What would cause the muffler area of the exhaust to radiate much more heat than usual? At first, I thought this was just my imagination, but now I'm pretty sure that a whole bunch of other problems (trunk condensation, lack of AC system to cool the car's interior, etc....) that I haven't had until recently are all actually a result of my muffler being way way way hotter than it has been for the last 17 years. Even long after I have turned off the engine, when open the trunk, the left side (above the muffler) feels like the inside of an oven. It is like having a space heater running inside the engine and is causing problems. Is this a thing? What would be the likely causes/solutions? Only other performance issues that have started recently has been rough running in the morning which I had chalked up to needing new spark plug wires. Checked under the hood - have a little oil around the breather hose on top of the valve cover, but nothing obvious going on and no CEL on. Am I losing my mind or is something broken / clogged further up into the exhaust system that would cause this?
Is the heat shield rotted away or missing? Maybe the cat is plugged up? Did you have the head resurfaced recently?
"In Oldskool we trust"