Walking to my 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 the other day I noticed my fairly new exhaust system slightly off balance. Upon further inspection it appeared one of the rubber exhaust hangers had given up and split in half. The other was holding strong but one out of two down back there and it was enough for me to decide not to drive the car until I found a replacement.
Due to time constraints I decided to call the local Pep Boys big box Auto Store, as they were the closest, to see if they had one in stock. The gentleman was very helpful and after a short hold he said he did not have my specific vehicle exhaust hanger in stock however he had a solution. They sold generic rubber hangers that could be used and they were in stock. I thanked him for his time, and we parted ways on that phone conversation.
Not just any exhaust hanger
Now since it was a generic exhaust hanger I decided to call Precision Auto Center, where I knew Felipe could give me the scoup on whether or not this was a good idea. Full disclosure, I typically go to Felipe for all of my work because he has proven time and time again that his experience with these older Mercedes-Benz vehicles is well beyond the knowledge of the Mercedes-Benz dealership service crew. Felipe answered and I explained to him what had happened asking him of the generic exhaust hangers would be sufficient &emdash; knowing the answer would probably be no. His response was, again, one that only years of experience could offer. He said that what I wanted was the exhaust hangers from a 1988 500SL because they were rubber with metal chains inside. This came with a confidence and a knowing of the vehicles, that they would be a direct fit, and that they would probably be the first and last time I would be purchasing exhaust hangers. I laughed and told him he should do this for a living, the hangers were only a dollar or two more than the generics so of course I had him order them for me to pick up.
For a few extra dollars, if I can purchase exhaust hangers that will never give me trouble again (or rather are highly unlikely ever to give me issues again due to better construction) I am going to go that route every time. I love my cars, and I want them to last me a long time. It’s the little things like this that set local experienced shops indie shops worth their weight in gold. A dealership parts counter would have given me the exact part for the car, but Felipe can take it one step further from experience and tell me what will work better. Thank you Felipe, and I will continue to send business your way from those who are burned by dealerships experiences.