We recently took our car to get inspected at CarX. It failed inspection because they said we needed a new muffler. They quoted us a price of over $200 which is too big for our budget. Their inspection report says, "manifold gasket, flange gasket or a connection or any other component is loose or leaking; muffler assembly's axle pipe is missing? I would like to know if we need a new muffler or can the problem be fixed another way at a cheaper price?
I just spent 50 bucks for just the muffler for my minivan which isn't nearly the quality of the original stainless steel one, then had to crawl on the ground for over an hour to fit it and fix some leaks. If you can't afford $200.00 to have yours fixed right, which isn't a bad price, how do you afford to put gas in it?
It sounds like you need a muffler, tail pipe, and a gasket. Check at your local auto parts store for those parts, then decide if you can save enough money to justify trying to install them yourself. If your car is anywhere near as rusty as my minivan, you don't want to have a leak anywhere in the system. Besides the obvious entry of deadly fumes into the car, a shrewd lawyer or insurance investigator will find any leaks, other modifications, and any cobbled repairs, and they WILL convince a jury that you were partly at fault for the crash when the other guy ran the red light, and they will be right. Their argument will be you were less able to avoid the crash, therefore you're partly to blame.
Your mechanic wants to fix your car the right way to avoid being a party to a potential lawsuit. YOU want to fix your car the right way too. If you feel confident you can do that, visit the auto parts store. Be aware too that typically the original parts were welded together. Many mechanics do the repairs the same way but it is acceptable to use regular clamps as long as the pipes fit properly so they won't be crushed. Crushing them leaves a gap that can leak.