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A few weeks ago my 2000 SE Vulcan's exhaust got a slightly louder. Nothing like running with no muffler, but still louder than normal. I took it to my tech and he said that the baffles are breaking up in the muffler and that is what was causing the noise. The rest of the exhaust is in fine shape. Apparently this is common on Taurus's and my tech said if I can live with the noise, then don't worry about replacing the muffler. Just wondering what everyones opinion is on this. Also, if I do replace is someday, should I go Ford parts or is there aftermarket that is just as good. Toronto here, so there is salt on the roads, so no "cheap" mufflers for me! Thanks in advance.
 

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Unfortunately, there are no cheap mufflers -- they might be cheaply built, but they cost a lot these days.

The main reason is that the economy of scale for aftermarket exhaust components has fallen apart, since most cars have stainless steel systems that last 10-15 years, and cars typically are not run that long in North America except by people like me. We just paid $585 to replace the muffler, pipe and resonator on our VW Golf... the parts alone from a discounter come to more than $300.

Sharply reduced demand is why Midas, Meineke and other "muffler chains" are now "full service shops," offering all sorts of repair services and downplaying exhaust work.

As Meineke puts it, "While Meineke built its reputation on being the number one after-market muffler specialist, Meineke Car Care Centers has expanded its menu of product offerings to meet the demands of a changing marketplace...." And you have to look hard to find exhaust services among the many offered at http://www.midas.com

I was sorry to see that our "new" 2004 has a rusting, conventional steel exhaust system...
 

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you could replace with a summit turbo muffler (cheap) but what i did was put several extra coats of exhaust paint on it so it wont rust. thats gotta be the best bang for your buck.
 

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There's been a baffle loose in mine for several years. It's been fine. I can hear it rattle sometimes if I listen closely.
 

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the baffles in my old muffler were loose they would rattle really bad untill the car warmed upbut then i cut my muffler off and no more problem, then i put my sho exhaust on and have not had any troubles with them except they are too quite...

also iirc all 96 + taurus/sable exhause is stainless steal just peple dont understand that stainless steel rusts just not as quickly as regular steel
 
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