The Truth About the Maryland Muffler Scam
Based on the Muffler of a 2001 Chevy Tracker
Original Stock Factory Vs Aftermarket Midas Meineke Muffler
Okay what is the real deal with aftermarket mufflers? We know they are crap, but why? Is it really just to make you buy another one in 5 years? In what climate would an unprotected steel pipe not rust? The desert, so how many people live in the desert? We dont.
Three years ago i was pressured to buy a $500+ Lifetime contract for mufflers from Meineke. Now I have to pay $140 for a new tailpipe to replace one that was just attached to a new muffler 3 months ago but rusted at both ends and fell off 2x. I had always heard about junky old cars needing mufflers, but now they say mufflers only last 4-7 years on new cars? My car was built in 2001, i consider it still new, so its nuts! I guess its from winter salt and summer humidity, i dont know… A friend told me “They rust out more from water on the inside than out. Water vapour is a product of combustion, and so it accumulates in the tailpipe/muffler. The average person does not drive sufficient distances to get everything up to temp to dry out on a regular basis, so it craps out.”
The original stainless tailpipe on mine was a little rusty, but the problem why it wouldnt pass inspection was a small crack in the tailpipe. It was bs, but with my limited experience i didnt know where to take it to get my Maryland State Inspection passed, to be legal. A crack like that can be readily repaired by just about anyone with about $3 in materials and 15 minutes of time. Or it could have been ignored, it was the frickin tailpipe! But according to Maryland regulations they cannot pass it with any damage, it cannot be fixed, it must be replaced. I pressed them on this, and they showed me the book. It is a scam. So basically once you are forced to buy a new muffler because of a small crack, which has nothing to do with emissions, and for the rest of the life of the car it can have holes in the tailpipe.
I brought the whole 3′ tailpipe into their Meineke show room, the same show room where they forced me to buy that piece of shit. I stood there in front of other customers and said “Look at this. You sold me this 3 months ago! I am pissed off.” They looked at the tailpipe and said “Thats about right. 3 Years is normal, you never know how fast they are going to rust out.”
Cordite had the best advice “Tell them they don’t understand. Everything they do is meaningless. In a few short years they all shall burn, and will be nothing but bleached skulls crushed mercilessly beneath the heel of the machines!”
THE END. So mote it be.
ps – this isnt even dealing with the recycling / sustainability aspects, this is just about getting from point A to point C without the tailpipe falling off all the time!
pps – Chevy Tracker muffler systems have a flaw in their design too: “The exhaust system, specifically the resonator canister on the tail pipe, corrodes through forming a hole. This allows exhaust gasses to exit under the vehicle. The exhaust leak could have resulted in carbon monoxide entering the passenger compartment and causing illness, injury or death. The corrosion results from a design defect that allows exhaust condensate to pool in the resonator and corrode the metal. This is the second new exhaust system replaced within 14 months and 10,000 miles. This defect was observed on every chevy tracker and suzuki vitara model years 1999 to 2003.” from a costumer complaint website.