This is to confirm the poor quality and indifferent customer service of Magnaflow.
I bought a spun metal ceramic core cat for my 91 Nissan 2.25 " inlet/outlet. With about 500 miles and less than a year the cat is a can of rattling stones. I contacted the Magnaflow rep and he told my I would have to have the car checked for "normal heat." I told him the car has full emission equipment and passes emissions testing here in WA. He would not commit to honoring the 2 year limited warrantly. I have another of these cats on another car which will also probably fall apart. Last product I will buy from them. The cat has not been bashed. What a joke. The cat is listed as a HP free flow. It is now sometimes when the broken chunks don't obstruct the exhaust opening.
9-11-12 Now for some head scratching...I could not find the receipt so I can not yet identify who I bought the cat from... I talked to Auto Zone who handles Magnaflow. The sales guy said that if a problem like that ocurred with one of their Magnaflows they would replace it no questions asked. Seems like a disconnect between retail and mfg. I have not yet removed the cat, but emissions time is near. I did read that thermal shock can loosen the ceramic core. Hot cat vs cold spash or snow. I will try to be fair in the post mortem and advise interested readers.
10-17-12 The failed cat is removed. The rattling was the ceramic core which had come completely loose from the metal cat body. I have tried to import pictures but cannot for this article. There is no country of origin on the failed cat,( pn 54955) but it smacks of chinese ... Since emissions testing is due I bought another unit. Despite losing confidence in MAGNAFLOW I did change my promise and bought a metallic core unit of their brand which has a shield on the bottom. Reason: price, free flow core, footprint, weight. From ebay Price Pros and delivery very good. I will advise how this and the other ceramic core unit holds up on the other car.
MAGNAFLOW IN DECLINE
CUSTOMER CONTACT The website shows 2 email addresses, one FAQs , the other for specific issues. The specific issue was not operable. The real person (phone call ) denied this and said the address was operating. Later the local retail store manager also could not get that address to come up. I had wanted to plead my case and send pictures.
CUSTOMER SERVICE. The tone and manner of the phone contact has been very cool, bridging on hostile. He placed the entire burden on me , suggesting I probably overheated, physically damaged the unit or had other emissions equipment problems which cause the unit to fail. The unit I cut apart was in one piece, no dents on the outside, no overheating colors on the case, and the car is a daily driver which always passes emission testing. I did send pictures of the failed unit to the email address and no indication the email did not reach them. No answer of any kind to date.
WARRANTY. I did not fill in the warranty card when I got the cat. I installed it myself, and I made an(unwarranted) assumption that the MAGNAFLOW cat would last like the CATCO which had been on the car for over 10 years. But MAGNAFLOW is apparently gaming the system to allow them to advertise OBD II compliance ( hence street worthy) while intending to not honor waranty.
PRODUCT The "spun" style has great appeal in looks and weight. Other mfgrs offer the style and most will not warranty them . So if the design is too fragile for street, it should not be so advertised.
RETAILER WOE The MAGNAFLOW rep said any warranty must be handled by the retailer only. I found my receipt from a local store and took the cat in. Immediately I could sense bad relations with MAGNAFLOW, including a letteer dragged out which I could not read. The retailer sent me away and would call. To my surprise he agreed to issue me store credit. He indicated he would have a hard time (again) with MAGNAFLOW. Readers...if you buy MAGNAFLOW on line what hope do you have if the site is merely a merchant-like PricePro...they cannot possibly stand up to MAGNAFLOW in a warranty dispute after you have spent $15 frt to return the unit.... READ AND BE WARNED!!!
UPDATE 1-26-13 So far so good with the metallic substrate unit. Includes lots of rain puddles. The sound is "ricier" than the ceramic core unit. More flow?