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Discussion Starter #1
2007 Camry at 117,000 miles engine sounds loud on acceleration. Diagnosed with exhaust leak. Mechanic told me it is rotted out near flange, but it is also completely rotted, needs complete replacement including front pipe, muffler, gasket for $1263. Not sure if CAT can be reused.
I would rather just put that money towards a down payment on a new Camry that pay this. Car has other problems including leaking valve cover gasket, leaking oil pan, motor mounts, and burns 1 quart oil every ~ 800 miles.
Here is my question: Despite what I read on the internet, mechanic told me I can still drive it until exhaust "completely falls apart". My inspection sticker is good until February 2022. Can I really just drive it like this? I don't smell any fumes in the cabin. What if I get a Carbon Monoxide detector?
 

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It don't need a whole replacement. Which flange? Exhaust manifold? If not it can be cut and welded for far less than a whole replacement. Ask about it, see what he has to say, report back to use about it or go to a different mechanic.
 

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He said it was the flange near the catalytic converter. But he also said the whole exhaust is rotted, so it needs a complete replacement. Any recommendations in Central NJ for an exhaust shop? Or is it time to junk it?
Camry has turned into a real money pit: In the last year, struts rotted and broke in 1/2, needed new tires, brakes, water pump, radiator. Not too interested in throwing more money at this except for small repairs. Rather be saving for a new Camry.
What ever happened to Camry's lasting 200,000 miles with no problem???
 

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He said it was the flange near the catalytic converter. But he also said the whole exhaust is rotted, so it needs a complete replacement. Any recommendations in Central NJ for an exhaust shop? Or is it time to junk it?
Camry has turned into a real money pit: In the last year, struts rotted and broke in 1/2, needed new tires, brakes, water pump, radiator. Not too interested in throwing more money at this except for small repairs. Rather be saving for a new Camry.
What ever happened to Camry's lasting 200,000 miles with no problem???
Sounds like you live where road salt is used heavily. Nothing will escape the rust rot that's going to cause. It's a 13 year old car, things will eventually break with age regardless of mileage. Hoses will dry rot, gaskets will get brittle, and plastics will start cracking. Brakes and tires are normal maintenance expenses.
 

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He said it was the flange near the catalytic converter. But he also said the whole exhaust is rotted, so it needs a complete replacement. Any recommendations in Central NJ for an exhaust shop? Or is it time to junk it?
Camry has turned into a real money pit: In the last year, struts rotted and broke in 1/2, needed new tires, brakes, water pump, radiator. Not too interested in throwing more money at this except for small repairs. Rather be saving for a new Camry.
What ever happened to Camry's lasting 200,000 miles with no problem???
A Camry will last over 200,000 miles easy but everything else will rot due to rust.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Anyone of this forum ever drive a car with a known exhaust leak? For how long is this feasible?
Of note, mechanic said exhaust will just "fall out" due to rot. He estimated it might take a year, but could happen as early as "tomorrow".
It should be said that Camry's last 200,000 miles or 13 years in the Northeast, whichever comes first.
 

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Anyone of this forum ever drive a car with a known exhaust leak? For how long is this feasible?
Of note, mechanic said exhaust will just "fall out" due to rot. He estimated it might take a year, but could happen as early as "tomorrow".
It should be said that Camry's last 200,000 miles or 13 years in the Northeast, whichever comes first.
Unless you don't hear it or feel like your are gonna faint, you should be okay. A 1999 Toyota Camry will last well over 200,000 miles but it will still need a a new exhaust because it rotted off. It is just how living in the rust belt is. I get my car washed after every-not-that-cold day after a blizzard so that the rest of my Camry has a chance to not get rusted.
 

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You can still drive it just don’t get caught here in my state down south they will write you a ticket for defective exhaust if you get caught as long as it is past the passenger compartment here it is not illegal though. I don’t see any problem driving it like that the exhaust on my truck is broke right in front of the catalytic converter also just from age because we don’t use any stuff on the road hardly at all here in the south and I have been driving it around for over a year like that it still passes inspection as long as it goes past the doors
 

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He said it was the flange near the catalytic converter. But he also said the whole exhaust is rotted, so it needs a complete replacement. Any recommendations in Central NJ for an exhaust shop? Or is it time to junk it?
Camry has turned into a real money pit: In the last year, struts rotted and broke in 1/2, needed new tires, brakes, water pump, radiator. Not too interested in throwing more money at this except for small repairs. Rather be saving for a new Camry.
What ever happened to Camry's lasting 200,000 miles with no problem???
If you drive to Fairless Hills, near Oxford Valley Mall (and Sesame Place), there is Low Cost Exhaust. Don't let the lack of Yelp review fool you, they been in business for a long time (well over 30 years)

 

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It should be said that Camry's last 200,000 miles or 13 years in the Northeast, whichever comes first.
That is a statement that simply cannot be made as is. A Camry certainly can last 200K miles or more, anywhere, but only with appropriate maintenance (which includes washing in any area that uses salt). A 2007 Camry exhibiting the signs you describe was not well-cared for, period, and not-well-cared-for cars lead short lives (relatively speaking). And for most of these the bodies give out long before the mechanical systems do.

Having lived in Western PA for about half of my life I've seen this story play itself out, again and again.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
This car got frequent car washings with undercarriage cleaning at the car wash. Toyota quality is not what it used to be...
 

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This car got frequent car washings with undercarriage cleaning at the car wash. Toyota quality is not what it used to be...
I already said it, a 1999 Toyota Camry at over 200,000 mile's exhaust is gonna rot from rust no different from a 2007 Toyota Camry. This is the rust belt. I know, I've cut and assisted in more than plenty of old Toyota's exhaust rusting apart in 2012 - 2014. They WILL rust. Do you want to compare a 1989 Toyota Camry? Because that thing is gonna be far worse.
 

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Toyota quality is not what it used to be...
I won't even attempt to dissuade anyone from matters of opinion. This particular trope is almost universal across brands and time. The facts point to automobiles, all of them, lasting far longer and for many more miles on average as time has marched on.

You wrote, and I quote, "Car has other problems including leaking valve cover gasket, leaking oil pan, motor mounts, and burns 1 quart oil every ~ 800 miles," as well as, "struts rotted and broke in 1/2."

That does not, in any way, shape, or form, even for cars in the rust belt, describe a vehicle that has had even reasonable care. It's been constantly ignored, not necessarily by you, but by someone in its ownership history, and quite possibly you. But someone.

And I agree with your plan of action. Throwing money at a car in the condition described, with the issues described (and where there are likely quite a few unknown and/or undescribed) is throwing good money after bad.

Get a better cared for example on the next one, and take good care of it yourself.
 
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Maybe he should've bought a 2007 Chevy Malibu. I'm sure it would've held up much better.
 

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Here is my question: Despite what I read on the internet, mechanic told me I can still drive it until exhaust "completely falls apart". My inspection sticker is good until February 2022. Can I really just drive it like this? I don't smell any fumes in the cabin. What if I get a Carbon Monoxide detector
Never a good idea to drive with a leaky exhaust. Dangerous exhaust buildup can happen under the right conditions . Even with Toyota’s reputation for quality vehicle maintenance is paramount from the owner. In my world 117K is nothing for a good running Toyota. I’ve invested in 4 new struts, a/c compressor, radiator, trans flush, alternator, tires, brakes+rotors etc on a ‘97 Avalon. Currently 174k and 300 is the goal. All the maintenance parts you listed are repairable if you choose to.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
My wife's 2007 Honda Accord does not have these problems. Still with original water pump, struts and radiator unlike my Camry. Exhaust is without leaks on the 2007 Accord. Accord only gets new pads, rotors and oil changes. Honda quality is much better than Toyota's in my experience.
 

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My wife's 2007 Honda Accord does not have these problems. Still with original water pump, struts and radiator unlike my Camry. Exhaust is without leaks on the 2007 Accord. Accord only gets new pads, rotors and oil changes. Honda quality is much better than Toyota's in my experience.
Sounds like you should've bought another Honda.
 

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I've had 3 Hondas. The 1998 Accord I bought used with 70,000 miles on it needed a new transmission at 150,000 miles, and I had to replace the alternator and a cooling fan motor. When I got rid of it at 180,000 miles the driver's side door lock stopped working, the valve cover gaskets were leaking and there was water leak in the tail light. I still consider it a good car. The Acura was bought new and went 10 years and 218,000 miles but in that time had every door speaker replaced twice, replaced motor mounts, and the valve cover gasket replaced. There was bearing noise coming from the water pump pulley and it was in desperate need of a paint job when a deer took it out. But still it was the best car I've ever owned.

Hondas and Toyotas break like all other things mechanical and it's unreasonable to expect a car to go 13 years in the rust belt and have 0 problems.
 

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I've had 3 Hondas. The 1998 Accord I bought used with 70,000 miles on it needed a new transmission at 150,000 miles, and I had to replace the alternator and a cooling fan motor. When I got rid of it at 180,000 miles the driver's side door lock stopped working, the valve cover gaskets were leaking and there was water leak in the tail light. I still consider it a good car. The Acura was bought new and went 10 years and 218,000 miles but in that time had every door speaker replaced twice, replaced motor mounts, and the valve cover gasket replaced. There was bearing noise coming from the water pump pulley and it was in desperate need of a paint job when a deer took it out. But still it was the best car I've ever owned.

Hondas and Toyotas break like all other things mechanical and it's unreasonable to expect a car to go 13 years in the rust belt and have 0 problems.
You should see the difference between a 1991 Honda Accord and a 1997 Accord. One has rubberized brake lines, one doesn't. Take a guess which I have worked on more?
 
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