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Car and Truck Exhaust Systems

Car and truck exhaust systems come in different styles and materials to suit the needs of almost every vehicle and driver. You can find both individual parts, such as mufflers and exhaust pipes, as well as complete kits for vehicles ranging from diesel trucks to compact cars.

What is an aftermarket exhaust system?

An aftermarket exhaust system is a combination of parts that you can put onto a car to replace the factory-installed exhaust system, usually increasing performance. Some of the parts you may want include headers, catalytic converters, mufflers, crossover pipes, and tailpipes. One or more of these can be replaced for aesthetic or practical reasons, depending on your preferences. For instance, you can simply replace the muffler, or you can replace the entire system, depending on your goals.

What are the main types of exhaust systems?

There are three major types of exhaust systems, each being defined based on how much of the existing system is replaced. All of these options can improve the performance of the exhaust setup. They usually come in materials such as mild steel, aluminized steel, and stainless steel. The three main types of configurations are listed below:

  • Header-back: This replaces every part in the exhaust system, from the headers back.
  • Cat-back: Cat-back systems replace parts from the catalytic converter on back.
  • Axle-back: This replaces parts from the rear axle on.

What should you consider when selecting performance exhaust systems?

When looking at performance exhaust systems, there are a number of factors you should consider, including what type of vehicle you plan to use it with and your climate. In a dry climate, for example, any material should be fine, while in a more humid or rainy area, stainless-steel systems would be the option chosen by most mechanics. You should also consider how much of the current exhaust system you would like to replace to know whether you should choose a header-back, cat-back, or axle-back system. You will find these options in both truck exhaust and car exhaust systems.

Will performance exhaust systems make your car more efficient?

In short, yes, a new exhaust setup can improve your vehicle's performance. Rather than increasing horsepower, they increase performance by using wider pipes for your car to release exhaust through. It also removes the air and fuel that have already been used in the combustion chamber more quickly, letting the engine bring in new fuel and air to start the exhaust process over.

Can a small car use a stainless-steel exhaust setup?

You can use performance exhaust systems and new exhaust parts on smaller cars. It may also help increase the car's fuel efficiency. While trucks with larger motors can usually push the exhaust out through the system with even relatively smaller pipes, aftermarket systems may help cars with a more modestly sized engine increase how efficiently it exhales exhaust, thereby improving the car's performance.