Your car’s engine can probably produce more power than it already is, but it is currently restricted by the factory exhaust system that it comes with. For that reason, many people who are looking to squeeze extra horsepower and torque are replacing their factory exhaust system with an aftermarket performance one. But when selecting an aftermarket exhaust system, there are a couple of important factors to consider in order to get the best value out of it.
Typically, aftermarket exhaust systems are made of mild, stainless or aluminised steel. These materials vary in quality, and thus, in price. Stainless steel is the most expensive option, as it offers better corrosion-resistance, more durability, and superior heat transfer. Mild steel, on the other hand, is the most affordable option and will perform well in areas where corrosion isn’t a concern. But if corrosion is a concern, you can probably find a mild steel exhaust that comes with a galvanised or aluminised surface treatment. And lastly, aluminised steel is lightweight, costs less than stainless steel but more than mild steel, and boasts decent corrosion resistant properties and heat transfer.
Exhaust pipes and tubes can be crush and mandrel bent. Regardless of whether you go for aluminised, stainless or mild steel mandrel bends are superior to crush bends. The reason for this is because crush bends will reduce the inside radius of the pipe, which can restrict the flow of gases. Mandrel bends, on the other hand, don’t change the diameter or profile of the pipes and tubes and provide an unrestricted gas flow. That being said, exhausts with mild steel mandrel bends, for instance, will perform significantly better than exhausts with mild steel crush bends.
In order to ensure a proper fit of the aftermarket system for your vehicle, you should consider getting one that’s made for your specific vehicle model, make and year. However, you’ll also come across universal exhaust systems that can fit a range of vehicles, but that will probably require some modifications. Additionally, you can pick between getting a full exhaust kit, or you can just buy separate parts. In order to get the most benefits, you should highly consider replacing your entire factory exhaust. However, if you have a limited budget, you can get a cat-back exhaust system which provides a lot of value for money. And if you just want to change your exhaust tone and look, you can get an axle-back system.