Straight piping a car replaces the car's muffler, resonator and catalytic converter (and their inherent restrictions) with a straight piece of tubing.
Without the restrictions of a muffler, resonator and catalytic converter, the car's exhaust makes louder and purer exhaust notes which many car enthusiasts prefer.
Straight piping a car is widely debated in terms of whether or not it's worth it, but if you decide to straight pipe your car, you need to know how much it will cost and is straight piping expensive?.
Straight piping a car generally costs between $1,000-$1,500 on average, including parts and labor.
Straight pipe exhaust kits (parts) cost around $700, and labor is a few hundred dollars.
If you do it yourself, have the tubing and tools you can do it for almost free.
These costs vary depending on car type, location, DIY/professional labor, etc.
Keep reading to learn more about the costs of straight piping a car. We'll also explore how this exhaust modification compares to other modifications like cat-back and muffler delete. Stick around to the end for answers to FAQs.
How Much Money Does It Cost To Straight Pipe A Car?
The cost of straight piping a car is going to vary depending on several factors, including:
However, on average, you can expect this vehicle modification to cost around $1,250 (between $1,000 and $1,500) for professional installation (cost of parts and labor).
Or, if you're simply buying the parts and doing a DIY installation, you could expect to pay up to $800 (between $100-$800), although these costs could increase above $1,000 for certain cars.
Note that these estimates can fluctuate by up to a few hundred dollars, depending on different circumstances.
How Much Does It Cost To Straight Pipe A Challenger?
Since the cost of straight piping a vehicle depends on the type of vehicle, it's good to be aware of these price discrepancies.
For a Dodge Challenger, specifically, you can expect to pay close to $1,000 for the cost of parts and labor.
The cost of parts may vary depending on which manufacturer you buy from, but the straight pipe exhaust kit usually costs around $800 for this vehicle, while labor costs about $200.
Keep in mind that these estimates could fluctuate depending on the submodel of your Challenger and the release year.
How Much Does It Cost To Straight Pipe A Camaro?
Let's say you have a Chevrolet Camaro, on the other hand.
To straight pipe a pony car such as a Camaro, you'd be paying a different price than you would for a Challenger because the vehicles and their exhaust systems are made differently.
It will likely cost you close to $200-$300 for the straight pipe exhaust kit (parts).
When it comes to the cost of labor/installation, you will have to invest a chunk of change.
You could pay a grand to have a professional mechanic straight pipe your Camaro.
But you can also cut costs by doing DIY installation or buying lightly used parts.
How Much Does It Cost To Straight Pipe A Honda Civic?
For a Honda Civic - a more common vehicle to own - you will be paying around $600 on average for a straight piping job.
The cost of parts makes up most of this estimate, coming in close to $525 on average.
On the other hand, the labor cost will average out at about $75, although this number will ultimately vary depending on where you live and the age of your Honda Civic.
How Much Does It Cost To Straight Pipe A Mustang?
When straight piping a Ford Mustang, we can estimate the service cost by looking at estimates for replacing an exhaust pipe for this model.
The cost to replace an exhaust pipe in a Mustang is nearly $615, although this comprises parts ($550) and labor ($65).
The cost to replace an exhaust pipe doesn't include the extra cost of deleting the muffler and other exhaust system parts to achieve a full “straight pipe” job.
Therefore, you'll need to round up a bit and expect to pay more than $615 on average.
How Much Does It Cost To Straight Pipe A BMW?
Because BMW is considered a luxury car maker, the cost to straight pipe these vehicles will invariably be higher than what it costs to straight pipe a Mustang or Civic, for example.
On average, you can expect to pay close to $1,100 to straight pipe a BMW car.
This estimate is based on the average price to replace an exhaust pipe in a BMW, and it includes the cost of parts (just under $1,000) and the cost of labor (around $100 on average).
Note that if you want to fully “straight pipe” your BMW, you must also have a mechanic delete the muffler and other system parts, which may increase the cost of the whole job.
What Is A Straight Pipe Exhaust System?
A straight pipe exhaust system is pretty simple - it is comprised solely of a straight exhaust pipe.
This exhaust system requires deleting the muffler, resonator, and catalytic converter.
This auto service is often so expensive when done by a mechanic, as it involves several hours of labor.
Furthermore, the cost of an upgraded exhaust pipe to a straight one can get pretty costly.
The idea behind this exhaust system modification is that it results in a much louder exhaust system for those who enjoy the sound.
It's also thought to slightly increase your vehicle's horsepower, which may be what you're looking for in an exhaust change.
Pros And Cons Of A Straight Pipe Exhaust
Although a straight pipe exhaust system will increase the volume of your vehicle's exhaust system, it's not always the best choice for every car.
Take a look at the relative downsides and advantages of straight piping your car's exhaust system in the table below.
Pro's and con's of straight piping an exhaust system
Droning quality to the exhaust system sound
Louder exhaust system
Louder exhaust system
It's something you can DIY
It can get fairly expensive
It's not legal in most locations
It's not very environmentally friendly
It can result in you getting fined or sent to court
Notice that “louder exhaust system” is listed as both a pro and a con.
This is because a louder exhaust system isn't always advantageous, especially when it comes to long-distance drives.
Overall, the cons to straight piping your car tend to outweigh the pros.
Further, if you decide you want to reverse this, it will be a “pain in the butt,” along with more money down the drain.
DIY Install A Straight Exhaust Pipe?
Many performance car fans want to know how to achieve exhaust system modifications on a budget.
One of the most surefire ways to do so is by DIY-ing a project. In other words, you buy the parts and perform the deletes and installations at home.
This isn't advisable unless you have a decent working knowledge of car mechanics.
Acquiring the tools necessary for DIY auto mechanical work also costs money.
But you can find resources online that give solid instructions on performing muffler deletes and other related tasks.
Otherwise, the general premise of a straight exhaust pipe installation works as such:
Raise/hoist your vehicle with a vehicle lift system
Loosen the exhaust parts (catalytic converter, resonator, muffler)
Remove the clamps on the exhaust parts
Remove the existing exhaust parts
Have your new straight pipe exhaust system nearby
Install the new system, testing as you go
Tack-weld the new exhaust system into place
If you are worried about the legality of the lack of a catalytic converter, you can skip removing this part in the process of the DIY job.
Factors That Affect Straight Pipe Installation Costs?
Aside from being a costly car modification, straight piping costs can range all across the board due to factors such as the following:
The quality of the metal for the new straight pipe exhaust system
The manufacturer of the parts you're buying
The make and model of vehicle you own
The year of release of the vehicle you own
Whether or not you do DIY installation or professional mechanic installation
The rate of auto labor where you live
Taxes related to auto labor where you live
How many hours it takes to install (this relates to the skill level of the mechanic)
Is Straight Piping Good For Your Car?
Straight piping a car significantly reduces the amount of engine backpressure, allowing the horsepower to increase and exhaust to form easily.
But it's not always a healthy modification to make to your vehicle, as it removes essential parts of the exhaust system that your vehicle is designed to use.
Most people agree that straight piping won't directly hurt the vehicle's engine, but the problems arise in the exhaust system itself.
Exhaust gas velocity increases when you straight pipe an exhaust system, and as a result, you'll notice that it's harder to gain speed when beginning from a stop (like at stop lights or stop signs).
Further, when using a straight pipe from low-quality materials, you run into other risks.
Does Straight Pipe Waste More Gas?
We mentioned before that straight piping can make it more difficult to increase speed from a stop - due to the increased exhaust gas velocity.
Your vehicle will also face worsened fuel efficiency and use more gas regularly.
Gas mileage goes down as the new exhaust system messes with the engine bay's airflow and turbulence.
This is something to consider before straight piping your car, as it can take a toll on your wallet over time.
How Much HP Does A Straight Pipe Add?
Fans of muscle-ey cars may be slightly disappointed to know that straight piping your car won't significantly increase the horsepower.
You can expect this modification to the exhaust system to add about 10 HP, but don't expect more.
This is, of course, a step up from the horsepower increase that occurs with a simple muffler delete (about 5 HP).
But the most effective way to increase horsepower in a car is to go straight to the engine and make modifications and improvements there.
Is Straight Pipe And Muffler Delete The Same Thing?
A straight pipe of a car is a different thing than a muffler delete. While a straight pipe modification involves a muffler delete, it's also much more than that.
Take a look at the differences between the two exhaust system modifications in the table below:
Straight Pipe Vs. Muffler Delete
Straight pipe exhaust system
Muffler is deleted, resonator is deleted, catalytic converter is deleted, exhaust pipe is replaced with a straight pipe
Muffler is deleted, muffler delete pipe gets installed where the muffler once was (topped with an exhaust tip)
These two auto services also cost different amounts - a muffler delete is generally less expensive.
Is Straight Pipe Louder Than Muffler Delete?
Many debate whether a straight pipe results in a louder exhaust system than a muffler delete.
Because straight piping removes almost the entire exhaust system, whereas the muffler delete only removes the muffler, straight piping generally results in a louder car.
Note, however, that this means there is also a more obnoxious droning/vibration noise.
Straight Pipe Vs. Cat-Back?
You remove the catalytic converter, resonator, and muffler with straight piping, followed by a straight pipe installation.
But another kind of exhaust system modification called a “cat-back” also results in increased volume and horsepower.
The cat-back modification involves the easier outflow of exhaust by replacing the stock exhaust parts that start after the catalytic converter (aka the catalytic converter to the exhaust tip).
Furthermore, cat-backing is legal, whereas straight piping a car generally is not.
You'll likely pay a similar amount for either exhaust system modification.
Does Straight Pipe Void Warranty?
A straight pipe can void that warranty depending on what type of vehicle you have and who issued the warranty.
The problem is that straight piping a car is illegal in most places, which is grounds for voiding a warranty.
Furthermore, the warranty issuer may see the exhaust modification as grounds for causing damage to the vehicle and void the warranty.
Is It Legal To Straight Pipe My Car?
In most cases, it's not legal to straight pipe your car and take it on the road.
You can get the straight pipe installation done by a mechanic, but it could be grounds for getting a ticket or a fine.
This usually isn't due to the straight pipe installation itself but more to the sound disturbance that results from the straight pipe installation.
City noise limits and other regulations are why you might get pulled over by the police if you straight piped your car.
Does Straight Pipe Make Your Car Smoke?
Generally, a straight pipe exhaust system is not grounds for smoke coming out of the car.
If you do have smoke coming out of your car, it's probably due to another issue that's going on, such as an engine that's burning oil.
But occasionally, you might notice white-colored exhaust smoke coming out of the exhaust system, which is normal.
Other issues that could cause your car to smoke include burning engine coolant due to:
Cracked engine block
Blown head gasket
A damaged cylinder
What Size Exhaust Pipe Works Best?
Depending on what kind of performance you want out of your car, the size of the exhaust system will make a difference.
Some people believe (incorrectly) that you need to have a larger exhaust system to get more horsepower.
But the real sweet spot is when you go up by roughly ¼ - ½ inch in exhaust diameter. This allows you to achieve optimal horsepower.
Also, note that you can achieve greater horsepower with a smaller diameter if you go with dual exhaust instead of single.
Conclusion: How much does it cost to straight pipe a car, and how loud are straight pipes?
Hopefully, our guide to costs and cost factors has given you a decent insight into why this job costs upwards of $1,000 in some cases.
Costs vary depending on where you live and the car type, but this modification that increases sound and horsepower is generally one of the more expensive exhaust changes.
What Is A Cat Delete On A Car?
A cat delete on a car is when you or a mechanic goes into the exhaust system and removes the catalytic converter.
The idea behind this exhaust system modification is that it will stop muffling the sound of the exhaust so much and result in a louder, more performance-ey sound to the car when you drive it.