There we were, on our way back from hospital visiting at the weekend when I drove over a speed hump* in the road and something under the pen-thusiast mobile went, 'twang!' Cosmic! Pulling over revealed the exhaust (US: muffler?) hanging off at a jaunty angle and every time I drove over a speed hump as I nursed the mobile home, the exhaust was catching on it, threatening to rip itself off altogether. Great, just great!
*for those not in the know speed humps, bumps, sleeping policemen or 'traffic calming measures' as they are referred to in language you can use with your maiden aunt in the room, are raised areas in the road, designed to cut vehicles' speed as they negotiate them. Most are ramped at both sides though some, like the one in question, resemble the north face of the Eiger and would be better tackled with crampons and climbing gear rather than by car. IMHO they are an absolute menace - this is the second time my exhaust has been ripped off by one, both times whilst driving well within the posted speed limit.
Of course, by the time I limped home the local exhaust centre had closed for the weekend so all I could do was sit and fret about the amount of money (that I didn't have) it was going to cost to fix come Monday morning.
Picture copyright HiQ
So first thing this morning, the mobile and I picked our way gingerly down to HiQ and explained the situation to Chris, Walley and the guys who almost instantly set about fixing the problem. While I was there I figured it was about time I replaced the back box of the exhaust as my mechanic tells me the baffles have gone. Do what?! All I know is that, when the engine is idling passers-by stare at the mobile like they're wondering how I got a Sherman tank engine in there in the first place, all the while listening to the wonderful symphony coming out of the back end - which sounds like someone gargling with a bag of rusty spanners!
How long can you hold your breath? Well, I've discovered I can manage it for about as long as it takes for Chris to ring his exhaust supplier and give me a price! Credit where it's due, the new part was delivered within the hour and shortly afterwards I'm back on the road with the exhaust so quiet I have to keep checking the mobile hasn't stalled! Hat's off to Chris, Walley and the guys for the excellent service; that's why I've been going there for years.