If you're one of many car enthusiasts who want a car that lets the engine
roar, you may wonder about having a straight-pipe exhaust. There are a few
ways to accomplish this.
A straight-pipe exhaust system is done by removing the muffler from
your exhaust system and running an exhaust pipe without it. The
catalytic converter can also be removed, leaving only the exhaust pipe
running from the exhaust manifold.
Read on to learn more about straight-pipe exhausts and the pros and cons of
Can You Straight Pipe Your Own Car?
It is possible to run a straight pipe exhaust for your car.
You can set up your straight pipe system if you know how to weld and have
access to a welding machine and some basic mechanical knowledge.
You can still accomplish a more basic straight pipe exhaust without the
need for any welding, though.
How To Straight Pipe A Car Without Welding?
If you want to run a straight pipe exhaust system without welding, you can
use band clamps instead.
Band clamps are metal clamps that fit over each end of a pipe that has been
cut or broken.
Once you fit these band clamps in place, you tighten the bolts attached to
the clamps to hold the exhaust pipes in place.
These clamps work well for exhaust system repairs in place of welding, so
they're a good substitute for welding straight pipes.
How Much HP Does A Straight Pipe Add?
The potential horsepower gained from straight piping depends on the type of
engine your car has and what kind of exhaust system you decide to run.
You could gain around five extra horsepower if you straight pipe from the catalytic converter to the exhaust tip, only removing your muffler from the exhaust system.
If you remove the catalytic converter and run a complete straight-pipe
exhaust system, you may gain as much as ten horsepower to your engine
This also requires you to adjust your engine timing and fuel injection.
Without this additional engine tuning, you may not see these gains in extra
Is Straight Piping Good For Your Engine?
Opinions are somewhat divided on whether or not using a straight pipe
exhaust is good for your engine.
Some people believe that removing the muffler and other components of the
exhaust system will reduce back pressure caused by built-up exhaust gases
in the engine.
They say that this reduced pressure will cause the engine performance to be
more efficient, which will help the engine run better.
Others argue that while it may be true that straight pipes will lead to
better flow of exhaust gas velocity, it's not necessarily better for your
Most engines are built to run with a certain amount of internal pressure
during normal operation, so removing that pressure can throw off engine
timing and can decrease engine performance.
Does Straight Pipe Waste More Gas?
Yes, it is almost always the case that running straight pipes will cause
you to burn more gas.
Your engine has sensors that monitor your exhaust system and uses them to
adjust your fuel mixture, so any changes to the exhaust could affect how
much gas your engine is sending to your intake.
In another sense, having a straight-piped car may tempt you to rev your
engine higher and more often, which will also lead to you burning more gas
while driving or idling.
What's Better: Straight Pipe Or Muffler?
Since there's no clear answer on whether or not a straight pipe exhaust
system is good for your engine, this comes down to personal preference.
Are you a fan of loud exhaust systems, or do you prefer to keep your car
quiet and peaceful?
You will probably enjoy a straight pipe exhaust if you spend a lot of time
out on the highway or around race tracks with other race cars.
If you live in a quiet neighborhood or a sleepy small town, you may not
make many new friends with an obnoxiously loud exhaust system.
How Long Does It Take To Straight Pipe A Car?
If you are attempting to run a straight pipe system by yourself, it could
take a while.
This is a very labor-intensive process that involves a lot of cutting and
welding. In addition, you have to remove all of the old pipe sections and
the other exhaust components if you are removing them.
If you are reusing the old pipes, you will need to reinstall them and weld
them back into place.
If not, you can order a custom straight pipe kit or bend your own new
sections of exhaust pipes.
This requires a mandrel bender, which can be expensive, especially if it's
only used for this one job.
An exhaust shop has the equipment to do all the work involved much more
quickly, but there are some straight pipe jobs that a shop won't do.
Where Can I Get My Car Straight Piped?
If you don't know anyone that does this kind of work, you could ask around
a few shops or mechanics to see if you can get any recommendations.
Even if a certain exhaust shop doesn't do this kind of work, they can
probably point you in the direction of someone who can.
Will A Muffler Shop Straight Pipe?
Since it's against federal and state law to remove a catalytic converter
and other air pollution controls from the exhaust system, most shops won't
be willing to do this work.
Removing a muffler is technically illegal in most states, so most reputable
shops won't do this either.
If you know someone personally who works at a muffler shop, or you are
willing to use one that is a little shadier about their business, you may
find a shop that's at least willing to do a muffler delete.
How Much Does It Cost To Straight Pipe A Car?
Straight-pipe exhaust systems can vary significantly in price depending on
the exhaust setup (muffler delete vs. complete straight pipe) and the model of the car.
You could expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $500 for the parts alone, and
the cost could rise to over $1000, with labor costs included if you have
someone do the work for you.
Straight Pipe Kit
Many models of cars have custom exhaust kits available to purchase online
or from custom retailers.
These kits have exhaust pipes already pre-bent and measured to fit your
car's exhaust system.
A custom exhaust kit will be more expensive than a standard pipe that has
to be bent to fit your car model.
Is It Worth Straight Piping A Car?
The answer to this question comes down to personal preference.
There are a lot of factors you have to consider, like price and legal
You're trading a loss in fuel economy for only a slight increase in
horsepower and low-end torque over factory exhaust, so there isn't a clear
Modifying your car's exhaust system can also hurt the resale value, so you
may lose money in the long run.
You will also have to deal with an exhaust drone, the vibrating or humming
sound that resonates through your car as it gets up to higher speeds.
This droning noise can be uncomfortable for extended periods, so long
drives or road trips can get annoying quickly.
Is Straight Pipe Legal?
In short, no.
It's against federal and state law to remove your muffler without a
suitable replacement. It's also illegal to remove your catalytic converter
and other air pollution controls from your exhaust system.
You should check the state regulations for your particular state to see if
there are exceptions for custom setups.
Muffler Delete Vs. Straight Pipe?
A muffler delete is just as it sounds: removing only the muffler from the
A straight pipe exhaust removes the muffler and other components, like the
resonator and catalytic converter.
Which Is Louder Straight Pipe Or Muffler Delete?
A straight pipe exhaust will always be louder than a muffler delete.
Since you're removing any sound-deadening components of the stock exhaust
system with a straight pipe exhaust, the exhaust gases don't have anything
to quiet them as they leave the exhaust manifold.
With a muffler delete, you still have the baffles of the resonator and the
catalytic converters to at least provide a slight reduction in noise from
the exhaust gases.
Can I Remove My Catalytic Converter And Replace With A Straight Pipe?
You can remove the catalytic converter from your vehicle, but you're on
your own if you decide to do this.
It's illegal to remove in all 50 states, and it's also prohibited by
There's the environmental concern to take into account too.
Catalytic converters are put in place to convert harmful emissions from
your engine into things that are less harmful to the air.
It's there for a reason, so take that into account before you decide to
Straight pipe exhausts are worth considering if you have a passion for loud
cars, but they also have downsides.
Consider all this when deciding whether you want to straight-pipe your car!