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Pecans in Muffler

Recently (this past fall) we picked some pecans from our neighbors tree/yard. I put the box of picked pecans on the hood of the car (98 Intrigue) in the garage. The following day when I opened the garage door (from the kitchen) I saw a mouse scurrying off the hood of the car… the box of pecans was all but empty. I have since figured out where all the pecans went… I’m pretty sure they are in the muffle. I don’t drive this car much and in fact am thinking about selling it. I’m guessing there are 50-100 pecans in the muffler (they’re a smaller variety then what you would normally buy in the store… oh and they are not hulled). When the car get’s nice and warmed up (full operating temperature) I’m getting a nice wood burning smell out of the tail pipe and a blueish smoke. The question is, is there a danger in doing nothing about the nuts (i.e. keeping them in there)? Since this discovery I have only driven the car a few times over the past 2-3 months. Today and yesterday when I drove the car the smell and smoke was the worst it’s been.

I’d pull the muffler and try to shake them out. They could easily plug the exhaust and you’ll be stuck. And they might stink up the car. And if a bar-b-qued chipmunk falls out too, well… that’s life.

So you think I should replace the muffler? I mean, i think it might be the factory muffler… I haven’t looked but not sure where the closest joint is to replace it… I mean, I’m not sure how much of it I’d have to replace… just to do the muffler. The car isn’t worth much to me… and it doesn’t seem to plugging up the exhaust… I mean, I’ve run the car up and down the road a couple time and got it up to almost highway speed. The smell isn’t real pleasant… mostly it’s just strong. I figure it’ll go away, or diminish eventually. Any other reasons to replace it… I mean, is it going to catch on fire, explode, etc?

I would think that if mice are stashing pecans in the exhaust pipe they would never get past the internal baffles in the muffler.
Pecans should rattle a bit and should get blown out the tailpipe when the engine is running.

Alternatively, it might be a good idea to check the air cleaner housing to make sure that is not packed with pecans. That is something that I’ve personally seen a few times (not with pecans though) and a severely restricted intake air flow could cause smoke out the tailpipe

I wouldn’t bother replacing anything. I would check under the hood, specifically the air cleaner and intake ducting for evidence of rodents. I have seen quite costly engine electrical damage done by rodents gnawing at wires.

I would takd the car for a good long drive with several hard accelerations to blow any debris out of the muffler. The scent of roasting pecans will be a pleasant addition.

When you drive it make sure it is plenty wet outside so those glowing embers don’t start a fire. Its taken less than that to burn a field, forest, or someones house. One thing about garages is that no matter how tight, you’ve got to guard against rodents and remove any food, grass seed etc.