Exhaust repairs don’t have to be so exhausting.

Don’t get fumed over rusted/broken exhaust.

welding on car lous custom exhaust
Chris of Lou’s Custom Exhaust in Portland, ME welding up a custom exhaust for a client.

A major issue with vehicles in Maine is they are seasonally exposed to extremely corrosive chemicals. Every winter we pour metric tons of salt, sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, and calcium chloride over the roads. We then dredge our vehicles through this extremely corrosive slush. Its no wonder the life span of a vehicle in Maine is only about 10-15 years. The rust results in premature failure of exhaust systems, brake systems, fuel delivery lines, and basically any unprotected component located on the bottom of the vehicle. Vehicles don’t rust out in Maine, they rust up. Eventually rust will consume an entire vehicle. It pisses me off, and it should piss you off too. Please write your representatives about seeking alternative de-icing methods.

Safety First – The Maine State Inspection.

The major reason vehicles are scrapped in Maine is because they fail to pass a state inspection. People either can’t foot the bill, or simply don’t want to because they are ready for a new car. The old vehicle will get traded in, or scrapped, sometimes both in that order. In an effort to help people save money on their repair bills I would like to point out some tips and tricks for rust proofing your vehicle and saving money on brake systems, fuel systems, and exhaust repairs.

First off, exhaust is dangerous. Leaking N2, CO2, H2O and O2 into your soon to be consumed air is not a good idea. Carbon Monoxide is extremely poisonous and deadly if inhaled. If you’ve ever owned a car that had a bad leak, you can usually smell it in the cab and  it makes ya noxious. If you can smell any fumes at all in your vehicle its a good idea to have it looked at by a mechanic asap.

Another nuisance and good indicator that your car may need exhaust repairs is noise. If it becomes louder than normal its a good indicator something needs attention. If you can’t hear the person talking next to you, you need to fix something before you go def. Fix it before you drop half of it off on the side of 295. That is unless you think the front half is gonna fall off, I’ll gladly pull over and pick up any biscuits left by irresponsible motorists.

What options do I have to fix my exhaust? #RustedPipes

What people don’t realize is that not all garages are same. Today most garages try and will do a little bit of everything to survive, but you still see specialty shops like “Portland Radiator” or “Lou’s Custom Exhaust”. You gotta love a business that has their business model conveniently expressed in their business name. Your regular mechanic might be able to find the broken flex pipe and rotted flange, but they usually don’t have the ability to fabricate a custom replacement. They just order you a new system for hundreds of dollars.

If you have a great mechanic, they get you back on the road as quickly as possible. Some times taking your vehicle to a specialized repair shop can be just as fast if not quicker. You can also save hundreds of dollars.This is important when  inspection season comes upon you. An exhaust shop will have the tools, machinery, and abilities to completely re-fabricate your damaged pipes. They will then weld them into the rest of your undamaged exhaust system saving you the complete expense of an entirely new per-fabricated system.

welded in flex pipe exhaust repairsRusted flex pipes are a common issue with cars in Maine. When flex pipes go bad you can usually tell by looking at the volume button. If the volume has to be at Max in order for you to hear that new Taylor Swift single, its fixing time. When an old pipe is too rusted to be unbolted from the flanges on connecting pipes, you gotta either replace all the pipes, or you fabricate and weld in a new section. A custom flex pipe replacement usually runs well under three hundred dollars. Picture it like paying for a slice of pie, the only slice you need, instead of buying an entire cake for your that same single slice.

Lou’s Custom Exhaust, Portland ME for your exhaust repairs. #LousCustomExhaust

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If you need exhaust repairs and you don’t plan on doing the work yourself try exploring options like Lou’s Custom Exhaust. They may save you hundreds of dollars. Be resourceful and savvy when it comes to keeping your daily away from the crusher. Its not just about MPG’s, think Miles Per Dollar.

Lou’s Custom Exhaust
148 Walton Street
Portland, Maine, ME 04103
(207) 878-0800