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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
About a month or so ago started to hear some exhaust noise from my E, just a little, and mostly when accelerating. But it steadily got worse. Sounded like coming from near the engine. Well, 78K miles (mostly in New England), maybe somethings letting go. :-(

I've never had to find a general repair shop here in Raleigh, and I'm not equipped for exhaust work. I've done enough checking to know I don't want to let any of the chains near my E with wrench in hand :x , so it was back to the net for more research.

Now, I sometimes get irrational when choosing service providers. :oops: Among other things, I eschew out of hand any shop that puts savings in their name (like... "Savings King"), or uses cutesy misspelling like "Kash 'n Karry", or "Krispy Kreme". 8) I have a strong preference for tradesmen who are straightforward enough to put their own name on their business. Thus I was very pleased to find a small place called, simply enough, "Henry's Muffler Shop". There were 7 or 8 reviews over the past year, and it turns out ALL of them were highly positive. Too good to be true, [says I] but I'll check him out!

Made an appt, took the E in, and turned my E over to Henry, complete with "Aw shucks" demeanor and syrupy Carolina accent. Only took about 4 minutes, and Henry came over and said all set, got it figured. Turns out the forward motor mount was excessively worn, and this allowed the torque to rotate engine a bit more than spec. This, in turn, put excess flex into a flexible flange joint in the exhaust just after it comes out of the manifold. This flex had, over time, destroyed whatever material it is that seals the joint. Easy, Henry said, -- laying on the sincere eyes and some more Carolina syrup -- shouldn't cost more'n about $30, $40 bucks, depending on how easy the bolts come out.

[Wait a minute, I say to myself! :shock: I'm a cynical yankee! I'm from the Northeast! I KNOW when your exhaust starts making noise, you're in for $4-$500, easy! :evil: $40?? Nobody's gonna sink a 10/0 into this fish that easy!] :lol:

But what about the mounts?, I say. Well, says Henry, you really ought to get them mounts replaced, or it'll probably just happen over again. [Aha, says I, here's the hook!!] The rear's a little worn, but the front is the worst. I don't do that work, says Henry, but I have a friend who'll take care of you; he's up by Wake Forest. [Oh, I bet he'll take care of me!!]

OK, so I call up Jeff at Wakefield Automotive, and bring the car up. [Here's where these guys think they'll nail me!!] Jeff takes a look at things and says You sure you want to replace these mounts -- they don't look too bad to me. [Whoa! wasn't lookin for that!] But Henry said the front is pretty worn, says I, and lets the engine torque too much. Well, it is, says Jeff, but it ain't broke. I'll replace it if you want, but that rear ain't bad at all, and it's about twice the money as the front one. That'd be a waste. [OK, says I, let's cut to the chase.] OK, so what'll it cost me? Well, says Jeff, it'll take couple hours, and the mount's about $30 or so, so I guess a buck and a quarter ought to cover it.

[BAM!!!!] :shock::evil::oops:

Now, I learned about cars in a time when if something was broke, it looked broke, or sounded broke. These days, you've got wires and sensors and stuff all over the exhaust pipes, fer Pete's sake! Probably got computer chips in the carpets, and sensors telling you when to stop and pee!!!! :lol: And I'm just not equipped to do any heavy work that requires lifts, or torchwork, or pneumatic chisels, etc. Henry and Jeff might have been able to sell me all sorts of stuff, if they set their minds to it! But they didn't. Did an honest check-out, steered me away from work that wasn't necessary, and did the work for a very fair price. So I had an interesting maintenance issue, found two honest shops in Raleigh, and learned a good lesson for this old yankee about friendly Carolina folks! Winner! :-D

So if any of you Eple need some work done, I can heartily recommend Henry's Muffler Shop at 1823 E Millbrook in Raleigh, and Wakefield Automotive, at 10024 Capital Blvd, in Wake Forest (the address is Wake Forest, but they're really not that far up). Friendly, honest, fair. 'Nuff said!
 

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It's just fantastic to find a place like that! I wish more shops would treat people, well, Like people, instead of like money bags.

Dom
 

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2008 Element EX AWD
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that almost makes me wish I lived in NC, instead of ill-annoyed.
 

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They sound like a mechanic I used to go to years ago in Hawthorne, NJ. The guy's name was Moe, and he was from the Caucausus Mountains. He used to keep my Renault 5 running, which probably means he had powers far beyond those of mortal men. I remember he had a car from the 1930's up on the lift most of the time, and he'd tinker with it when he wasn't busy. Great guy!
 
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