My Car: Pre-Road Trip Work

I’m heading out on a road trip today, so over the last couple weeks I’ve gotten some work done on my car to get it ready.

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First up was an oil change, maybe a little bit late. My car burns and leaks oil a bit so I go through a few quarts before oil changes anyway.

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Back in December I replaced my left rear strut and lower control arm, but didn’t have time to do the right side. It takes a bit longer because I have to heat up each bolt before removing, and the bolt attaching the lower control arm to the knuckle seizes in the bushing and required some hacking to get it out.

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My exhaust has been leaking at a joint near the front for a few months now. I liked the sound of it sometimes, but other times it was just obnoxiously loud, and idling when parked would send exhaust fumes right into the cabin. I replaced the gasket and the bolts, which were rusty junk at this point.

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A few days afterwards, my exhaust seemed to get louder again, this time in the rear. The end of the pipe was hitting the bumper, so I could tell something must’ve broken. Turned out the entire pipe had broken off the inlet of the muffler.

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If I was trying to be cheap I could’ve tried welding it back together, but I just went with a new muffler. My car was now the quietest it had been in a year, but later that week, it suddenly became the loudest it had ever been.

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Turns out, not using exhaust spring bolts is a bad idea. They’re a pain to deal with, but they keep your exhaust pipe from cracking off of the flange.

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Luckily, it was a very clean crack, so it fit back together really well, so it could be easily welded instead of replacing the whole pipe.

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I don’t have any experience with welding, so one of the other techs welded it back together for me.

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I couldn’t find any spare Honda spring bolts, so I ground down some old Toyota ones to fit.

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It’s not the prettiest, but it shouldn’t break anytime soon. Pretty much like the rest of my car. Ready for a 2,000 mile road trip in my opinion.


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-Dan

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