A car’s exhaust system is one of its most critical aspects. Piping makes up a vehicle’s exhaust system. When a car’s engine runs, it produces exhaust gases that it must vent.
The exhaust system works together to convey burnt gases away from the engine. One or more exhaust pipes make it up. Stoves have exhaust systems like vehicles do.
When some people buy vehicles, they invest in an aftermarket exhaust system. This is a term that means you’re modifying the exhaust system that originally came with the car.
In this article, we’ll explain why you might want to do that.
You Want to Make the Car More Powerful
Car exhaust systems do the following:
- Gases go from the individual cylinders to the exhaust manifold
- They use a catalytic converter to reduce emissions
- They remove NOx emissions with a rhodium or platinum reduction catalyst
In the front half of a cat-back exhaust system, you’re removing those harmful NOx emissions. In the back, you’re burning hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide.
The cat-back exhaust system cancels sound, and it is also less restrictive, meaning that it allows less backpressure.
People regard both of those as good things. However, the exhaust system in most cars that you’ll get off an assembly line can only reach a certain power level with what the car company gave you.
If you buy an aftermarket exhaust system containing elements like a new muffler, resonator, or middle pipes, you’re upping your vehicle’s power potential. You’ll be able to get an extra kick that would not otherwise be possible.
You Want to Change the Engine Sound
Your exhaust system, of which the muffler is a part, is meant to:
- Reduce engine sound
- Direct engine sound waves through sets of chambers and internal tubes
Again, you get a standard version when you buy a car, but you can go back and swap out the muffler.
If you start a car with a customized muffler, you’re going to get a much different noise than if you still have the muffler on there with which the car originally came. Some people wouldn’t think to switch out the muffler, but if you want a different engine noise that’s deeper and throatier, an aftermarket muffler is how you do it.
You Want the Visual Appeal
Gearheads will tell you that part of fixing up a car to new specifications is so it will be aesthetically appealing. When you install an aftermarket exhaust system, it’s going to make your vehicle look different than the factory-issue version.
While a new exhaust system plays a part in the vehicle’s performance and engine sound, it also makes the car look a lot flashier. If you want your vehicle to stand out when you drive it, a new exhaust system can play the same part as a set of gleaming chrome hubcaps.
Another aspect of installing an aftermarket exhaust system is that, overall, your car will perform better. If you get a new exhaust system with the correct pipe diameter, that will increase the exhaust gas flow.
You usually want larger pipes to vent those gases better. However, you can’t install a system where the pipes are too large, or they won’t be as compatible with your engine.
Sometimes, gearheads will install an entirely new engine along with a new exhaust system with larger pipes. This combination will allow you to get extra speed and power from your vehicle.
Those who install aftermarket exhaust systems, not to mention other aftermarket car components, are usually doing so for a couple of reasons. One might be to show off to other car collectors and attract attention. The other would be because they want to race the vehicle.
Vehicle racing is usually illegal, though there are some states and venues that allow it. Before you start fantasizing about entering your car in a street race, Fast and Furious-style, you should consider this.
Aftermarket car modifications sometimes render a car invalid for street driving. If you’re going to install a new exhaust system, or anything else, for that matter, you should check local ordinances first to see if what you have planned is street-legal.
If it isn’t, and the authorities catch you out on the road with your modified car, you could earn yourself a hefty fine, or the police could even impound your vehicle. You can have fun modifying your car but always check first to make sure that local governing bodies approve of your plans.