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Old 04-06-2012, 11:02 AM   #1
velleguy73
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Default How to approach a broken flexpipe?

I can hear my exhaust from the front a lot and I can see a specific filthy spot in the braid in the exhaust flexpipe. Looks like she has a failed spot right there.

Am I better off hunting or a used exhaust or is the aftermarket worth buying? Should I pull the pipe and have an exhaust shop weld me in a new one?

Thanks for the experience and advice.

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Old 04-06-2012, 11:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to approach a broken flexpipe?

Anything forward of the cat should be welded, as (presuming it's one of the cars in your profile) even the slightest leak can throw a P0420. How old is the cat? If it's near end of life, and esp. if there's a history of the car running rich from a failed ECTS, a complete bolt-on downpipe-flexpipe-cat assembly might be the order of the day.

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Old 04-06-2012, 11:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to approach a broken flexpipe?

The actual flex can be replaced but MUST be welded into the pipe and the lower clamp on the support can not be destroyed. Most decent muffler shops can do the work and it is cheaper and will last longer than any aftermarket pipe.

A flex leak results in rich engine conditions that are not detectable with a scanner until it is a disaster.

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Old 04-06-2012, 11:53 AM   #4
velleguy73
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Default Re: How to approach a broken flexpipe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Anything forward of the cat should be welded, as (presuming it's one of the cars in your profile) even the slightest leak can throw a P0420. How old is the cat? If it's near end of life, and esp. if there's a history of the car running rich from a failed ECTS, a complete bolt-on downpipe-flexpipe-cat assembly might be the order of the day.

This is my '02 which just turned 91,000. I just refurbished the whole thing where did all the typical wear and 100k maint so no codes. This car had the oil topped off by the previous owner but not much else. Let's just say it had a factory PCV valve when I got it 5k miles ago.

Fuel economy is a little low ~30. The identical car I sold with 235k got 33-34mpg on the same commute. I would have never thought this could be effecting my fuel economy.

Would that effect the decision? Also, am I better yanking the exhaust and take it to a shop or should I take them the car for geometry concerns?

Thanks for the typical A+ advice.

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Old 07-30-2012, 10:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to approach a broken flexpipe?

Hey folks,

Thought I'd update this one. I have been getting roughly 28-29 mpg all summer with my SOHC stick. Knowing this was way low from previous Saturns, I finally got around to getting the exhaust fixed. Everything else is reurbished so this was the only known issue that could effect my fuel economy.

it was the section under the clamp by the flex pipe that rotted through so the whole thing was replaced. This is one of those things that i "could" have done myself but, as I watched the guys break out the torch and welder, I felt 200 bones to have the problem go away in less than an hour was a good bargain.

So, I'm 1 tank through post exhaust. With the same commute, I yielded 33.28mpg on the tank. That's roughly an extra 40 miles before the idiot light comes on. The 2 O2 sensors were playing tug of war and making my car run rich.

4mpg just by fixing the exhaust? Priceless. I feel goofy I put it off for 8 months.

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Old 07-30-2012, 10:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to approach a broken flexpipe?

The rear O2 has no control function, only the front does. Any leak in the exhaust between the head and the CAT inlet usually causes the O2 to sense a lean, excess O2 condition, and add gas. This is why the scanner will not show it at all. The exhaust is a pressure pulse flow and does go negative. Then you have to deal with gas diffusion as the gas is not solid, it is mostly nothing at all.

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Old 07-31-2012, 02:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to approach a broken flexpipe?

I ended up putting in a piece of straight pipe when my flex pipe rotted off.

No codes, still 37 mpg.

Of course No flex pipe, means a touch more rattling noise. But i'm sure the other holes and issues under there are more of a concern i need to address.

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Old 07-31-2012, 10:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to approach a broken flexpipe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnight13 View Post
I ended up putting in a piece of straight pipe when my flex pipe rotted off.

No codes, still 37 mpg.

Of course No flex pipe, means a touch more rattling noise. But i'm sure the other holes and issues under there are more of a concern i need to address.
Gotta love a mileage number like that. With my mix of city/highway/heavy foot and lately full blower ac, 33-34 mpg is a pretty solid number. I'm very happy 28-29 is in the rear view mirror.

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Old 08-01-2012, 12:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to approach a broken flexpipe?

No flex pipe means the exhaust will eventually break. Given the number of degrees the powertrain can twist in its mounts, there's no way the hangers at the rear end of that exhaust system can tolerate that much movement. Some other part of the system is flexing, and will eventually fail and leak.

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