Just Get The Torch

When starting as a mechanic, there are things you learn from reading, and things you learn from seeing and doing. After a while you know when not to bother with some things and when to skip straight to what’s usually the last option, brute force or the torch.

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Exhaust systems are often the rustiest parts of cars, because they’re bare metal at the very bottom of the vehicle, getting constantly sprayed with water and salt. With a car even a year or two old you’re lucky to loosen the bolts holding it together with just your tools. A little longer and you’ll need to heat them up with a torch, and if it’s been several years the bolts are pretty much just little lumps of rust and it’s time to just melt them off with the torch.

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That’s what I had to do to replace the muffler on my sister’s 2003 Subaru Outback. Because I have experience with rusty exhaust I knew to immediately just get the torch instead of messing around with trying to use regular tools to even get a grip on the rusty bolts. After several minutes of blowing sparks and molten metal across the floor the remains of the muffler came off and I just had to clean up the leftover metal and clear out the holes for new bolts.


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-Dan

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