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Exhaust before Muffler Hitting Part of Suspension? SPRINGS BAD?!

01-20-2010, 08:27 AM

Mr.Hand here with a question for a 1995 Geo Metro

My exhaust pipe right BEFORE the muffler seems to be hitting a part of the suspension near the rear wheels. I believe it is the control arm. I started hearing this noise after hitting a bad pothole in Baltimore city, notorious for its cratered roads.

I can hear it hit there when I push the back right side of the car down, and I also hear it when I go over bumps and potholes. It sounds like metal hitting metal.

Now, from what I have read it might be the springs have sagged, because when I look under the car there is not a lot of clearance between the pipe and whatever it is hitting, ie the control arm. I checked exhaust hangers, they all look good.

Now, this car has 210,000 miles on it. I don't think the shocks or springs have ever been replaced, is now the time? Thanks for your help.

and, do you think I could do this myself? I have replaced brakes before. I'd really love to save some $$$.

Johnny Mullet
01-20-2010, 09:22 PM
Those rubber muffler hangers will stretch over time. You can tell if they are stretched by looking at where the tailpipe (back pipe of muffler) exits the bumper. It should be centered in that cutout on the bumper.

01-20-2010, 10:25 PM
Because of age, get your catalytic converter tested for back pressure, and replace all hangers.

01-21-2010, 05:35 AM
Are you sure it's the exhaust hitting and not part of the suspension itself? The reason I ask is you said it happened when you hit a pothole, that's usually when bushings fail. Inspect the exhaust and the suspension carefully to see if there is a shiny spot where the rust has been scraped off from the hit. If you don't find one, then you've got a suspension problem, most likely a control arm bushing.

I doubt if the springs are your problem as the car was designed for the suspension to go from full droop to full compression without anything hitting. At 210K, you almost certainly need new struts, once they're disconnected, it's easy to tug on the control arms in a couple of different directions to see if the bushings are sound. Rear struts are stone easy to do, fronts a little more complicated, but not bad.

I think you're on Kent Island, about 40 miles (plus toll) from me. I'd be glad to take a half hour look and chat at it if you drive to my house on a weekend. Preferably one with nice weather.


01-21-2010, 09:42 AM
so could failing struts make the car sit lower? It seems to sit a little lower on the right side


01-21-2010, 04:06 PM
Hey Johnny,

When you say centered in the bumper cutout, how much clearance should there be between the top of the pipe and the bumper cut out hole, it looks a little low

Johnny Mullet
01-21-2010, 10:24 PM



01-22-2010, 08:52 AM
Hey Johnny,

Ya know, mine sits a lot lower, almost like 3-4 inches lower. Could it be the hangers?

Johnny Mullet
01-22-2010, 10:10 PM
Probably all 3 rubber hangers on the muffler and the 2 at the cat are stretched.

01-23-2010, 12:20 PM
In addtion to the rubber mounts, check to see if you have a front muffler clamp. Sometimes you can move or change the postition of the clamp. My clamp bots were
hitting the suspension.

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