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Actually, I can't venture a guess without knowing what the "non-rubberized" one used for its brake line material.

If it was CuNiFer, which doesn't corrode (at all, its rate of corrosion is almost literally glacially slow) then I'd say that one saw zero maintenance in regard to brake lines. But if mild steel line was used, and this is still common, I'd say the ones with "rubber" flex lines was far more dependable and less maintenance intensive.
 

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Actually, I can't venture a guess without knowing what the "non-rubberized" one used for its brake line material.

If it was CuNiFer, which doesn't corrode (at all, its rate of corrosion is almost literally glacially slow) then I'd say that one saw zero maintenance in regard to brake lines. But if mild steel line was used, and this is still common, I'd say the ones with "rubber" flex lines was far more dependable and less maintenance intensive.
All you gotta know is that the brakes rusted away (97 Accord). Then again by then the rest of the 91 Accord rusted away.
 

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It's called The Second Law of Thermodynamics e-100. The amount of disorder in a system( in your case rust/wear) increases with time until complete chaos exists. All things go down hill from order(your Camry when new) to disorder(your Camry at present time) with time. This can be partially slowed down with maintenance and care, but it will happen.It's all around you. Look at a tombstone. Born/died. Order to disorder to chaos(which would be in about 200 years when all the atoms making up that body are completely circulated back to somewhere in the universe.Regards
 

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It's called The Second Law of Thermodynamics e-100. The amount of disorder in a system( in your case rust/wear) increases with time until complete chaos exists. All things go down hill from order(your Camry when new) to disorder(your Camry at present time) with time. This can be partially slowed down with maintenance and care, but it will happen.It's all around you. Look at a tombstone. Born/died. Order to disorder to chaos(which would be in about 200 years when all the atoms making up that body are completely circulated back to somewhere in the universe.Regards
I thought everything is perfect and everything is happy!? 🙃
 

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Not in this universe V25. "Perfect and "happy" until the wheels come off. Which for me at 83 is always just a day or two away. I'm on my own one way trip from order to disorder. Regards sir.
 

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You definitely want to stay on top of any exhaust system deterioration for multiple safety reasons.
The condition of the car's body, exhaust pipes and hangers are constantly changing, as is the quality of the exhaust gasses which could become toxic at any time.

The presence of CO in the cabin might well go unnoticed until the unfortunate driver goes sleepy one evening and plows into some other unfortunate driver and their family.
As well, the exhaust system may part company with the vehicle and cause a very serious accident of yet-unimagined, severe consequence.
 

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Not in this universe V25. "Perfect and "happy" until the wheels come off. Which for me at 83 is always just a day or two away. I'm on my own one way trip from order to disorder. Regards sir.
I don't believe in perfection, just very good. I am willing to accept the nature of the beast unlike a whole lot of people. What's normal to me may not be normal to you but it is normal to me so I won't care much about it because I have long accepted it by that point.
 

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I had a car in 2011 that had an exhaust leak. Didn't want to fix it, since there were already plans to replace the car. So I drove it for several weeks with the windows down. In 2013, I was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson's disease. Don't know if there was cause/effect here, but carbon monoxide poisoning can cause Parkinson's. Most people who black out (and usually die) from CO poisoning never see it coming. For what it's worth, I would strongly advise not to drive that car until unless it is fixed. It's a mistake I won't make again.
 

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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???
My 07 made 290,000 before I sold it (still in fine condition except for a sticky dash). I had none of the aforementioned issues. The car was also not garaged.
 

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Even Toyotas don't last for 200,000 miles with no problems. But they can, and do, last much longer than that, with care and maintenance.

AFAIC, it is still true: Maintaining a car is always cheaper than buying new - unless rust gets involved. I BOUGHT my last two Toyotas at around 200k miles each. One slightly over, one slightly under. I've owned and driven 6 vehicles over 200k miles. One Honda, one Datsun, one Saturn, and 3 Toyotas. One Toyota has exceeded 300k miles.

OP, you've said this Toyota was washed and presumably also maintained properly. EVEN IF you replace the engine, your cost over time will be less than buying new, so your desire to buy new becomes an emotional, not a rational, desire. Ok, if you've got the money? Hey, no sweat from me!

But a TOYOTA? At 117k miles? That's like not even 50k miles on the first cars I owned, back in the 60's. This is a young car!

What if the car was NOT that well maintained? Oil changes missed, problems ignored? Even if there are issues, long run, fixing a Toyota will be cheaper than buying new (save rust, major accident damage, or SEVERE case of non-maintenance). Of course, maybe you don't want to invest the effort. No problem, then carry on, save for your new car. But your symptoms sure do point to a car that was NOT properly maintained. And, no, this is not a Volkswagen - where I could believe your complaints that all this stuff just happened out of the blue. This is a Toyota. The most reliable car on the planet.

However, whatever you decide, don't drive with the exhaust not repaired. That can be a definite life-changing experience, and not in a good way. $1200 for a front to back new exhaust is not an unreasonable price - and in my experience, you won't get it much cheaper. More likely to cost a little more than that, actually.

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.
. . .
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.
. . .
This car got frequent car washings with undercarriage cleaning at the car wash. 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.
. . .
Get a better cared for example on the next one, and take good care of it yourself.
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.
You definitely want to stay on top of any exhaust system deterioration for multiple safety reasons.
The condition of the car's body, exhaust pipes and hangers are constantly changing, as is the quality of the exhaust gasses which could become toxic at any time.

The presence of CO in the cabin might well go unnoticed until the unfortunate driver goes sleepy one evening and plows into some other unfortunate driver and their family.
As well, the exhaust system may part company with the vehicle and cause a very serious accident of yet-unimagined, severe consequence.
 

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Some car washes are required to recycle their water. This causes high pressure salt water to be "injected" into your car. A fresh water bath would be better. I got this info from a friend in Maine.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I am the original poster. I am the original owner of the 2007 Camry LE. I am not sure what I can do to better prevent rust. It gets regular car washes here in NJ. It would seem to me that the maximum lifespan of a Camry is 13 years in the "rust belt".
I am getting many conflicting opinions if it is safe to drive. The mechanic told me no problem. He added: eventually the exhaust will just "fall out". Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps in a year. What if I have a CO detector in the car?
 

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No mechanic worthy of the name would ever tell someone that a car with an exhaust leak is "no problem" to drive.

I have no doubt you've received conflicting information, but the stuff that says, "Just drive it and don't worry," is bad information.

Even if you patched the system with muffler tape to seal all of the leaks you'd be in a far safer position than driving a car that you know to have exhaust leaks in the system anywhere under the passenger cabin. (Or anywhere, period, but particularly there).
 
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It would seem to me that the maximum lifespan of a Camry is 13 years in the "rust belt"
The annual salt baths we experience here in the NE is bad for vehicles. My ‘97 Avalon 180K is surprisingly rust free underneath except for a fuel filler pipe I just replaced. I hope to keep it that way with frequent winter rinses and apply some rust converter on any surface rust.
A23BA207-CDA1-4882-95A1-14A7B96E94F6.jpeg
E8AF50CA-FC5E-44A8-AB74-CA12323E293E.jpeg
 

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And, believe it or not, having bad valve cover leaks can cut down on the sort of rust shown in @Aggrex's picture. Not that I'd not fix them.

I grew up in Western Pennsylvania, in the mountains, where road salt was (and still is) thrown like candy from a piñata during the winter. It was an "old time mechanic's rustproofing" to spray the undersides of cars with used motor oil to create a protective film. It made them really dirty to work on, but worked pretty darned well, and that's when most stuff was made of mild steel, often unpainted to begin with, so even a whiff of moisture, let alone salt mixed in, could begin the process of rusting.
 
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Discussion Starter #36
I spoke to the shop owner and he said I could bring it by on Monday for a second look to see if it is possible to weld a fix. Some pictures are below. Is this possible to fix this without replacement? How much do you think this would cost?
Flange near muffler: I assume this is the leak?
Flange Near Muffler.jpg

Front cat looks ok to me: Why would I need to replace this?
306074

Flange near 2nd Cat: Looks bad too?
306075
 

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  1. Cut
  2. Remove
  3. Clean
  4. Weld
  5. Done
That is weldable. It looks as normal as mine. Get a second opinion at a different shop. If that is considered bad, then any of the exhaust work I had assisted on is impossible.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
  1. Cut
  2. Remove
  3. Clean
  4. Weld
  5. Done
That is weldable. It looks as normal as mine. Get a second opinion at a different shop. If that is considered bad, then any of the exhaust work I had assisted on is impossible.
How much should this cost me in NJ? Or can I just drive it like this?
 

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How much should this cost me in NJ? Or can I just drive it like this?
Get quotes, it ain't gonna be $1200. You will be fine on driving but this is still something you want to fix. If you can hear it, then fix it as soon as possible. If you can't, fix it soon.
 

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I have a 2001 Camry that has had repeated exhaust leaks. I have no idea why. I had the flex pipe cut out and welded in 2014, only to have it break again in 2016. In 2018 I had to get the flange replaced. The car sounds a little loud again and I may have to bring it to the mechanic again soon.

I have another 2001 Camry that had the flange and flex pipe replaced in 2016. Last year I think one of the clamps on the exhaust broke, so back to the mechanic it went.

Each of these exhaust repairs cost me less than $200ish. I don't see the big deal of having a $200 exhaust repair every 2-3 years. Compared to $2-3K/yr depreciation on a new car, it's nothing.

Like you, I am in NJ (northern NJ). The rust on your car doesn't look too bad to me. You need to find a mechanic who is willing to cut and weld --- most mechanics in my area won't do it. Glen's Automotive in Rutherford is where I take my Camrys for exhaust work.

Radiators, struts (front/rear on one, rear only on the other), and water pumps (replaced with the timing belt on the older engines) have all been replaced on my 19 year old Camrys. The engine and transmission are good for 300K+ miles. These particular items are not and need to be replaced at some point during the car's lifespan. These are EXPECTED repairs and do not make the Camry a bad car, by any means. It is unreasonable to expect to drive a car to 200K miles without replacing any of these items.
 
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