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enter image description here

The exhaust pipe on my 2005 Malibu has sheared off and is causing excessive noise. Best guess at the cause is that there was a joint that failed due to rust.

I would like to temporarily repair the pipe in order to reduce the noise that is being caused by the broken pipe.

  • It's ok if the repair isn't permanent; I plan to replace the car in 6 months.
  • It's ok if the repair doesn't completely eliminate the excess exhaust noise; a little bit of noise is fine.

Unfortunately, I only have basic mechanical skills & tools, and do not have a welder.

For those that are wondering: The local automotive shop is unwilling to repair the pipe--they want to replace the entire part, including the catalytic converter--which is cost prohibitive ($1200+).

Is there a way to repair the pipe without the use of a welder?

  • I think I found a diagram of the exhaust. I marked it up. – Wilson May 4 at 16:25
  • Maybe an exhaust band clamp? youtu.be/gVzOLHeUaE0?t=426 – Wilson May 4 at 16:38
  • Meh, it doesn't look like there's much meat left on that piece.That's why they're not willing to attempt an attachment to it. – Harper - Reinstate Monica May 4 at 19:32
  • Hi Wilson, Pop in to a race shop. They sell a cloth-like exhaust wrapping tape that could be used. I doubt you'll get 6 months though. And my van did this due to my frequent (on purpose) backfires, the tape worked fine so long as I didn't do any more :) – Bevan May 5 at 10:44
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To expand on what Mike said, the easiest/cheapest way to fix this is by creating a sleeve. Use some thin metal which is fairly easily bendable. Actually, using a large metal can body like you'd find holding canned food should work. Cut the two ends out of it, then split it up the side. The can has to be big enough to completely wrap the tail pipe and overlap. Then take two jubilee (aka worm gear clamps) to hold this part in place. Consider getting some Permatex Ultra Copper gasket maker to line the inside of the can with. The idea with it is to not only seal it, but to hold things in place. Also, cleaning off the two ends of the exhaust pipe with a wire brush or wheel will help as well. Tighten the clamps as good as you can. The tighter the better, but dont crush the exhaust pipe.

This should suffice for a bit while you get the money to replace the parts. It won't last forever, but I'd expect it to last 4-6 months depending on your climate and what shape the rest of the exhaust is in.

Please note, if you have a safety and/or emissions inspection, this will NOT pass muster.

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The only thing that might work is to have a long enough sleeve that will connect the two parts.

However, the short length one side and the fragility of the remaining portions will probably mean it will fail in short order.

The best options in order are (imho) :

  1. new part - you don't want to spend money...

  2. a second hand part - visit a breakers, but inspect for condition

  3. a sleeve (likely to fail rapidly)

And, even if you did have a welder, you would need something to weld to... Last time I tried to weld something that bad, the metal ran away from the torch... :)

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On closer inspection, I realized that the entire flex-pipe was hanging on by a thread. It broke off easily with some wiggling:

enter image description here


So I used @Paulter2's method, but with the materials I had on hand (wood stove pipe):

enter image description here


It was tricky because the section to be replaced was curved. So I made a gasket out of glass wood stove rope to fill the gaps.

The car is much quieter (for now, at least).

  • I'll bring the car to a specialty exhaust shop outside of town (when convenient). Maybe they can replace the temporary pipe with a somewhat-permanent flex pipe (for a minimal cost). – Wilson May 4 at 18:42
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    takes me back to my youth, when my friend fixed his BMW 3 series with Carlsberg cans :] – Big T Larrity May 5 at 1:21
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    I'll point out that it's entirely possible that this repair may mean that the car is no longer road-worthy due to failing to meet emissions or noise regulations in your area, and may mean that you might need to shell out for the $1200 replacement anyway when you try to sell it on. – nick012000 May 5 at 8:25

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