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Exhaust Manifolds and Headers for Honda Civic

Years of driving leads to reduced power and fuel efficiency. You could also notice more emissions. Understanding how to upgrade your car with the right headers and exhaust system components can get your Civic running like new again.

What are exhaust manifolds?

The manifold is an important component that is found in all vehicles with internal combustion engines. It’s made from welded steel pieces or a single cast iron piece that connects to the engine cylinder heads. It works by moving gases from the cylinders into the pipes so that the excess fumes are removed from your Honda.

How do you know when to replace the manifold?

The stock exhaust manifold in a Honda Civic is designed to last for the life of your car. Depending on your driving conditions and how much heat stress it’s put under, you can have problems at any time. When it needs to be repaired or replaced, you’ll get three distinct signals from your car.

  • You’ll hear a lot of noise that increases with acceleration. Listen for a hissing noise that sounds like air leaking out. You could also hear a tinkling or tapping sound under the hood.
  • There will be poor performance and decreasing power. Watch for falling fuel economy and problems with acceleration.
  • You may see smoke or smell plastic burning. When stock exhaust manifolds break or crack, everything under the hood is exposed to extremely high heat, sometimes approaching 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Have your car inspected immediately to make sure you don’t have major problems with other components as well.
How does a manifold leak differ from a blown gasket?

Both are serious issues in Honda Civic DX and LX models because they can let carbon monoxide escape into the cabin area of your car. Each one has slightly different symptoms that can help you identify where you have a problem.

  • Blown gaskets are distinguishable by protrusions at the gaps between the cylinder heads and the manifold. Also, look for the appearance of soot on the cylinder head. You’ll also hear sounds and notice decreasing performance.
  • Leaks are distinguishable by sputtering and hard acceleration. You could also smell other noxious fumes in the car and hear noise. Upon inspection, you may see a cracked pipe.
What is an exhaust header?

Replacing stock systems with headers is an easy way to improve power and performance in Honda Civic models. When you switch to headers, it’s like giving each cylinder its own pipe. This helps to evacuate gases and fumes into the catalytic converter more efficiently.

How do Civic headers improve engine performance?

Performance headers let you improve the fuel induction process in your Honda Civic DX or Civic LX. The right header can give your vehicle more power and torque than factory-installed stock manifolds. They allow more air to get in by making sure that more fumes and gases get out of the pipes. You'll find several brands of aftermarket shorty headers and custom long-tube headers for Honda models.