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How Much Does An Exhaust System Cost Installed? Comprehensive Cost Analysis

Newly fabricated and installed exhaust pipe.

The exhaust system is responsible for cleaning the fumes from the engine before they are released into the air. Without a properly functioning exhaust system, your vehicle would expel toxic fumes that are hazardous for humans and the environment.

Wondering how much an exhaust system cost installed? Find out below.

An exhaust system can cost anywhere between $300 to $3,000, depending upon its type, materials, the make of your vehicle, and the labor charges. However, some suppliers will help you do it without charging extra if you are replacing an old one.

Let's discuss all these factors individually.

Table Of Contents [show]

    Newly fabricated and installed exhaust pipe.
    Newly fabricated and installed exhaust pipe.

    Types Of Exhaust Systems

    There are two main types of exhaust systems — axle-back exhaust systems and cat-back exhaust systems. They are similar in how they work. What changes their cost is their included parts.

    The axle-back exhaust system is installed after the axle.

    It includes a muffler, exhaust tips, and some piping.

    This exhaust system impacts the car's sound and can cost anywhere between $300 to $1000.

    On the other hand, the cat-back exhaust system is installed behind the catalytic converter.

    It typically consists of a mid-pipe, muffler, tailpipe, and tips.

    This exhaust system has a tangible impact on the car's sound output and improves its appearance and performance. Cat-back exhaust systems start at $300 and can cost as high as $3,000.

    Regarding materials, stainless steel and galvanized aluminum are the two materials used for making an exhaust system.

    However, since stainless steel is sturdy and more durable than aluminum, its installation will cost you more.

    The model and make of your car also determine how much an exhaust system will cost you.

    Some cars require an OEM system; others work well with aftermarket products.

    As a general rule, the more expensive your car, the costlier its exhaust system will be.

    Lastly, you also have to consider the cost that you are going to pay for the installation of the exhaust system. If you install it yourself, you won't incur any labor charges. But if you hire a professional service, it will cost you another $75 to $200.

    Considering all the charges, it is only natural to wonder whether you should install the entire exhaust system. Or is replacing a few parts a better option? Let's discuss.

    Newly installed exhaust tips.
    Newly installed exhaust tips.

    Symptoms Of A Leaking Exhaust System

    Symptoms of a leaking exhaust system include strange smells in the car's cabin, a check engine light triggered by a malfunctioning oxygen sensor, and the exhaust making more noise than usual.

    If you suspect you have a leaky exhaust, you should have it fixed as soon as possible.

    Do I Need to Replace the Entire Exhaust System?

    You only need to replace the entire exhaust system when it is beyond salvaging. Corrosion is one reason your exhaust system may fail. Most of the time, you can do with replacing a few parts.

    Installing an exhaust system costs a lot of money. So you should avoid replacing it entirely, especially when money is tight.

    The only time when replacing the whole system makes sense is when the damage is widespread. Just like other car components, the exhaust is also prone to warping. It can happen due to defective materials or when the car is old.

    How Much Does It Cost To Replace Exhaust System Parts?

    An exhaust system typically consists of an exhaust manifold, mufflers, and downpipes. A new exhaust manifold costs around $500; mufflers usually start at $50, while the downpipes cost up to $200. But, of course, it also depends upon the quality of parts and your car's make.

    The cost of replacing individual parts is significantly lower than that of the whole exhaust system. That's why most people keep replacing parts for as long as possible.

    Here is a run-down of how much each individual part of the exhaust system will cost you:

    Exhaust Manifold

    The exhaust manifold is the exhaust system's most critical and expensive part. It collects the toxic gases and takes them away from the vehicle. Your car can have one or two of these.

    This part is usually constructed with tubular steel or cast iron. A cast iron exhaust manifold may be robust, but steel is usually more expensive. On average, you'll need to spend $500 to get a new one.

    A newly installed muffler.
    A newly installed muffler.


    As the name suggests, the muffler is the part that reduces the noise coming out of the engine. Mufflers of high-quality materials absorb more noise than their flimsy counterparts. You can choose between steel, aluminum alloy, ferrous alloy, and titanium.

    A conventional muffler will set you between $50 and $200. But if you go for a high-performance model, the cost can increase quickly.


    The downpipe is the part that connects the exhaust to the turbocharger. It is responsible for expelling gases from the engine.

    Because of its non-corrosive nature, downpipes are almost always steel. You must spend between $50 and $200 to get a new one.

    Some of these come with clamps and rings for installation, while others don't. To purchase them separately, you'll have to shell out another $30.


    The cost of an exhaust system is variable. You have to consider many factors, such as the kind of exhaust system, the materials used in its construction, the make and model of your car, and the installation costs. On average, a mid-range option can cost you $700, with around $130 for installation.

    You can choose to replace individual parts rather than the entire system. This can cost you anywhere between $50 and $500.

    You should keep in mind that all this data is our prediction. The exact amount you spend is based on your car. How old, how damaged the exhaust system is, and how readily the parts are available.