People offended by poor puns, look away now!
Anyone who has met Célestine lately will have heard she was getting slightly noisy, and those in the back seat got lightly smoked every time we slowed down. (Is this an excuse for speeding? "I didn't want to slow down, otherwise the people in the back would have suffocated"). We knew it was time for a new "long pipe" - so called because this component is 2.08 metres long - and had been searching for a stainless steel replacement for some time.
After chatting with various Tractionistas we started to waver on the INOX (stainless steel) front, because it changes the sound. We want the Célestine experience to look and sound as authentic as possible, even when we have modernised the mechanicals slightly.
Anyway, after an exhaustive search we decided to ask M.Musseau to order a new pipe. This he did, but when we took her in for a fitting it was noted that the muffler was in a trouly awful condition*, and that would need replacment too.
This meant waiting another ten days while a new muffler (pot in French) was ordered and delivered, but on Thursday we took Célestine to Descartes, and left her at the garage while we went shopping. Arriving back an hour later, Célestine was still over the pit, and M. Musseau was underneath her, mumbling and grumbling the way mechanics do.
Not being one to miss an opportunity learn more about our car, I went into the pit to lend a hand. This enabled M. Musseau to really tighten all the bolts without having to balance the pipes on his head. The exhaust itself is held in clamps suspended by short, very solid, pieces of rubber from the car body but the muffler is held up by the pipes and isn't connected directly to the car. This means that from behind the muffler looks to be in a slightly perilous position, but I am assured that is normal.
On the drive home it was all purring silence and engine, rather than exhaust, noise. We are told that the life of a standard exhaust system was about two years, but modern fuel means that they rust more slowly that that now. It will be interesting to see if this process needs repeating that soon: if so, we will consider inox for the long pipe, but steel for the muffler and tailpipe.
*Sorry, Typing that even made me wince...