Exhausts systems also cost much more than 10 years ago
I can honestly say that I have lived during the most radical changes ever made to cars, due to the new rules about “global warming” and emissions from cars. Back in time when we had Vauxhall Vivas Cavaliers, Horizons old type Minis and Ford Cortinas life in the garage was much easier and certainly more stable.
The exhaust systems on those cars would stay the same year after year. So much so that we could order systems in the hundreds at a time and kept a large stock, that we would always sell. In fact we could order exhausts systems by the container load and they would all be sold, (happy days).
Then the computer came along and car manufacturers could very quickly change car models, they became very flexible changing parts on different models at will.
This included systems. We were finding that Exhausts. Like other parts would be left on the shelf unsold. Hence, we were becoming very reluctant at keeping exhaust systems on the shelves. Without, getting stuck with them. Consequently, at this time exhaust wholesalers began to spring up. As a result, and in a short period of time. We decided not to keep an exhaust stock at all. So, and leave it to the wholesalers. In fact. The last stock that we kept in was from Bosal Exhausts. Probably, (the best Exhausts in the World) and that was in the late nineties.
The next thing to affect Exhausts were Vehicle Emissions controls. These were introduced by the British Government. Thus, requiring that cars had to be fitted with “Catalytic Converters.” These cats as we know them. Therefore, are fitted between the car’s engine onto the exhaust pipe system. The gas from the engine is filtered through the cat. Into a very fine filter system. Made from ceramics to withstand the high temperature. The cat has also some precious metals to help filter out the particulates. (this is why the cats are so expensive).
Some car models have a direct fitting cat to the engine. Thus, the engine sends out waste gasses. That are filtered by the cat. As a result, then the cleaner gases pass through the rest of the system. The Exhausts Changed boxes contain a fiberglass type material. Naturally, that has an extra filter effect but will also muffle the sound that the gases make when leaving the engine. We all know how noisy a car is when the exhaust breaks.
Exhausts systems are better made these days
Some cars have two or even three boxes depending on the size of the engine and car. Here in the UK we do not change the exhaust until it actually breaks, and the we have it replaced and in my opinion this is the best thing to do. Even the worst looking rusty old Car Exhausts can last for years and it is no use changing your exhaust just because it looks rusty and old, replace it when it breaks, unless it fails the MOT test. The main part to fail on the test will be the cat, if it fails the test the cat will need replacing.
To summarise Cheap Exhaust systems are far better made these and certainly last much longer, cats are also well made and will only fail if the ceramic cone gets damaged or if you go through flooded water, this usually affects the engine management system and your engine light could be illuminated on your dash, triggered off by your cars computer and a replacement will be needed.