I've had it.
The other day I was driving in my '98 Volvo S70 when all of a sudden I heard this terrible noise resembling an old Civic with a cheap aftermarket exhaust kit. I panned left and right, initially thinking it was one of my road neighbors, until something bad happened: I changed gears only to hear this horrendous low-pitched babble following thine own engine RPM. Fortunately, I had only made it a few miles away from school when this all happened. The brick is a 15 year old car and according to the service history the exhaust hasn't been touched; it all made sense, I thought to myself as I poked around the car awaiting AAA. I had it towed to a garage near campus for $24 - cheap insurance in case my -- still driveable -- Volvo has something more serious it was hiding.
|Old cat cantilevered off the exhaust manifold.|
|Disaster strikes in Montreal.|
I guess this is a somewhat pedantic and anecdotal preface to the main point of this and future posts. This is that I'm sick of blindly paying garages to do work I can do myself -- putting on my DIY car repair hat. I picked up the car immediately after hearing the garage quote, had a loud, slow, and nerve-wracking drive back to campus, and then immediately began Phase I: Research. I scoured the internet for parts and such and found the Volvo original exhaust manifold (which I am still not convinced is busted) could be purchased for $431 or about $75 from a junkyard, and the catalytic converter for just $395 if I don't plan on driving to California anytime soon. With the latter not meeting California's strict emissions regulations, I could cut the cost of the part in half and then some. So at worst, I pay $1000+ and learn something, and at best $400+ and I still learn something. And in either scenario, I can't go to California. Seems reasonable, so I bought the cat, in addition to some small supporting hardware.
|Strangest object to be delivered to the front desk. Probably the most chemically diverse as well.|
|Guess I'm not driving to Calif. any time soon.|
D.E.C. catalytic converter - $396.55 (FREE SHIPPING!)
+ Exhaust flange gasket - $3.95
($2000 - 399.50 = 1600.50)
Off to a decent start! The next steps are to get the tools together and then do the actual work. Oh and graduation somewhere in between...but that's a completely different kettle of fish.