Your vehicle’s exhaust system is one of its most important parts. It is responsible for your ride’s smooth functioning by allowing it to evacuate the noise and fumes that occur in the motor block. Additionally, it’s responsible for filtering the harmful gases, making your vehicle more environmentally-friendly. The fumes that are produced as a result of the combustion process are a byproduct of burning fuel, so without proper evacuation, your engine won’t be able to “breathe” and will underperform.
The reason why many people are looking to replace their stock exhaust with an aftermarket exhaust kit is that aftermarket exhausts are more durable and long-lasting. That’s due to the fact that they’re made from higher-grade metals like stainless and aluminised steel, both of which are heat-, corrosion- and humidity-resistant. Further, an aftermarket exhaust kit will usually feature a larger and a better catalytic converter which will make your vehicle more environmentally friendly.
But before you buy an aftermarket exhaust system, there are a couple of important factors to consider. The first factor is the type of exhaust system. You’ll usually find header-back, cat-back, and axle-back exhaust systems.
- Header-back exhaust systems are a single unit that replaces the entire factory fitted exhaust. These exhaust systems are easy to fit, but they’re more expensive than other types;
- Cat-back exhaust systems replace the components from the catalytic converter to the exhaust tips. These exhaust systems offer amazing benefits in terms of performance, and they’re regarded as the most valuable type of aftermarket exhaust;
- Axle-back exhaust systems are the most affordable type, and all they change is the way your vehicle sounds and looks. They’re easy to install, but keep in mind that you won’t get performance benefits from them.
Regardless of what type of exhaust system you end up choosing, make sure it has wider diameter pipes, and check the method used to construct them. There are two basic types of pipe or tube construction methods – mandrel and crush bent. Mandrel-bent pipes are made with the help of a flexible rod which helps absorb vibrations and adds to the rigidity of the pipe, whereas crush bends are restrictive as the pipes suffer from vibrations.
That being said, an aftermarket exhaust system can change your vehicle’s performance, mileage, sound and look. You can find kits made for your specific model, make and year of vehicle to ensure a proper and easy fit. While you can probably install an aftermarket exhaust system yourself, it’s a job that’s best left for the professional mechanics who know what they’re doing.