Exhaust System Buying Guide – How to Choose Best Exhaust

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Editor choice Exhaust System Buying Guide – How to Choose Best Exhaust
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Covered FAQs
Types Mentioned
Points to Remember before Buying
Benefits of Having Exhaust
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No one makes you happy, except the roar and throaty rumble of your performance exhaust system. Starting with low and menacing voice when idle to boosting and aggressive untamed roar at full bore, your engine will never be completed without the best high end performance exhaust.

But with tons of options in the market to shift through, it became pain to look after the best exhaust for your rig.

Don’t worry, if you’re also in the same confusion – we’ve done ground work for you and figure out the best performance exhaust along with best buying guide to get the most advanced and perfect exhaust for your vehicle.

Don’t even miss a single line, if you’re surely looking for overall complete guide to buy the exhaust.

Before rushing forward, let’s have a look on very basic question that came in mind of every auto enthusiast about exhaust system and that question is why i need aftermarket Exhaust system for my vehicle…

As we know all vehicles must have an exhaust system in order to vent gases from the engine.

However, vehicle’s stock exhaust system probably not enough for some car enthusiasts. As for different buyers, there are different driving habits and needs in different areas, so to meet all the driving requirements every buyer should require aftermarket exhaust system that can actually deliver more benefits that stock.

Now, if we have to look after benefits-  then we should know first that what are the benefits that we can get from an exhaust system … are we looking for some extra power or just growly sound or something else. This is very common question and will definitely comes in your mind.

So, before moving forward – let’s first discuss all the benefits that you will get from After Market Exhaust system.

Benefits of Aftermarket Exhaust System:

Mostly the exhaust system is present for the outlet of the gases from the engine. However, you can’t get all of outflow with just your stock exhaust. You probably need the better with high power and other specs.

One of the most common benefit that you can surely look after is MORE POWER.

  1. More or EXTRA Power from your Rig

After installing the aftermarket exhaust – more advanced than your stock, one of the main benefit you will get is Extra Power. Aftermarket exhaust system comes with large diameter pipes and higher grade mandrel bent tubing that are designed for better laminar flow than your stock.

Not only this, the upgraded exhaust will make the air run faster which ultimately increases the power output of vehicle’s engine. This will let your vehicle’s engine breathe more easily and increase overall functionality of engine including better torque.

While your old exhaust or clogged one will affect the performance of your vehicle by directly impacting on engine’s function and forcing it to work harder to push air in and out of chamber.

There is no specific number to determine performance increase but you can expect anyways between 4-7 Horsepower increase with aftermarket exhaust along with a nice boost of torque by nearly 20-25 lb-ft.

  1. Better Roar or Growly Sound

This is second most important pull factor for which all the owners need aftermarket exhaust. Getting that low but growly sound while shifting the gears truly increases the heartbeat, and that’s where you hit the mark.

With the combination of different pipework and tube bending, each aftermarket exhaust builds to give a different but unique trademark sound.

It can completely transform the sound of your rig without hampering any performance at all.

  1. Overall Increase in Fuel Economy

Not just the sound, better fuel economy is also the greatest output for any car enthusiast. And the aftermarket exhaust will always push your engine one step forward in getting more mileage from same fuel.

With performance exhaust system, your engine will get clean and optimal level of air that decreases the need of consuming extra fuel to tackle with dirty air levels. Dirty air means more debris and bad air fuel mixture which leads to more burning of fuel as compare to clean air-fuel mixture.

Also, the increased level of torque allows your engine to maintain any speed with less throttle and with less fuel. You can easily get somewhere between 2-4% of better economy with high end performance exhaust.

  1. Increase Overall Appearance

Appearance will not be a big concern for the owners who are focusing towards only performance. But for others, appearance will be one of the main reason to upgrade the exhaust.

From racing car like sound to big truck’s roar, you will get different options in the market to upgrade your exhaust with different styles. Whether it’s steel or aluminium or comes with some other material, an aftermarket exhaust will always have a noticeable impact on your vehicle’s appearance.

  1. More Durable and long lasting life

The upgraded aftermarket exhausts are mostly build to last longer than your stock. They are made of usually with high end aluminised steel or stainless steel which last longer and highly durable than stock exhaust which is made of mild steel.

You will also get some nice warranty from different brands with aftermarket exhaust. And, some of the exhausts are there in the market which can even last up to the lifetime of the vehicle.

So, getting aftermarket exhaust is not the bad idea at all.

Now after going through all the benefits of the aftermarket exhaust system, the second thing that comes in the mind is which exhaust system do I need to buy?

….Do I need axle back or cat – back or some other?

To answer this question, we need to know about types of aftermarket exhaust systems that are there in the market.

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TYPES of Aftermarket Exhaust Systems

Mainly there are three types of aftermarket exhaust systems on the market: The name of these types of exhaust systems are basically depends upon replacement which refers to how much of the exhaust system is replaced.

Axle-Back Exhaust System:

This type of system replaces the system from the rear axle to the muffler and has the least effect on performance and fuel economy. It covers muffler, tailpipe and tips.

Axle Back Exhaust System

Mostly People who are looking for more sound than stock, they will choose Axle-back option as it will increase overall volume and produce more aggressive sound. It is also seen that Axle-back type is generally more affordable than other types.

Cat-Back Exhaust System:

A cat-back system replaces the stock exhaust system from the catalytic converter back to the muffler, and has a moderate effect on fuel economy and engine performance. It covers mid-pipe, muffler, tailpipe and tips.

CAT back exhaust System

This type is designed to yield more performance along with better sound due to more efficient flow from the larger diameter tubing and better flowing mufflers. Cat-back systems are mostly light in weight as compared to others.

Header-Back Exhaust System:

A header-back exhaust replacement completely removes your stock components and replaces them with aftermarket options. This has the greatest impact on performance and fuel economy.

Head back Complete Exhaust kit

In this type everything will be replaced, diameter of tubing will be increased, improved mufflers and catalytic converter, mid-pipes, tips everything. It is most expensive type of aftermarket exhaust system and give top performance boost along with extra aggressiveness in the sound.

Every aftermarket exhaust can have significant benefits for your vehicle, but it depends upon you what is your need…. you’ll have to choose the right option.

Generally, in an exhaust system, there are multiple components and there is option to upgrade even a single component if you want.

Before moving forward, it’s important to discuss about components of an exhaust system as it is not necessary to buy complete system every time sometimes you might think of getting a new muffler only or you can just be in need of catalytic converter. So, knowing each component is also important.

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Parts of Exhaust system

There are various parts that works together and direct harmful gases out from the vehicle, making it safer for running.

Let’s discuss about those parts in details:

  1. Exhaust Manifold/ Header:

This is the first point of contact for the exhaust gases after they exit the cylinder head. Basically, the exhaust manifold acts as a funnel and is used to collect all of the engine’s emissions irrespective of how many cylinder your vehicle has.

Then after collecting and burning it completely, the manifold also called header sends the emission to the rest of the exhaust system.

Exhaust headers

The other purpose of manifold is to protect any leakage of harmful gases and that’s the reason it is made up of heavy thick material. It is very common to upgrade the manifold with tubular header to increase the diameter of tubing so that gases will pass easily and more efficiently.

  1. Oxygen Sensor

Oxygen sensor is itself not a specific part that you can consider for modification but in all modern vehicles, there have been at least two oxygen sensors (O2 sensors) installed to sense how much oxygen is in your exhaust and sends that information to your vehicle’s computer.

O2 Sensor in Exhust

From there, the computer can then add or subtract amount of fuel to achieve maximum fuel economy. The other job it does is it makes sure that your catalytic converter is doing its job and cleaning the air going through your exhaust system.

  1. Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants by catalysing a redox reaction. In other words, it changes harmful substances/gases such as carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide and hydrocarbons into less harmful substances like carbon dioxide and water vapour by means of chemical reaction.

Catalytic Converter

This is one of the most important upgrade as it will directly impact on our environment. It can almost convert 90% of harmful emissions into less harmful gases.

  1. Piping, supports and Exhaust joints

Piping makes the secure way for exhaust gases to move from the cylinders to out from your vehicle. All the parts are attached with piping. Mostly owners upgrade the larger diameter piping to make the gases flow easily and efficiently.

Supports are basically the mounts that are used to secure and fix the exhaust pipes underneath the vehicle. This is also not the part that you can upgrade but it is very important to check for broken or damaged support on regular basis, because a broken support or hanger will create pressure on other support. This thing need to be repaired as soon as possible.Exhaust Piping kit

Exhaust joints ae basically the joints that hold each and every part together. Joints cans be checked on priority basis just like supports as it will prevent any leakage of exhaust fumes.

  1. Resonator

Again, this is not the very crucial upgrade of exhaust system. This is often indulged in eliminating extra noise from the exhaust system by rejecting sound waves and cancelling each other.

Exhaust Resonator

Sometimes, owners remove the resonator and replace with a pipe, this is not recommended at all. Every part has its own potential and purpose. Removing or replacing it with any other part directly or in-directly affects your vehicle.

  1. Muffler

Muffler is one of the most important part of exhaust system. It helps in reducing the amount of noise produced by your engine while controlling the backpressure of the engine- which improve the endurance and performance of your vehicle.

Muffler eliminate the noise by redirecting the airflow. The muffler contains tubes, channels, and holes which direct gases and reduce exhaust pressure. It quiets the engine by reducing the sound pressure emitted.

Exhaust Muffler

There are different types of mufflers available in the market with different specifications. You can upgrade your muffler as per your requirement.

Don’t get confused with muffler and resonator, they are not the same – While mufflers reduce the exhaust volume, resonators tune the exhaust for a more pleasant sound.

Now, after checking every part of exhaust system- make yourself clear with one thing- that whether you want full exhaust system or you can continue with some of the specific parts.

There are separate guides also on how to buy each and every part, but if you’re not a pro and still want a complete exhaust system that will give your vehicle ultimate sound and some extra performance then it’s time to check some of the basic but important points that you can consider while buying exhaust system.

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Important Points to remember while buying Exhaust system

  1. Type and Performance

The first foremost thing that you need to scrutinize is Type and performance. Actually they both are somehow inter-related to each other. You have to decide whether you want Axle-Back exhaust system or Cat-back or you will be looking for full header back fitment.

As we have discussed, With Axle back you will get very less increase in performance but in header-back the effect on performance is highest.

Obviously, more tubing and parts will lead to better flow of gases and hence better performance. So, it depends upon you that how much performance you are looking for!

  1. Price

This is one of the most considerable factor that comes in everyone’s mind before buying anything. Same goes with exhaust system also. If you’re for more tubing and parts upgradation basically wanted to remove full stock with completely new after-market exhaust than that’s definitely hits your pocket not only from parts side but also from labour side.

However, if you don’t want to spend much and satisfied with limited performance increase then you can also go with Axle-back exhaust as it will come under your budged also and will not requires high labour cost.

The more you spend the more you get! It depends upon on you. But if you’re looking for Axle-back exhaust then do consider Cat-back exhaust also as it will effect on performance of your engine more than Axle-back and costs you little more bucks than formal.

  1. Sound

While some drivers hunt for loud obnoxious sound from exhaust system, other wants pleasant sound while some are looking for deep growling sound that reveals their presence from long distance only. It depends upon you what type of driver you are.

To get desired exhaust sound, it’s recommended to check sound clips or videos for that particular exhaust system.

  1. Material and Climate

Climate plays a very important role as it directly impacts on any type of material. For instance, if you live in a dry area, then having the aluminium exhaust installed is a good choice but if you’re living in the areas with high moisture, then you need some high end stainless steel performance exhaust to prevent your exhaust from corrosion.

It’s good if you go for exhaust that is made up of T303 stainless steel as it has high corrosion resistant properties and will work best in most of the climatic conditions.

  1. Easy Installation

This is not that important but for sure creates noticeable impact for those who are perfect in installing any type of part or accessory in their vehicle. For those who know nothing, be ready to spend some good amount to mechanic.

So, it’s better if you will choose an exhaust system that comes with proper installation guide and if possible videos also that will surely save your money.

  1. CARB legal

Now a day, most of the exhaust system that are there in the market are CARB legal exhaust, but it’s recommended to check whether the exhaust is CARB legal or not before buying and you can also check your local emissions regulations also.

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Exhaust System Buying Guide – FAQs

Q. Can aftermarket Exhaust really void your warranty?

Ans. This is very common and important question that every owner will think of while buying aftermarket exhaust. And, the answer to this is NO!

There is an act called Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act that ensures that in warranty period if you’re going to repair your vehicle, the dealership can’t void your warranty unless they can prove that the aftermarket part that you have installed was the initial cause for the issue happened in the vehicle.

So, don’t worry about the warranty, make sure to choose the best and branded aftermarket exhaust.

Q. How do I choose the right exhaust guide?

Ans. There are lots of factors to consider while selecting exhaust system. In our article, we have come up with best exhaust guide that surely gives you answers. Just choose from best exhaust systems and look after the facts and key points mentioned before buying any exhaust system.

Q. how much a new exhaust cost?

And. If your vehicle is experiencing an exhaust system problem, it’s a good thing to take it to a reputable mechanic or a muffler repair shop for checks. The cost to replace a new muffler is about $100, but serious exhaust system repairs can cost up to $1,500 and sometimes you might end up in changing whole exhaust system also that somewhat costs you around $2000 (depending upon the brand and your requirement).

It’s better to check with mechanic first and figure out whether new exhaust is required or not. That will surely save your money.

Q. What is best aftermarket exhaust system?

Ans. To answer this, we have come up with list of best exhaust system that not only gives your high performance but also improves the sound of your vehicle.

Q. What kind of exhaust makes the car loudest?

And. Sound of the exhaust depends upon muffler. Mostly getting straight-pipe design or straight though exhaust will increase the sound of your exhaust. You can also check dual exhaust system that also increases the sound not too much but more than stock.

If you want to hear deeper sound than consider to add some inches to exhaust pipe diameter that again linked with muffler.

Q. How much horsepower does a full exhaust add?

And. Getting new exhaust definitely improves performance or horsepower. After installing better exhaust system with large diameter tubing, the air will flow more easily and your engine will breathe better, which in turn spent more fuel for more air-fuel combustion.  That means more power generated and hence more overall performance. But do not expect very high increase in performance, you will get some 3-5% of boost overall.

Q. Is the muffler and exhaust the same thing?

And. This is very common and confusing question that many of owners asked. Muffler, basically a part of exhaust system, muffles or drops the sound produced by engine. Whereas exhaust system whole has different function. Exhaust system has many parts in it … Exhaust manifold, catalytic converter, tailpipe, resonator, tubing and muffler. So don’t confused with muffler and exhaust any more.

Q. Should I get full exhaust or just muffler?

And. It depends actually; with muffler you only get better sound whereas exhaust system has different benefits as a whole. And also, if you’re getting full exhaust then you will also get muffler in it. But price difference is there, as muffler alone will cost you very less than full exhaust system.

Q. Is changing the exhaust damage the engine?

And. The answer to this is NO!!! Changing exhaust will never damage your engine unless you’re getting it from unreliable resource. Exhausts are just designed to ease the flow of the air passing through it and increasing the HP with different setups. It has nothing to do with engine failure or damaging as such.

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Complete Buying Guide for choosing best Exhast System

Best Buying guide to choose exhaust sysem by considering different factors. Moreover it will give you fair idea about whether to buy full exhaust system or just go with the parts.

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  • Covered FAQs
  • Types Mentioned
  • Points to Remember before Buying
  • Benefits of Having Exhaust
  • Easy to pick
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