How to permanently and cheaply repair a muffler or exhaust leak yourself.
So my Jeep started making more noise than it should. I tried ready made kits to repair the exhaust hole. They fell off after a few days. I tried a can with exhaust system clamps. The pressure and rust blew that thing up after six months. Finally I came up with a solution that has lasted.
All you need is at the Home Depot.
First, cover the hole or leak with steel wool. It will isolate and cover any leak or hole extremely well. Fasten the steel wool with several layers of aluminum tape. The adhesive will burn up, but the aluminum will stay, although it will become brittle by the heat.
Then, finally cover the aluminum tape with a a steel can that you cut open. DO NOT USE aluminum sheet folded around the pipe, it will blow after a few weeks or months, since it becomes so brittle by the heat. You can often cut the can with scissors. Fasten the can with two stainless steel hose clamps and tighten well. They don't rust and don't change. Do not get clamps from an auto part store. They will rust and you won't be able to get them off.
Finally, car sounds like new and this repair seems to last forever. Total cost about ten bucks.
--UPDATE -- This post was written in 2011 and now it is 2014 --this repair still good as new, no adjustments, no leak. Meanwhile, this post appears to have become one of the top three read search results for people who want to do their own muffler repair. There is no question that the key to success is the steel wool, and a strong steel can. They don't have to be stainless steel, but the rings used to hold them in place should be. Kind of weird that this idea never appeared anywhere, ever, before, but I'm super pleased to help fellow motorists avoid the high charges in the shop.