Tempo Muffler Replacement

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Dear Bob,
I have a 1992 Ford Tempo. It has about 96,000 miles. I just replaced the muffler for the 3rd time (I guess that's the 4th muffler in 5 years if you include the one that came on the car).

I asked the muffler shop why I was having problems with the muffler. At first the mechanic said it must be because I don't use the car very much (I explained that it had 96,000 miles). Then he said he guessed it was because I didn't let the car warm up. He said that the muffler was not located in a good place on the Tempos and lots of the 1992's had the same problem. (I haven't found anyone else with this problem). Why do you think that it has to be replaced frequently--am I doing something wrong or is it the Tempo?

For all 3 replacements, I have gone to the same shop. They said there was no charge for the muffler and there was a $10.00 fee for the labor. Not too bad, but they said I needed to replace the tail pipe as it was worn too. They said that if I didn't replace it the same time as the muffler it too would probably go bad. The charge for labor for both and the tail pipe was about $65.00. Assuming that I'll have to go back again next year, do you think I need to replace the tail pipe every time? Thanks for your help.
Pam in VA

Okay, lets talk about your driving habits first. Are you a housewife shuttling the kids around and picking up groceries, or are you a working woman? Don't get offended, cause I don't know anything about you. If you work, do you drive to a train station or bus station, or is your office close to home? The reason for these questions is because it sounds like your car is suffering from short trip syndrome. You see, one of the byproducts of combustion is water and an acid. During these short trips when the whole exhaust does not get warmed up (including the muffler and the pipe) the water collects and is never really "vaporized" or steamed away. It just sits there and mixes with the acid and rots the system away from the inside. If the muffler is far back on the car and at a weird angle, so as to not allow the water to drain out, then this is what could happen.

As far as the pipe, well, without seeing the pipe, it is hard to say. Usually on these warranty replacements, they need to sell you something additional to make some money. Just the $10 is not really enough to cover their costs.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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