfdx said:

    My advice... Look for a local exhaust shop, not a full-blown mechanic.

    Tell them you need a cheap fix, that you are only keeping the car for a year, and ask them what they can do.

    This is how it all starts. Just about everything that consumers complain about when it comes to auto repair sprouts from this kind of a perspective. Attempting to put a "Band-Aid" on something usually exposes someone who has little to no experience as being what they are. The lesson from that lack of experience gets revealed when typically another part of the exhaust fails which wasn't part of the Band-Aid repair and now the customer is disappointed with not only the repair, but the shop that tried to help them out especially because now they may still be facing the same initial estimate and totaled together this may now cost that vehicle owner even more. There are thousands of stories that blame the shops for this and its usually presented as "they knew" this was going to happen and just wanted to make more money off of...... Experienced shops/technicians have already learned this lesson which is why the estimate is written to do the job right the first time.
    kyfdx said:


    While I appreciate good mechanics that only use quality parts and do quality work, sometimes what you need is a band-aid, or at least a cheaper alternative.

    This advice is based on the car being 14 years old, and probably not worth more than a few thousand dollars.

    Do you have any idea how often the line "I'm only going to keep this for another ______ (week, month, year, ????) gets thrown out there to shops when the vehicle owner doesn't actually intend to get rid of the car? Experience has again taught that there is tendency for many consumers to be dishonest about their intentions and use that above line regardless of a vehicle's age. The over use of that statement has basically made it irrelevant anymore. In fact when someone does make that statement the correct response is for the shop to stop doing anything to the car and advise the customer to make that be an immediate correction to their vehicle needs instead of spending any money at all on the car. For all of the other problems that the trade has to overcome on our side there is still the issue that if a vehicle owner isn't 100% honest with us they are far more likely to be disappointed with the end result.

    The OP can in all likelihood find someone who will try and rig this. We constantly see consumers choose to reward shops that aren't making the investment to do the entire job correctly. The advice given here effectively steers the consumers towards shops who attempt to survive under-priced and of course employ entry level, or mechanics with limited experience and potential. The most troubling part is that the entire trade gets blamed for their failures and yet we are powerless to get rid of them, consumers have to do that.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited July 2015
    This isn't the OP's case, but lots of people need a car for work but can't afford to do the job "right". They just are trying to stay above water and have lots of other bills they have to pay. Outside the big cities, you really can't get a job without wheels, so what are you gonna do? Bike 12 miles a day to the jobsite in a foot of snow?

    So you Band-Aid today and hope you scape up a bit so you can do the inevitable next half-baked fix. No other choice for lots of people (and unlike your state, most of us don't have to deal with annual vehicle inspections, so you can imagine what kind of beaters are sharing the road with you).
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    I have applied a lot of "band aids" to cars especially when I was young and broke.

    But, I see Cardoc's point too. When I ran a busy shop it seemed that whenever I tried to save a customer money by cutting corners or appling a "band aid" it would backfire. We wold get blamed on other problems..." It never did that before" or six months later, the band aid would fail and I would have a angry customer in my face demanding that I do the job over for free.

    Or the band aid would fail and another shop would tell the customer " Who ever did this botch job really messed your car up" Then we would be the bad guys.

    We got to the point we would either do the work right or decline the job.

    Of course, THEN people would tell their friends and neighbors how we tried to rip them off but they found some gas station that was able to cut some corners and save them a bunch of money.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 126,124
    edited July 2015
    Heard your points, and still disagree...

    The guy has a $600 car that he needs to survive for 10K more miles.. Doing $1500 of exhaust work on it would be idiotic.

    There are plenty of reputable exhaust shops that will do just what the OP needs. How the mechanic's union feels about it should be of no concern to him.

    Also, he, as the owner of a $600 car, has no responsibility for the local mechanic's livelihood, or the fact that the whole profession is going down the toilet, etc, etc,etc..

    And, you'll notice that I never suggested the original mechanic was wrong, or that he should have offered to do anything other than what he offered to do.

    It's like going to a neurosurgeon when what you really need is a chiropractor. It's a 2001 Santa Fe..

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  • kibukibu Posts: 38
    I hear all your arguments, thanks for all your advice!

    I'm moving back to the big city in 1-2 years with 12 miles a day, the only reason why I wouldn't is if I got offered a crazy good job out here in Jersey, at which point I'd want to buy a better car. So in any case, this car only has to last a max of 10,000 miles.

    What it comes down to is. It's a 14y old car with 186k miles on it. The timing belt is at the end of its life, there's rusting going on, the exhaust is leaking, the rear brakes were not compressing. So I spent $500 to buy it incl title/registration, took care of the rear brakes+inspection for $850 to make it safe to drive. (I know I spent too much on that)

    Since the car sounds like a race car now, and as @Mr_Shiftright pointed out, it's dangerous the drive, so I'm going to have the exhaust system fixed. Given the situation and as @kyfdx pointed out as well, I don't think it's smart to spend $1150 on completely replacing the exhaust with premium parts.

    I will let you guys know what the car mechanic referred to me I go to today says. Probably won't have an answer until Monday. But if he says he can make it run again and quotes me anything less than $700, I think I should take it. I'll still have only spend $2k on a working car.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,051
    I have to admit I find this quite entertaining between this thread and the other one where the guy took his struts into the dealer only to find out that when he only authorized half of the job he got exactly that, half of the job, and now he isn't happy. "Experts" have told consumers to do things like what is in this thread and that other one and when consumers listen to them quite often the result is an unsatisfactory repair attempt. The real problem with that is instead of those experts getting to feel the heat, the consumer turns around and blames the shop/tech just like that other poster is doing in that other thread.
    kyfdx said:

    Heard your points, and still disagree...

    The guy has a $600 car that he needs to survive for 10K more miles.. Doing $1500 of exhaust work on it would be idiotic.

    Hence the advice of do nothing and replace it now.
    kyfdx said:


    There are plenty of reputable exhaust shops that will do just what the OP needs. How the mechanic's union feels about it should be of no concern to him.

    There are hacks that will try and do what the O.P. wants and has been recommended here. Whether a shop is reputable or not cannot be judged by someone attempting a band aid repair. That is reserved for the day that either the repair fails, or the car is disposed of, which ever comes first.
    kyfdx said:


    Also, he, as the owner of a $600 car, has no responsibility for the local mechanic's livelihood, or the fact that the whole profession is going down the toilet, etc, etc,etc..

    So when the day comes and he has a need for a top shop and technician and there isn't one to be found I hope he comes back and thanks you for your contribution to that situation.
    kyfdx said:



    And, you'll notice that I never suggested the original mechanic was wrong, or that he should have offered to do anything other than what he offered to do.

    It's like going to a neurosurgeon when what you really need is a chiropractor. It's a 2001 Santa Fe..

    You know the only difference is that in the past there wasn't someone who would step up and try to get the consumers to see the whole picture. Instead of allowing this poster to end up like the one on that other thread, he has a chance to make the right decision first. If the car isn't worth fixing, then he shouldn't put any money at all into this one. If it is then he should fix it correctly and then start saving for the day that he will be in a position to replace this one. There is no guarantee that he really is going to get rid of it anytime soon. "If I had a dollar for every person that said they were going to get rid of a car, and still had that same car four to five years later....."

    BTW, properly repaired a 2001 Santa Fe will do the same thing that a brand new car will do. Haul someone's donkey from point A to point B. Hacked repairs will only serve to make that more expensive in the long run.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 126,124
    @thecardoc3 You must have never been poor... or, you've forgotten what that is like. ;)

    My independent mechanic does great work, and seems to be doing very well. Haven't really noticed my advice doing any real harm. Either way, I'm pretty sure he doesn't care about my opinion and the supposed deleterious effects on his business. B)

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    It doesn't take much to effectively "total" a car like this so certainly a patch job would be the way to go. I simply tried to point out that doing "favors" will often bite you.

    If I were to own a small independant shop I would be happy to do a "band aid" job but I would MAKE SURE that the customer understood exactly what I was doing in order to save money. I would write on the Repair Order comments to that effect.

    When I was in my youth and even when I was newly married with a whopping 248.00/mo. house payment on our first home I did a LOT of Mickey Mouse repairs...I had to! I never compromised on safety related stuff but I certainly cut some corners.

    When I was in High School, almost all of the parts I installed on my car came from the local junkyards including a set of brake shoes once.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Doesn't matter what kind of disclaimer you get the owner to sign, you'll still get sued. If not by the owner, then by someone who suffered damages or injury because an "unsafe" car with deferred maintenance smashed into them.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,735
    My 2002 Explorer made similar noises. The flanges where the back of the catalytic converter connected to the rest of the exhaust rusted and the insulating ring fell out. Everyone wanted to sell me a back of the cat exhaust system for $500+. I found a guy who put on flange repair kit for $128. It was all it really needed.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,051
    kyfdx said:

    @thecardoc3 You must have never been poor... or, you've forgotten what that is like. ;)

    I know all to well what it is like to live within ones means while watching everyone around me get to have nice cars, houses, vacations, etc. I see hourly labor rates today that are more than I used to make in a week when I first started out as a mechanic. When I made GM's Master Technician Advisory Council (one of the top thirty techs in the country 1986) I made just over 22K for the year.

    BTW. My wife's epilepsy also meant that we have never had two incomes. I know what its like to work six to ten months at a time without a single day off.
    kyfdx said:


    My independent mechanic does great work, and seems to be doing very well. Haven't really noticed my advice doing any real harm. Either way, I'm pretty sure he doesn't care about my opinion and the supposed deleterious effects on his business. B)

    That would be easy enough to calculate. How many techs does he have working for him? How many nights training do they attend each year? Does he pay for their classes, and maybe even the time to attend? Does he pay for their benefits? How many scan tools do they have, especially O.E. ones? Can he do flash reprogramming? What about security systems. Can you get new keys and have him program them? I could go on about a lot of other stuff but the odds are against him measuring up to this list already. If he isn't up to this standard already then the robotics that are in the cars right now are outclassing his business.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    stever said:

    Doesn't matter what kind of disclaimer you get the owner to sign, you'll still get sued. If not by the owner, then by someone who suffered damages or injury because an "unsafe" car with deferred maintenance smashed into them.

    Oh, I know but signing the Repair Order may lessen the chances of getting sued.

    I would never compromise on anything safety related.
  • kibukibu Posts: 38
    The mechanic I brought it to gave me his assessment.
    - The pipe at the end of the Cat was rusted and broke off, that's why the whole cat needs to be replaced
    - Flange (leaking/rusted)

    He's going to add a pipe junction at the flange and try to build in a universal Catalytic Converter, he's charging 500-600 bucks he said. I went ahead with the repair.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Thanks for the update!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Still, a lot of money but it sounds like this will get the job done.
  • kibukibu Posts: 38
    Car is fixed. It's hard to believe how quiet it runs now! It was $600 total to repair, expensive but I'm glad I did it.

    The mechanic said he heard another noise coming from the car, probably a 'loose bearing' that'll have to be fixed sometime.

    I've put $2000 in buying/fixing this car and luckily it runs smoothly for now. Thanks for all the advice, it really helped a lot!!
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