Car exhaust systems are one of the components that are of great importance for the operation of the engine, through it, the gases produced in the cylinders by combustion are released.
A good exhaust system can have an impact not only on the good performance of the engine but also on fuel consumption and on the emission of pollutant gases. The dilemma about how efficient are straight pipe exhausts, we will clarify below, as well as the straight pipe cost, and the advantages and disadvantages that can represent an exhaust system of this type.
What is a straight pipe exhaust?
This exhaust system is nothing more than a system composed of pipes with the smallest possible curvatures, being a straight pipe that connects the manifold that is at the outlet of the engine, and goes to the rear of the vehicle, whether it is a car, a truck or even a motorcycle.
In this type of exhaust system, there is no presence of certain components that traditionally standard exhaust systems have, such as emission controllers and catalytic converters, so the noise generated in the combustion of the engine passes more freely to the outside.
This means that a vehicle with a straight pipe exhaust not only releases more noise into the environment, but also emits gases and pollutants to the outside, and can even release fire from the combustion in the engine cylinders.
A straight pipe exhaust can be a lot of fun for those who drive a vehicle and produce satisfaction for the thunderous sound of your engine, you can even enjoy an increase in the power of this since there are fewer curves, there is less pressure against it
This is a system that works very well for cars used in sporting competitions, both on racetracks and on the road in organized competitions, and others of a clandestine nature, but which run the risk of facing the legal problems involved in driving cars in conditions that do not meet the standards for cars in standard use.
For everyday vehicles, this system should not be indicated, for reasons that will be discussed later.
Conventional vehicles, those that are commonly used for transportation from one place to another, those that are not manufactured for competitive purposes, are designed with standardized exhaust systems. First for the comfort of the drivers and other occupants of the vehicle, as well as other drivers, passers-by, and all the people who live in the places where they travel, and second, to comply with legal requirements in terms of pollutant emissions.
We have already mentioned that the direct pipe exhaust systems do not have a catalytic converter, nor a muffler, there is no component that mediates between the noise generated in the combustion of the engine and the rear of the vehicle, but despite all this, the direct pipe exhaust systems are covered by many lovers of engines, for several reasons that we detail below.
Advantages of straight pipe exhaust
- The straight pipe exhaust system provides a configuration to the vehicle so that the engine produces genuine noise.
- The straight pipe exhaust increases the horsepower generated by the engine and produces an increase in the top speed it can deliver.
- It eliminates the resistance in the exhaust system, producing a better performance of the engine, having fewer bends optimizes the geometry improving the output of gases.
- If a straight pipe system is installed that is specific to the type of vehicle and engine, apart from gaining power, a spectacular engine sound is achieved.
Achieving the desired diameter results in the production of firecrackers, fire outputs from the exhaust tail, and the better response of the vehicle starts, which is ideal for the famous piques.
Disadvantages of straight pipe Exhaust
In standard, everyday vehicles, the installation of a straight exhaust, generates a significant decrease in HP and torque when driving at less than 2500 RPM. Since the design of the exhaust system of conventional cars is intended to offer resistance that exerts back pressure in the system and are adjusted for these specifications.
The straight pipe cost is very high, the materials used, and the labor for the correct installation are not cheap. Comparing the benefit it provides to the car with the amount of money that must be disbursed, we can see that there is no satisfactory cost-benefit because the extra power that can be achieved is not significant.
- If the straight pipe exhaust system installed has very wide diameters, the engine will inevitably lose compression due to the low gas retention in the exhaust manifold.
- Fuel consumption increases, the mixture of air and gasoline escapes in part without being burned in the combustion through the exhaust valves.
- Comparing the standard exhaust system with the direct pipe exhaust system, we can observe that the latter has neither a catalytic converter nor a muffler, so that both the gases produced in the cylinders and the noise generated do not encounter any obstacle from the engine outlet to the exhaust tail, there being no element that can produce sound attenuation or dissipation of gases and substances that are generated in the explosion.
- As a consequence, a conventional vehicle with this exhaust system will hardly pass the tests required by the legislation regarding the control of pollutant gas emission and sonic pollution, and as a consequence, this will bring a significant expenditure of money to correct the exhaust system in the vehicle, and the payment of the corresponding fines.
- The noise produced by an engine with a straight pipe exhaust system bothers neighbors, and they will probably take action, such as reporting to the authorities a situation that affects them.
How much does a straight pipe exhaust cost?
To talk about straight pipe cost, there are several aspects to take into account and it all starts depending on how much you plan to spend to do this work on the vehicle.
You can even improvise the fabrication with existing materials from leftover parts in a particular workshop, but this type of work requires more than just straightening the pipes and welding them, it is a job that must be done by professionals in the area, by people who know about exhausts, sound, and engine performance and the causes that impact it.
The ideal is to go to specialized and experienced places, where they work with materials specially designed to mount this type of exhausts, and that have the necessary equipment and tools to assemble this system in the vehicle.
This means that to mount a system that is specially and efficiently designed for the type of vehicle you have, the straight pipe cost can range between $300 and $450 just for the removal of the catalytic converter and replace the section where it was with straight pipe, and this would be only the cost of the material that has been used.
The professionals that perform this type of work usually charge for this replacement an amount that can be between $190 and $250 depending on the type of vehicle, and the difficulty that it presents to work on it to place this exhaust system.
If you are looking for and you have economic resources to try to guarantee the accomplishment of more sophisticated works, you have other alternatives that typically result in the disbursement of higher sums of money, in exchange for higher quality works, for this, there are truly specialized sites, where the quality of the works and the efficiency of the results of these are taken for granted.
In these places, the replacement of these pieces can oscillate between $500 and $650. Speaking only of the cost of the replacement pieces, you must consider that to this sum you must add the cost of the labor, that in optimized places like these, it is of supposing that it is more expensive, being able to be for this replacement between $250 and $350.
Apart from this, you will have to take into account that sooner rather than later, you will have to install the catalytic converter again, and probably the muffler since your vehicle will not pass the legal tests of noise pollution, and emissions of toxic and polluting gases, and this will increase even more the straight pipe cost since we would be talking about more than $500 in the two installations.
In conclusion, if you have a competition car, a straight pipe exhaust system can be very productive and attractive, and your car will rumble like a beast on the track, but if you use your car conventionally like most mortals, keep it with the standard exhaust system it comes with from the dealer.
You will save money and problems with the authorities, and be clear that when car designs are made in the factories, they are made under strict calculations in everything related to its operation, and one of them is the exhaust system, this is designed to ensure the efficiency of the entire vehicle system, and to meet the legal requirements in terms of pollution.