AFTERMARKET: Top 10 Things to Know Before Buying Exhaust Systems
For the beginner automotive enthusiast, aftermarket exhaust systems are an attractive vehicle enhancement. Not only do they catch the eye, but the ears as well. Most aftermarket exhaust systems are available in ready-to-install kits, but not all kits are equal. Before you set your mind on purchasing an exhaust kit, here are 10 important things for you to know.
- Don’t put an aftermarket exhaust on your car that is lower in quality than the material used originally on your vehicle. Nowadays, this usually means that the least you can go for is a stainless-steel exhaust kit.
- Don’t let the exhaust tip extend past the rear bumper. This can become a safety hazard sooner or later.
- Keep your exhaust shiny by applying metal polish and buffing it at least once a week. Staining can become permanent if not handled immediately.
- When buying an exhaust kit, check all the installation parts and make sure each piece is accounted for. You don’t want to be midway in the installation and find out that you’re missing a clamp.
- In most cases, the size of the muffler determines the loudness of the exhaust. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the muffler, the quieter the sound.
- An exhaust system with an X-pipe yields a lower exhaust tone while an H-pipe emits a higher pitch.
- If you’re looking to improve vehicle performance, make sure the intake contains a thermal barrier. Without it, the intake cannot protect against thermal contamination, and you may not be able to hit the power gain targets that you want to achieve with your exhaust system.
- Compression-bent exhaust tubes have a less efficient flow than mandrel-bent variants because of the wrinkles in the metal on the inner elbow. Mandrel bends are free from such wrinkles and are smooth all throughout. That said, you’ll be better served buying an exhaust kit with a mandrel bend.
- Fuel consumption generally takes a beating right after a new aftermarket exhaust is installed. This is because most car enthusiasts with a new exhaust system tend to step on the accelerator more eagerly than normal to show off their new exhaust sound.
- Exhaust tubing should be securely stabilized to prevent it from brushing against critical suspension and braking components. Likewise, it should be more than two inches from fuel system components to avoid the risk of fire.
Let these tips guide you on your aftermarket exhaust kit purchase. Good luck and happy selection!