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How effective are exhaust patch kits in terms of longevity and limiting noise and leakage?

Specifically I'm looking at using the kind that consist of heat-activated tape, an aluminium sheet and two pipe clamps, like this one, on a very small hole on the pipe between the catalytic converter and the resonator (which happens to be directly below the center console). Is there a downside to doing this before a more permanent repair?

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While I haven't used one of those patch kits, the link you posted states, "It is meant as a temporary, or short term repair for a broken or rusted tailpipe." Is a temporary or short-term repair what you are looking for? –  qes Oct 18 '12 at 19:44
    
@qes, I suppose my question is: what does short term mean in the case of a small hole? Am I buying one trip, a week, a few months? It boils down to: would this extend the effective lifetime of this section of pipe at least $10 worth, considering if I go to a muffler place and have the weld in a new section of pipe right now the cycle of rust just starts over for that new bit. –  nwellcome Oct 18 '12 at 21:29

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I used these kits occasionally when I was young and broke, so my knowledge isn't that current. Back then, they were good for a couple of months, maybe a little longer depending on how bad and where the hole is.

If the exhaust pipe is so rusted it'll break in a few months, that kit is not going to last very long as the movement of the breaking pipe will mostly render it ineffective.

OTOH if it's a small hole and the rest of the pipe is in decent shape, it'll last you a while.

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As @ Timo states they are a low budget repair.The fact that the sheet is aluminum and thin enough to wrap around the pipe will limit its' longevity. It may work ok for a hole, but won't support a broken pipe for long. How long it will last will vary. The closer to the engine and the catalytic converter the higher temp and the shorter the life. I would use it as a repair for the shortest time needed, no longer than it takes to get special order,not stocked parts or get a warranty replacement etc. These repair kits tend to fail with little warning. My experience has been that if the pipe is rusted enough to have a hole, the rest of the pipe won't be much good for long.

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Not terribly effective in my experience. Mean time before repair failure seems was around a month on the multiple times we patched my wife's (then GF with no money) car a few years ago. Just buys a little time for you to save up some money and then get the exhaust system replaced.

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