2001 Chevy Tracker Exhaust System
Chevy Tracker Mufflers and Tailpipes
I had no idea that newer cars could have such muffler problems, as my older car’s muffler was fine.
For 6 years the original exhaust system on my 2001 Chevy Tracker was fine. Then I moved States from WV to MD. There were only a few places around that gave inspections, and I just wanted to get it over with so I went to Meineke. The Maryland 1 time State Transfer Inspection is insane.
Not only did the Maryland State Inspection have tons of needless check points on the list, but it says “you cannot fix a tailpipe that has a crack, it must be entirely replaced”, or something to that effect. So this situation forced me to get a Life-Time Warranty with Meineke for $500+. I had no idea what I was getting into, as Ive never had exhaust experience with a vehicle before.
I had heard “Don’t go to Midas, they will rip you off.” and things like that, but I didnt understand. Being in the military at the time I was used to trying to pass all inspections no matter what it took. So 3 years later the Meineke muffler rusted, and the tailpipe fell off while i was driving.
The 3 year-old tailpipe was still solid for most of the length, except for the ends. I had them cut off the back end for a down-turn tip, and so that it would not stick out like it did when it was first installed. I had noticed the back end rusted the first year. So I filed off the rust on the muffler end, and reused it on the new muffler. The new muffler lasted 3 months, but the old tailpipe did not, it fell off again. The same rusted muffler end had broken from structural rust.
Now I read somewhere that there is a design problem with Tracker Exhausts. The long tailpipe goes up and then down, allowing condensation to gather where the muffler meets the tailpipe. That connection is what rusts out, and causes the tailpipe to break off. That design flaw does not help matters.
Regardless I am now getting a new factory $700 Exhaust System from Chevy ($550 + $150 labor). I think this is the way to go, instead of the overpriced 2-3 year mufflers from Meineke. It cost $500 for the Meineke lifetime warranty, but that only covers new mufflers, not the $100 tailpipes or labor each time, which adds up. The original muffler would have lasted longer than 7 years i think, but the 1-time State Inspection made me replace it.
If I had gone to the Chevy place to get a replacement exhaust system, the aftermarket hassle of this would have been avoided, and I would have saved about $500 apx. I am writing this now to anyone that this can help, to avoid the bull-shit. Don’t get Midas or Meineke, their mufflers are 2 years of rust waiting to happen. Stainless steel really is more sustainable and worth the money when it comes to mufflers in moist or salty climates.