At least 430 fatalities and 50,000 emergency room visits are caused by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in the United States annually. Vehicles typically produce over 30, 000 parts per million of carbon monoxide, and a faulty exhaust system means that this gas can leak into the interior of your car before it is converted to non-toxic carbon dioxide. In addition to putting you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, a faulty exhaust pipe also increases your fuel expenditure and constitutes a potential fire hazard due to gases being leaked from the exhaust blowing directly on other hot components of your car.
Exhaust pipe repair requires a great deal of attention and expertise, so before hiring an exhaust pipe technician near you, it is always a good idea to find out if the technician is qualified to do the job. Doing this will save you the stress and money of carrying out multiple repairs or even having to buy a new exhaust system. Therefore, before concluding on hiring a qualified exhaust pipe technician near you, you should also ask the following questions:
Are You Licensed, Registered, or Certified?
Auto repair businesses, including exhaust pipe repairs in the United States, are generally required to obtain state-issued licenses. The process and requirements for obtaining an auto repair license are determined by the state agency responsible for issuing these licenses. For instance, in New York, all auto repair licenses must be approved by the state's Department of Motor Vehicle, while in California and Connecticut auto repair licenses are issued by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair and the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles respectively. However, states like Kansas and Texas do not require specific licenses and permits for auto repairs. Residents of these states should find out if there are locally issued licenses for auto repairs including exhaust pipe repair shops in their locality. Always ensure that any exhaust pipe repair shops you visit are licensed in compliance with the requirements of your area of residence. You can contact your state's consumer protection agency to find out the specific requirements for your locality.
In addition to an occupational license, exhaust pipe technicians may enroll in several certification programs at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Getting certified by the Institute means that the technician has met the basic standards of knowledge and competence in a specific automotive repair area. These technicians may also register with professional trade associations that accommodate exhaust pipe technicians such as the Automotive Service Association (ASA). These associations typically require their members to follow a code of conduct that ensures that they perform their duties professionally.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Exhaust Pipe Technician?
Fixing your car's damaged exhaust pipes can be expensive, so it is always a good idea to ask the technician you want to hire to provide a written estimate for the job. The average cost of replacing an exhaust pipe is between $300 -$800. The cost of hiring an exhaust pipe technician is influenced by factors like the type of service the exhaust pipe technician is expected to render, the type of car and the level of damage involved, the time it would take to complete the repair, and your location.
Exhaust pipe technicians typically charge clients hourly rates at a range of $21 - $100 per hour for their services, and some exhaust pipe technicians may request upfront payment to buy damaged parts or as a down payment for their service. However, for relatively small tasks like routine inspection and maintenance, exhaust pipe technicians may charge a flat fee, which can be as low as $15 - $50, or as high as $100 - $200. In addition to this, some exhaust repair shops charge a flat rate for specific repairs such as fixing your tailpipe and replacing your exhaust resonator. This rate is often determined by the type of car and the amount of time required to complete repairs.
When you finally hire an exhaust pipe technician near you, it is crucial to avoid spending more money than you budgeted. Listed below are steps that you can take to ensure that the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle's exhaust pipe does not exceed your budget:
- Ask if the technician also performs diagnostic services: In some cases, the technician may not have the equipment to carry out a full diagnosis on the exhaust system, and so you may have to hire another technician for this service. It is always a good idea to ask if the technician performs diagnostic services as this will save you the time and financial burden of hiring another technician.
- Work with a written estimate: Make sure you get an estimate for the repair from your exhaust pipe technician before any work is done. This reduces your chances of making any payment that is not clear to you. Do not forget to tell your technician to wait for your approval before they do any work exceeding a specified amount of money. This prevents the technician from charging extra for work you did not approve.
- Find out about the parts to be replaced or repaired: Exhaust pipe repairs may exceed your budget if you do not know much about what needs to be done. Always ask questions, and compare prices of parts that need to be replaced.
- Start repair immediately: Delaying exhaust repair does not only put you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, but it also results in further damage to your car which eventually increases the cost of repair.
- Stop driving the car: Do not wait until your exhaust pipe is damaged before you stop driving the car. Even if you have contacted an exhaust pipe technician, it is always good to stop driving once your exhaust system is faulty. If you continue to let the exhaust leak, it could damage other parts of the system and you may have to spend extra to fix it. You can ask the technician to come to you if the distance from your house to the repair shop is far.
- Check for promos: Always look online for seasonal deals or promotions running at the time you need a repair. In many cases, auto repair technicians and dealerships run promotions and offer coupons to customers. This can help you save money on an exhaust repair. However, be wary of strangers promising to fix your exhaust system at ridiculous rates.
- Consider doing a complete exhaust check: it is normal for vehicle repairs to take unexpected twists and turns and so it is always a good idea to tell the technician to run a complete check on the exhaust system instead of welding a broken exhaust pipe alone. For example, if you suspect that your exhaust pipe is broken, requesting a complete check on the exhaust system means that the technician can resolve issues that are not obvious yet. This reduces the chances of returning for a repair soon or having any further damage to the exhaust system. Either way, you are saving money.
What Are Common Exhaust Pipe Technician Expenses?
In addition to the standard hourly or fixed fees, you may also incur some additional expenses when you hire an exhaust pipe technician. Some of these expenses include:
- Towing expenses: In addition to contacting an exhaust pipe technician for a repair, there is always the possibility that your vehicle needs to be towed to the technician's shop. In most cases, you have to pay for the towing service separately. The average cost of towing a vehicle ranges from $2 - $7 per mile.
- Shipping expenses: In addition to hiring an exhaust pipe technician, you may have to purchase damaged parts in your exhaust system. Some of these parts may not be available in your locality, and so you may have to pay for them to be shipped to you.
- Trip fees: When you hire an exhaust pipe technician and the technician has to come to where your vehicle is parked, you may be asked to pay a trip fee, which includes compensation for fuel expenses, and time spent on the road. Trip fees are charged at the rate of $1 - $5 per mile. Note that hiring an exhaust pipe technician near you may reduce the amount you pay as a trip fee.
Most exhaust pipe technicians include all or some of these expenses in the total repair costs, but this does not mean that your exhaust pipe technician cannot decide otherwise. The best way to avoid disputes over how and when these additional costs will be paid is to discuss a payment plan before reaching an agreement with your exhaust pipe technician. Do not allow the technician to start the repair without putting a payment structure in place that is suitable for both of you. It is also a good idea to ask the exhaust pipe technician for receipts for each payment you make. This helps you avoid making the mistake of paying for the same service twice.
Who Will Do the Work?
It is always a terrible idea to leave your exhaust pipe repair in the hands of a technician you do not trust. This is because exhaust pipe repair requires a high level of expertise. When you take your vehicle to an exhaust pipe repair shop, you should always find out who will do the work. Find out if the technician assigned to fix your exhaust pipe is experienced and qualified and do not hesitate to request another technician if you suspect otherwise. It is also important to ask if the technician is certified by a professional body. Certified technicians typically have the knowledge, experience, and technical training required to handle your exhaust pipe repair.
Exhaust pipe technicians are typically required to have a high school certificate or its educational equivalent and most of them pick up skills through on-the-job learning and training at the hands of more experienced exhaust pipe technicians. However, many exhaust pipe technicians also enroll in postsecondary education programs and complete courses related to automotive repair and servicing like maths, hands-on automotive repair, and electronics. The United States Bureau of Department of Labor estimates that there are over 756, 000 automotive service technicians and mechanics including exhaust pipe technicians in the country.
Will You Provide References?
Due to the significance of the exhaust system to your vehicle, it is always wise to take some necessary steps before hiring an exhaust pipe technician near you. First, you may want to start by asking for referrals on exhaust pipe technicians near you from trusted family, friends, and co-workers. Getting recommendations on exhaust pipe technicians from close contacts reduces your chances of hiring an unqualified individual. However, when an exhaust pipe technician is referred to you, it is always important to ask the technician to provide you with references on past clients and services. You can verify the information by calling the phone numbers provided by the exhaust pipe technician you want to hire. In addition to this, you may also consider hiring an exhaust pipe technician from a reputable professional association. Most of these associations provide relevant information, including the name and location of qualified auto technicians near you. For instance, the Automotive Service Association provides interested parties with access to an online find a registered member business portal to view technicians near you.
Besides referrals and references, you may also find highly rated exhaust pipe technicians on the Better Business Bureau. Also, you may visit other third-party platforms that allow individuals to post reviews about their experience with a technician. Doing this helps you find technicians who have the right profile that you need.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Though many exhaust pipe technicians usually charge a flat rate for exhaust inspection, some exhaust pipe technicians may offer you free exhaust inspection. In addition to these free inspections, some technicians may also offer discounts when they find out you need exhaust repair.
Though a new exhaust system may last two to three years before it develops an issue, it is always a good idea to have your exhaust system checked at least once a year. However, if your exhaust system is old, you should have it checked two to three times a year. This will help you identify potential exhaust-related issues before they become major problems. Many qualified exhaust pipe technicians are ready to provide a full-quality exhaust inspection at a reasonable price.
All exhaust systems typically include an exhaust manifold, oxygen sensors, catalytic converter, resonator, exhaust pipes, tailpipe, and muffler. Each of these components must be in good condition for the exhaust system to function properly. Listed below are the primary roles of each component of the exhaust system:
- The exhaust manifold is responsible for collecting all of the engine's emissions from your car's cylinder which is later sent to a single exhaust pipe.
- An exhaust oxygen sensor keeps track of the oxygen level in your exhaust system and sends the information to the engine's computer to adjust the air-to-fuel ratio in your vehicle.
- The catalytic converter is responsible for converting dangerous gases from your engine to water vapor and carbon dioxide.
- The resonator is an empty echo chamber where the exhaust passes through to produce a more acceptable sound.
- Exhaust pipes are channels through which the exhaust travels from one place to another.
- The tailpipe directs the exhaust gases away from the vehicle.
- The muffler is responsible for reducing the sound from the engine.
There are noticeable warning signs that indicate that your car's exhaust system needs to be checked. These signs include a constant loud noise from your engine, low engine performance, decreased fuel efficiency, gas smells inside your vehicle, burning smell that you cannot trace, visible holes on exhaust pipes, and dragging exhaust pipes. Note that having your exhaust system checked immediately you notice any of these signs prevents further damage and potential replacement of the entire exhaust system.
The check engine light typically alerts you of minor issues, including your vehicle's emissions before they become major problems. The check engine light turns on when there is a problem with your vehicle's emission and since the exhaust system is key to the emission control system, there is always a possibility that there is a problem with your exhaust system when the check engine light turns on. It is always best if you have your exhaust system inspected immediately when you notice this sign.
No, you cannot, and it is not a good idea to even attempt this. Exhaust pipe repair requires expertise, and any mistake may damage the whole exhaust system and other parts of your vehicle. This eventually results in expensive repairs you did not budget for. Many qualified exhaust pipe technicians are ready to fix your exhaust pipe at a reasonable price.
No, it is not safe to drive with a broken exhaust pipe. Driving with a broken exhaust pipe puts you at risk of carbon monoxide or nitrogen oxide poisoning, fire outbreaks due to extremely hot exhaust fumes, and it can also result in damage to other parts of the vehicle. It is always a good idea to take your vehicle to qualified exhaust pipe technicians if you suspect a broken exhaust pipe.
Yes, a broken exhaust can affect your car's acceleration due to the loss of back pressure. One of the signs of a bad exhaust system is reduced engine performance which makes acceleration difficult. A broken exhaust typically prevents you from accelerating quickly and as much as you want. It is always a good idea to visit an exhaust pipe technician when you notice that your vehicle's engine performance is no longer the same.
Yes, exhaust leaks can be relatively expensive to fix depending on where the leak is located. For example, if the leak is located at a point before the catalytic converter, you will be required to pay more because the exhaust pipe technician will be exposed to toxic emissions that may cause health problems. The average estimated cost of fixing an exhaust leak is between $125 - $400.
Exhaust leak repair can take anywhere between thirty minutes to three hours. Some repairs may take even less time, depending on how quickly the technician can reach the exhaust manifold. For instance, a typical muffler replacement can last for 25 to 60 minutes, while repairing a faulty midpipe may take an hour.