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I'm probably a rare member in that I own 2 ForTwos. Both 2008s. A Cabrio & a Pure. I enjoy their utility. Suddenly I'm not enjoying a loud exhaust that my wife won't tolerate on the Cabrio. Dealer needs $300 + tax for parts & I'm told labor is 3.5 hrs x $160 / hr. That's well over $900 out the door (here in N. IL). I'm told a connecting tube normally fails, that the exhaust is normally otherwise ok except for this failed tube that results in the $900 dealership bill. I've read experienced people here on SCOA forums can have their exhaust off in 20 minutes. I did call SM considering whether to score a lightly used one & save $100 compared to new. They had zero on hand but took my name and #. I'm not a deep-pocketed person who would take this opportunity to spend maybe even more money on a custom solution. This has got to be happening to a lot of owners. I understand there is too little demand for a cost-effective aftermarket solution. I tried to read the 8-year, 80K mile warranty as applicable, seems a stretch. Even if it were possible, the dealer would somehow determine I was contributory to its failure.

Is anyone successfully removing their exhaust systems, somehow replacing their defective connecting tubes with a $30 braided, stainless, partially flexible tube, re-securing the new system with hose clamps, welds or melting / sealing muffler tape to effectively repair a system that (to me) seems ridiculously expensive? Nowadays, stainless mufflers often last the life of the vehicle. I can buy a muffler online for my Cavalier for $30.

Others share my pain.... what are you doing? no choice but to enrich the dealership?
 

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I'm probably a rare member in that I own 2 ForTwos. Both 2008s. A Cabrio & a Pure. I enjoy their utility. Suddenly I'm not enjoying a loud exhaust that my wife won't tolerate on the Cabrio. Dealer needs $300 + tax for parts & I'm told labor is 3.5 hrs x $160 / hr. That's well over $900 out the door (here in N. IL). I'm told a connecting tube normally fails, that the exhaust is normally otherwise ok except for this failed tube that results in the $900 dealership bill. I've read experienced people here on SCOA forums can have their exhaust off in 20 minutes. I did call SM considering whether to score a lightly used one & save $100 compared to new. They had zero on hand but took my name and #. I'm not a deep-pocketed person who would take this opportunity to spend maybe even more money on a custom solution. This has got to be happening to a lot of owners. I understand there is too little demand for a cost-effective aftermarket solution. I tried to read the 8-year, 80K mile warranty as applicable, seems a stretch. Even if it were possible, the dealer would somehow determine I was contributory to its failure.

Is anyone successfully removing their exhaust systems, somehow replacing their defective connecting tubes with a $30 braided, stainless, partially flexible tube, re-securing the new system with hose clamps, welds or melting / sealing muffler tape to effectively repair a system that (to me) seems ridiculously expensive? Nowadays, stainless mufflers often last the life of the vehicle. I can buy a muffler online for my Cavalier for $30.

Others share my pain.... what are you doing? no choice but to enrich the dealership?
Look here.
 

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Your bigger problem may be the bolts holding the muffler to the convertor, My '08 just lost its flex pipe, and the bolts were toast. The solution is to get a reciprocating saw, and cut off the welded nuts on the converter, freeing the head pipe. Ridiculously easy, and saves all the important parts. I'm sure the dealer would gladly ding you for the converter, and all the extra labor. This can be done with the car on ramps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How about a useful OEM exhaust removal YOUTUBE video?

I am a decent do-it-yourself-er as long as I can find all the right tools (have to get a new one from time-to-time, I know). I do find some disassembly / reassembly videos useful. Does anyone know of a good video that focuses on the ForTwo 2008-era OEM exhaust removal, then flex pipe repair (as opposed to one focusing on upgrading to an aftermarket performance exhaust system)? Thanks again in advance, you Smarties are a goldmine of knowledge !
 

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The flex coupling can be changed. It takes some time, and the right tools, but I've done it twice now on OE exhausts. You will need a 8" long X 1 3/4" flex coupling, a good afternoon, a grinder, and a welder.

Remove the rear body panels & bumper support(trust me on this) to gain access to the engine & rear of the car. Take the exhaust system off, and cut the flex coupler at the ends of the braided cover. You will then have to cut & grind the welded on crimp off of the flange elbow & the muffler. This will take a while. The system is stainless, and the welds are stainless, so they will be tough to grind. Took me about 1 1/2 hours to get them ground down so the new coupler was a tight fit over the ends of the pipe. Re-install the system on the car so you get the angles correct, tack weld the new coupler in place, remove the system, and finish welding. Re-install one final time with a new flange gasket, and enjoy quiet motoring once more...:)

I have abouot $20 in a coupler, and about 3 hours of my time. Way better than what the dealer wants for a new system...
 

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I changed the exhaust on my n'08 Pure with 130K miles on it when the flex pipe finally broke. Took me a bit more than 20 min as I had a trailer hitch and a less than mobile body ( knee replacement) I was able to remove the rear panel, and bumper support, There are a few special fasteners on the bumper support that you will need to have, and a bit of patience with the fasteners on the exhaust heat shield as well as the flange bolts. I used a small oxy-acetelyne torch to heat up the bolts and make them come off easier and replaced them with stainless flange bolts to make it easier next time.

I scored a replacement muffler and pipe from someone who had replaced theirs with an aftermarket pipe and the original one had been laying on the shelf. I didn't have to raise the car to get to anything once you take the rear clip off. Makes getting to everything much easier, and it would have been easier without the trailer hitch.

My '08 has been getting a bit louder recently so I expect I will need to replace the exhaust on this one too. My only concern with replacing just the flex pipe is welding the stainless exhaust.
 

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MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
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I'm told a connecting tube normally fails, that the exhaust is normally otherwise ok except for this failed tube that results in the $900 dealership bill.
While a common failure especially in areas where the roads are salted, 8 years later warranty is 6 years behind you at the side of the road.

CAUTION, you may not be able to diagnose this failure solely from Forum experiences. Look closely at both the cat/exhaust connection AND the flex pipe.

My "failure" was the cat flange breaking away uploadfromtaptalk1474378378499.jpg and trust me, that bill far exceeded $900.
 

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FYI, I put a Solo cat back system on our '08 about 5 years ago. Took the muffler shop about 30 minutes. It is a center exit, so I shaped the opening using the tail pipe. Sounds kind of loud, but not as bad as the junk braided pipe. Solo plus a K and N filter element got about 2 mpg's more. Al
 
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