You’ve probably heard the term aftermarket exhaust being thrown around, but you might not know what it is that makes aftermarket exhausts so discussed among gear-heads. Well, it’s quite simple – aftermarket exhaust outperform stock exhausts in every way possible. The reason being stock exhaust systems are designed with cost in mind and their main purpose is to muffle the sound of your vehicle as much as possible, which also results in restricting the flow of exhaust gases that come in and out of your engine. This is known as back-pressure. Although most engines need back-pressure to function properly, too much of it will rob you of some sweet horsepower.
If you’re convinced you want to buy an aftermarket exhaust, good for you, you’ll surely notice some difference in throttle, horsepower, even fuel economy to some extent. However, you need to be aware that not all aftermarket exhausts are made the same. You’ll typically have to choose between three materials – aluminised steel, T304 and T409 stainless steel. All of these materials are very durable and have rust and corrosion resistant properties to a much higher degree than mild steel stock exhausts.
Moreover, if you want to make the shopping process, it’s best you look for aftermarket exhaust systems that are designed for your specific model and make of vehicle. For instance, if you own a Holden Rodeo, search for Holden Rodeo exhaust systems specifically as to ensure the aftermarket exhaust system will fit your vehicle with little to no modifications. You can further narrow down your search if you specify the type of exhaust you want. For instance, you can search for cat-back Holden Rodeo exhaust systems.
Aftermarket exhaust systems consist of several parts, including exhaust manifolds or headers, a downpipe, a catalytic converter or more commonly known as cat, a muffler, tailpipe and crossover pipes. Be careful when shopping for exhaust systems, as some exclude the catalytic converter. If that’s the case, you need to check in your state’s rules and regulations as many of them won’t allow you to drive without one.
The muffler is responsible for the sound your vehicle will produce. Depending on the muffler type, some use a combination of chambers, bafflers, sound deadening materials or perforated tubes to reduce the sound. Different manufacturers make different types of mufflers that produce different exhaust tones.
The tailpipe is the last piece of the exhaust. Many manufacturers apply a finish on the tailpipes with some sort of polish or chrome to make them more appealing. You can decide to buy the tailpipe separately in your choice of shape and finish. The header is the exact opposite – it’s the first thing that comes in contact with the exhaust gases from the engine. Lastly, the downpipe connects the header to the muffler, and the crossover pipes balance the exhaust flow in dual exhaust systems.