It's reported that 7.9 million young car enthusiasts spend about $7.2 billion each year on car upgrades. While some of these upgrades are purely cosmetic, adding things like a performance exhaust can really amp up a car's performance.
But picking the right exhaust system can be challenging, as there are several factors that go into picking the perfect setup.
If you're in the market for performance exhaust systems, check out our top four factors to consider before you make your purchase.
What Makes A Performance Exhaust?
First, let's review the difference between an exhaust pipe and a performance exhaust pipe.
The exhaust system serves to expel gases created by the engine. An efficient exhaust system will quickly expel these gases, allowing your engine to run more smoothly, and your car to handle better.
It is possible to upgrade your straight pipe exhaust to something that will give your car more of a rumble when you start it up. But a louder exhaust does not necessarily equal better performance.
Adding performance exhaust systems increases the efficiency in which your car can expel that exhaust, thus allowing your engine to run at higher power. So if your goal is better performance, you'll definitely want to look at upgrading your exhaust.
Next, let's break down the parts of a performance exhaust.
The Exhaust Header
The header is where gases first enter the exhaust system.
Increasing the size of the header allows for more airflow to enter the exhaust system. When you begin upgrading, the header will be a crucial part of your new system. Choosing a header specifically designed for your car will allow your new performance system to function correctly.
The catalytic converter transforms carbon and nitrogen oxide into less harmful nitrogen, water, and oxygen gases. This helps reduce emissions that are produced from cars, turning them into more beneficial gases with less harm on the environment.
The muffler is responsible for reducing noise output. As exhaust gases pass through the system, the muffler allows for noise to be reduced, "muffled."
A loud exhaust is due to the condition of the muffler, as this controls the level of noise your car produces. A loud muffler has no effect on the performance of your car, but sometimes the noise is desirable.
The Perfect System
The perfect exhaust system depends on what your desired outcome is. There are dozens of variables that are all specific to what you hope to achieve.
In general terms, upgrading the size of your exhaust header will allow more exhaust fumes to escape the engine. Pulling these fumes out of the engine chamber allows the engine to run more efficiently.
An efficient catalytic converter will help reduce harmful emissions being produced by your car. The piece is especially important in performance upgrades, as bigger systems typically mean more emission output.