Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Major Muffler

 Waterbury, Connecticut

Yesterday, for the third time in two years, my eleven year old Chevy HHR made a trip to the muffler shop. First it was a middle section of pipe that had rotted out. Next it was the resonator and adjacent pipe. I figured this time it had to be the muffler, but it was still OK. The connector from the muffler to the pipes had rotted out so the bad section had to be cut out and basically the first repair repeated to avoid having too many joins in the system. Luckily these guys are reasonable and so far have always had same day service if I call at 9:02 in the morning.

The "modern" de-icing chemicals Connecticut has used for decades instead of rock salt are total car killers. Just a few months ago I smelled gas, and found I had to have the whole set of fuel lines replaced. The vehicle the HHR repaced was a 1997 full size Chevy pickup. At about ten years old, both redundent brake lines failed together so it had to be carried in on a wrecker for the expen$ive replacement of the lines. Four years later I hit some rough pavement out in NY state. The back end got very loose and I figured I'd broken the fourteen year old back shocks. Nope, it was the rear third of the chassis that had rotted out and dropped the shocks.

Side note, the truck had an all stainless steel exhaust system. At fourteen years and 247,000 miles the exhaust system was still pristine when the road chemicals killed the truck. The 5 liter engine was still running great and its mpg had only dropped from 21 to 19. Without the attack of the icing chemicals I think I could have gotten another 100K out of it.

As we move to electric and hybrid electric cars, it may be important to see how much stainless steel is used in their construction, at least for folks who don't live in Florida or Southern California.

No comments: