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Old 02-07-2002, 08:08 PM   #1
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Default How long should a car muffler/exhaust last?

I just bought a 3 year old car with 32000 miles on it.
I have been hearing strange sounds coming from down below, which sound to me that the muffler is needing repaired.
I am surprised that this would happen on such a young car.....I thought maybe around 50-60K miles?
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Old 02-07-2002, 08:10 PM   #2
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A good quality non-stainless steel system should last between 5 and 6 years. A Midas system will last about 3 years if you're lucky, and a stainless steel system should outlast the car. Note, this is in the Midwest where roads are heavily salted so they may last longer in other areas. Of course, it's always possible to have the system punctured by a stone or something at any time.

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Old 02-07-2002, 08:21 PM   #3
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Well if the exhaust did in fact just go on my car, that makes it exactly 364 days. I got a service slip from 2/5/01 with new gaskets and pipe so I'm hoping it's not something major like that and it's weird that like overnight it started to sound like hell.

Although I have heard that Mazdas go through exhausts fast. I also have service slips from 96 and 98 on all new muffler and gaskets each time.
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Old 02-07-2002, 08:21 PM   #4
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The previous owner may have run over a stump or something and worked a connection loose. The 'donut' between the exhaust manifold and y-pipe could be loose just from vibration and the heat/cold contractions.

If you do need a new system, try to get "Walker" or comparable grade pipes.
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Old 02-07-2002, 08:44 PM   #5
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Three years is a little premature for an exhaust to start leaking. If you exhaust pipes connect together using flanges, it is possible that a combination of weather and bumpy driving corroded the flange and blew the gasket. Otherwise you might have some corrosion. If you see flakes coming off the muffler, then the paint wore away and it's most likely corrosion.

If you do get a new muffler, you would be wise to give it a coat or two of high temp paint. The paint on some OEM replacements (yes, it even happened to me with a Walker muffler) will overheat and flake away leaving your new muffler vulnerable. It's pretty cheap and should be at your local auto store.
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Old 02-07-2002, 11:53 PM   #6
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I have replaced the exhaust systems on all my cars using aluma-coated pipes and stainless walker mufflers. My one car's exhaust system is 10 years old and looks like new. My other car's exhaust is on its second year and stills looks brand new.

Pay the extra money and get good pipes and mufflers.

PS: i live in South Western Ontario, the home of using salt instead of plows.
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Old 02-07-2002, 11:55 PM   #7
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It could just be a heatshield hat came loose and is rattling. Any way you can make a recording of it? I could tell you what it is just by listining to it.
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Old 02-08-2002, 01:59 AM   #8
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My 92 Jetta still has the stock exhaust system.
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