After-market modifications to your vehicle can get pricey- there’s always something new to add. That’s why when considering any alterations to your car, it’s essential to take into account the cost. So, before you add your new exhaust pipe to your vehicle, how much does it cost to straight pipe a car?
What Is a Straight Pipe Exhaust System?
A straight pipe exhaust system is a method for increasing power and sound. In traditional exhaust systems, after combustion occurs, exhaust gases pass through a series of parts designed to meet environmental regulations. These include catalytic converters, particulate filters, resonators, and mufflers. These components meet standards for lower emissions but also lower performance and sound quality.
Straight pipe exhaust systems use a straight pipe as an exhaust pipe. This straight pipe allows the exhaust gases to be released directly from the manifold after combustion, which results in louder sound from the engine. It also allows for greater fuel efficiency and increased horsepower.
Different Exhaust Systems
A straight pipe exhaust is not the only form of doing a muffler delete. Others include:
- Cat-Back Exhaust System: This system runs a pipe from the catalytic converter to the exhaust tip, improving airflow and performance without increasing emission output.
- Turbo-Back Exhaust System: This system replaces everything from the tailpipe to the final outlet of the turbo. It works by increasing the scavenging action of the gases flowing out of the turbo, usually using larger diameter pipes.
Regardless of which of these you choose, a straight exhaust system allows for a much louder sound that is sure to turn heads.
See also: Best Sounding Exhaust for F150
Benefits of a Straight Pipe Exhaust System
1. Engine Performance
Because a straight pipe reduces back pressure on the engine, exhaust gases may form with greater freedom. As horsepower increases, performance improves. This kind of exhaust system also improves fuel economy.
2. Pure Sound
Straight pipe exhaust systems allow for the raw sound of the engine to come through clearer. This setup doesn’t hinder the pure sound of the engine. This is because a straight pipe doesn’t pass exhaust through several rounds of filters and machinery. The authentic sound of the vehicle comes through loud and clear.
3. Straight Pipe Exhaust Kits
There are a variety of universal kits available to outfit your car. You can customize precisely the kind you would like. Make sure to take the current diameter of your exhaust into account ahead of time to ensure the right fit.
4. Unique Profile
The car industry allows for many customizations in exhaust pipes. These include different colors, chrome tips, and a double pipe setup. There’s nothing more eye-catching than straight pipes, since you don’t see them very often. When customized further, they can make for a one-of-a-kind modification.
5. Less Weight
There is also much less weight on the vehicle once there is no longer a catalytic converter or muffler. And this further contributes to better fuel economy. Using only one piece of pipe instead of several components allows you to shave some weight off the vehicle. Leaving room for more fuel efficiency or other modifications that may add weight. This is why we can frequently find straight pipes on race cars.
Disadvantages of a Straight Pipe Exhaust System
1. Extremely Loud
Because you’ve taken out many components that dampen noise, the true sound can be pretty overwhelming, especially inside the cab. Depending on the size of your engine, the volume can become a roar. In fact, at levels exceeding 100 decibels, it can even be detrimental to your hearing. Many car enthusiasts keep a pair of earplugs in the cab to protect their ears during longer drives.
2. Engine Quality is Obvious
Being able to hear the sound of your engine is only a benefit if the sound quality is good. The ability to hear unobstructed engines may not be as useful with engines that need maintenance or are of poor quality.
3. Laws Surrounding Straight Pipe Systems
Because of the excessive noise produced by the straight pipe, this vehicle modification is frequently not street-legal. It can be a nuisance in urban areas and may only be suitable for race tracks. Before straight piping your vehicle, make sure to check with your local authorities where a car with a straight pipe exhaust system is allowed to operate.
The catalytic converter and muffler previously taken out served to meet emissions standards. Without them, your vehicle may violate the emissions laws where you are.
4. Cost to Straight Pipe
The cost to straight pipe isn’t as simple as just finding the pipe you like and slapping it on. Many things may add to the price; the design of your undercarriage may need to be changed. Most vehicles will need a complete change to their entire exhaust system. And your engine will need to be tuned afterward. Labor costs are added to these concerns and more. It’s also important to mention that it can affect the resale value of the vehicle and even lead to undoing the work you have had done to it.
5. Increased Emissions
Because the point of having a straight pipe is the lack of catalytic converter, a natural consequence is a high level of emissions that may violate the law. This may affect whether your vehicle meets standards for emissions laws and impact the environment.
6. Can Affect Resale Value
A straight pipe exhaust system is not for everyone. When it comes time to sell your vehicle, it may be challenging to find a buyer who is as in love with the straight pipe exhaust as you. You may even need to pay to undo the work before you can find a buyer for the vehicle.
7. Straight Piping Can Damage Engines
Race track exhaust systems should not be added to street vehicles. An engine needs to be of high quality and adequately maintained to manage the velocity of exhaust gases properly- otherwise, the gases may exit from both sides of the tube, potentially causing vehicle control problems such as oversteering. Higher exhaust velocity can also lead to reduced engine performance, which will affect acceleration.
8. Decreased Acceleration
When gases escape the exhaust manifold with nothing to impede them, they can do so at such a high velocity that they go out either end of the tube. This can decrease revolutions per minute (RPMs) as far as below 200,000 RPMs, leading to a slower start from a standstill.
Straight Pipe Exhaust Cost: Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it better to DIY or use a mechanic when installing a straight pipe?
Some vehicle modifications are quick and easy to do yourself, while professionals should only do others. When doing vehicle modification, a popular way of cutting costs is to perform the changes yourself. This also benefits you by adding to your knowledge and feel involved in the build and fun. However, you then run the risk of potentially costly problems down the line.
2. Can I DIY install straight exhaust pipes?
With knowledge of welding and a good grasp of mechanics, it is possible to purchase a straight pipe exhaust kit from a car parts supplier and do the work yourself. It requires welding tools and experience, and access to hydraulic lifts or jacks.
It is not recommended to do straight pipes yourself. Because of the potential repercussions of the exhaust velocity on performance, having professional input and tools is critical. For the average consumer without mechanical expertise or tools, it is worth the expense of paying an expert to do the work in order not to have to pay more down the road.
3. How much does it cost to straight pipe a car before labor?
Exhaust pipes and parts can range anywhere from $500-$1000 for a mid-range model. You can buy these from an auto-part supplier if you’re choosing to do the work yourself. Some mechanics will also work with you to find cheaper kits. If you supply the parts sourced more affordably from a nearby auto supplier, they may charge you only for their labor cost. Providing the parts can cut down on your expenses.
It is also possible to buy stand-alone exhaust pipes if you do not need an entire exhaust system. In this case, it would still be necessary to pay labor costs unless you are a welder or have access to welding equipment. However, this does make for significant savings, as you can usually find a stand-alone straight pipe for as little as $30-$40.
If you’re looking for a higher-end or custom straight pipe exhaust system, be prepared to pay $1000-$2000 for a straight pipe exhaust kit. The brands that sell straight pipes know how to do it well, and they offer resistance-free products that look and sound great.
4. What are the potential complications of straight piping a car?
An important thing to note with a straight pipe setup is the potential for extra costs to creep up. Because the exhaust system goes under your vehicle, it can affect the vehicle’s aerodynamics. It may be necessary to do extra work to accommodate the straight exhaust pipe under the car. The mechanic may even need to go so far as to rearrange things under the vehicle to be sure that there is space for the straight pipe system.
This can cost a lot of time, and especially money. Labor costs can skyrocket here, as the mechanic may need to take extra time to find a solution that works for your particular vehicle’s exhaust system and undercarriage.
Final Cost Analysis of Straight Piping
DIY vs. mechanic, universal kit costs, customs costs – we’ve seen how much effort it takes to straight pipe an exhaust- but how much does it cost to straight pipe a car?
On average, the cost to straight pipe a vehicle will range from $1100-$2000, and this varies depending on the kind of straight pipe exhaust you plan to buy and on your car.
Conclusion: How Much Does It Cost to Straight Pipe a Car, and Is It Worth It?
Straight piping a vehicle involves taking components out that hinder the sound and engine power. By doing this, we can tap into the engine’s raw power and generate more horsepower. The drawback is that it is potentially detrimental to the engine, as well as being expensive.
There is an option to do it yourself with a straight pipe kit, but it is recommended that a professional do the installation to avoid lasting damage to your vehicle. Installing a straight pipe exhaust c can cost anywhere from $1100-$2000.