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Hi all,

I have a 2010 Nissan Altima with about 156K miles on it that I've owned since new. A couple of months ago I started noticing a deep tone when the engine is idling and when driving at low RPMs like when driving through a parking lot say less than about 1200 or so. The first time I noticed was when I got out of the car to check my mailbox and I thought wow, why does my car sound like that? For comparison, there's a beater mid '90s Mercury Mountaineer SUV in my neighborhood and it sounds a lot like that, if you can imagine what that sounds like, only not nearly as loud. Once I get going and the RPMs increase enough it sounds pretty much normal, it isn't really any louder at all (that I can tell anyway). So, does it sound like the muffler? Exhaust leak maybe? Any thoughts before I take it in to a shop to get looked at?
 

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Let a trusted, competent shop determine what is wrong, if anything with your car.

It would be of no help if I say to replace your mufflers...and they were OK.
 

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Check the flex pipe section used on most FWD cars, they commonly crack at some point in their lives to leak.
 

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Probably it's your main catalytic converter, they tend to crack and make a low frequency noise between 1500 RPM and 2000 RPM.
Do you get Engine Service Soon light when it's too cold, with P0420 error?
 

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I second the front cat being the culprit.

Our original exhaust pipe into the top of the cat cracked, bought a replacement and it took little time to do it again (warranty replaced)....so far the third one is doing fine...You can only see the crack if you remove the exhaust heat shield.

The four pipes into one collector is super restrictive too.

other than that it could be an exhaust leak at one of the joints or flex pipe...
 

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I developed a small leak at the junction of my cat conv. and the downpipe. It was very slightly louder, but it's been that way for 2 years now and it doesn't effect inspections, no codes and the sound is not anything that people would take notice of. I'll continue to drive it that way until it finally gets worse/louder. No point in throwing money at something that doesn't cause any problems. But having someone look at the source is a good idea in case it's something cracked.
 
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