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Q: Loud exhaust after pothole

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I hit a bump the other day in my 2007 Toyota RAV4 and now the exhaust is crazy loud! I checked it out and it looks like a hole just rusted into the muffler! Bump must have knocked the rust loose. Car only has 61,000 miles on it so I am really disappointed and expected more from a brand like Toyota. When I replace the bumper, how can I prevent this from happening again?

The muffler generally isn’t covered under any recalls or Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) that Toyota has issued to date, as the corrosion you’re experiencing can be influenced by a lot of variables including the environment. For example, if you live in an area that uses a lot of road salt to melt ice, or near a salty body of water, that can increase the acidity of the air. That being said there is an abnormally high amount of exhaust system failures due to corrosion on the Toyota RAV4. Many people have had success having it repaired for free by claiming it under the 8/80 emissions control warranty, though you will have to go through your local dealership. In general this issue seems to show up after around the 4 year mark, though some have experienced it sooner. It may be the muffler, the center pipe or the Catalytic converter as well, as it is all one assembly. If you decide to replace the muffler independently, you may have a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, replace it at your convenience.

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