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Exhaust Manifolds and Headers for Nissan Altima

Exhaust manifolds and headers are important components in the overall performance of your Nissan Altima and in the power of its engine. Headers make it easier for your Altima's engine to push gases out of the exhaust system by giving each cylinder its own pipe. A manifold is a single unit that ejects these gases out through the Nissan's tailpipe.

How do you choose a header or manifold?

If you're putting a new configuration of system on your car, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. There are different types that could be compatible with your Altima. Choosing the right one involves an understanding of the primary features and the benefits each one brings to your car.

  • Size is one of the first considerations here. In this case, size refers to the overall diameter of the pipes that connect to the exhaust. The size of your Nissan's engine, its horsepower, and the primary use of the vehicle itself will all be factors that help you determine the proper size. Smaller pipes create a faster flow of exhaust.
  • They come in three length varieties: full, short, and mid-length. Full-length versions increase engine performance whereas short ones are good if your Altima sits low and if you're concerned about clearance. Mid-length components still provide some power while increasing the level of clearance.
  • Most headers and stock manifolds are crafted from stainless steel to make them durable and resistant to both heat and rust. The surface of the steel also allows manifolds to maintain exhaust flow without restriction.
  • You can choose a system with a coating applied. This coating gives your Nissan an additional thermal barrier for protection.
What are the benefits of a catalytic converter?

Many high-performance exhaust systems for the Nissan Altima come equipped with converters. The main benefit of these devices is the conversion of otherwise harmful compounds into inert ones. A platinum or palladium compound coats an array of ceramic beads. This catalytic compound in your Altima's manifold or header is responsible for converting three distinct elements:

  • Hydrocarbons are changed into water and dioxide elements before being expelled.
  • The catalyst can take harmful carbon monoxide and morph it into carbon dioxide.
  • It splits nitrogen oxide into back into both nitrogen and oxygen.
How do you care for manifolds and headers?

While both exhaust manifolds and headers are designed to withstand high temperatures and to last a long time, they occasionally need some care and maintenance thanks to the chemicals that pass through them daily. There are a few simple guidelines you can follow to increase the performance and longevity of these items and to keep your Altima's engine running smoothly.

  • Spray the bolts on the heat shield and exhaust manifold with lubricant before removing them.
  • Coat the stock parts with lacquer thinner.
  • Use a grinder to break up any debris.
  • Replace the manifold, and reinstall all the bolts.