If you want to roar through the streets and turn heads wherever you go, investing in a straight pipe for your exhaust system is an effective way to do so. Beyond auditory and aesthetic purposes, straight piping can also boost your car’s performance.
There’re a lot of things that you need to consider before you decide to splurge on a straight pipe for your car. The cost can vary greatly depending on the kit you pick, how you source the components, and the installation fee.
So, how much does it cost to straight pipe a car? While the cost mainly depends on the make and model of your car, it can cost anywhere from $500 to $1500 for the whole process. We’re here to help you understand the cost breakdown and the benefits associated with a straight pipe exhaust.
How Much Is It Going to cost you for a straight Pipe Exhaust?
Straight piping your car is by no means a cheap process. However, as we mentioned earlier, the cost largely depends on a variety of factors. When looking for a straight pipe exhaust system for your car, you’ll find yourself having trouble deciding from the wide range of options at various price ranges. Knowing which one to pick can save you quite a bit of money along with any future headache. Here are the factors that are going to affect how much toll you’ll be putting on your wallet if you want to straight pipe your car.
- The Kit
Choosing the right kit for your car is the first step when changing your exhaust system. You’ll find that there are several straight pipe exhaust kits in the market for different car models. The particular brand and model of your car is going to essentially be the primary cost deciding factor since it narrows down your option to only the kits that match your vehicle’s requirements. You can find straight pipe kits starting from $200 with some costing well over $1000 depending on your car.
The key difference between these kits lies in the material and build quality. Since the entire exhaust system is basically supported by a singular pipe, it has to be made properly from top-notch quality material to ensure that it holds up in very high temperatures. Furthermore, the quality of the material directly impacts the durability of the system.
If you’re making the switch to a straight pipe, you ideally want your exhaust to last a long time and not require any additional expense for upholding. That’s why budget exhaust systems made with lower quality materials tend to be less durable than their higher-end counterparts.
If you’re only looking for a taste of the straight pipe exhaust experience for only a few years, you can opt for a lower-end system that’ll cost you around $200-$300. However, you need to bear in mind that systems in this price range are not built to last and will eventually require a replacement sooner or later.
On the other hand, if you’re committed to purchasing an exhaust system that’ll last you decades, you’ll have to fork over some big bucks. A high-end straight pipe kit can cost anywhere between $800 to $1000.Titanium alloy exhausts can often be even more expensive.
If you’re unsure about which kit would be best for your car, you can check forums for other user opinions. Before selecting a straight pipe kit for your car, you typically want to make sure that the diameter of the pipe is suitable for your car. Another option is to get a universal straight pipe kit instead. Universal kits work with practically every vehicle on the road.
When investing in a straight pipe exhaust for your car, what you pay is what you get. With higher-end exhaust systems, you’re basically getting your money’s worth in build quality and overall durability. They also sound quite different when compared to cheaper kits and any car enthusiast would be able to tell the difference.
- How You Source the Parts
The overall cost for installing a straight pipe exhaust in your car can differ based on how you choose to source the parts for it. Many car owners prefer to customize cars with their own hands. If you’re one of these people and know what to look for, you can save yourself some money by sourcing the parts yourself.
Conversely, you can get a quote from a mechanic for the parts. The mechanic will then procure them himself and charge you. You’ll usually end up paying a premium for the parts in that case. In general, having a mechanic source your components can cost you an additional $100-$200.
- Installation Charge
Last but not least, if you want a mechanic to install the exhaust for you, it’ll add to your overall cost. You need to weld the parts together for installation. If you’re straight piping as a DIY project and have prior experience, you can do it yourself in a matter of hours. If you’re confident in your ability and have the necessary tools in your garage, you don’t have to worry about this element in the overall cost.
However, it’s recommended that you let a professional take care of it if you’re a first-timer. The overall installation is not that hard but it requires the proper tools and skills. Furthermore, any leaks in the welding can potentially be fatal. A mechanic might charge you anywhere between $100-$200 to do the complete switch. The price will depend on where you’re living and the type of vehicle you have.
If you’re want to customize your car further, changing your headers along with your exhaust can add significantly to your cost. You can also choose different color welds for the exhaust for different prices. Tuning the car after installation will also cost you extra.
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Should You Invest in A Straight Pipe Exhaust?
Straight piping your car is a commitment. It can turn out to be an expensive mistake if you’re not aware of all the facts. Before you’re all set to take the plunge and invest in a straight pipe exhaust, you might want to know all the pros and cons associated with it. Here’s everything you need to know before spending your hard-earned money.
- Performance Improvement
One of the main reasons that most race cars have straight exhaust pipes is because of the boost in performance it provides. By eliminating the muffler and the catalytic converter, you reduce the amount of backpressure in the engine which increases the performance of the car while remaining at the same fuel economy. Moreover, removing the weight of the muffler and catalytic converter makes your car lighter and faster.
One of the main perks of a straight pipe system is the sound it makes. Because nothing is standing between the engine and the back of your car, the sound it makes is far more authentic. You can pretty much expect to wake your neighbor up every time you get out of the driveway.
Depending on your taste, some cars can also sound terribly raspy with straight pipe exhausts and cause them to become a deal-breaker. Before you straight pipe, you need to make sure you understand what kind of noise you’ll be making and whether it’s something you want or not.
- You’ll Turn Heads, Wrong Ones Too
Straight piping your car will undoubtedly draw attention to it. Car enthusiasts love the aesthetic of a raw straight pipe setup. They also love the way it sounds. But you’ll find many people that’ll consider it an outright nuisance.
Depending on where you live, you might run into trouble with the local authority as well. A straight pipe exhaust will gain you looks of adoration and scorn at the same time and you need to be prepared to just deal with it.
- Breaking Emission Standards
Driving without a catalytic converter will cause all the harmful chemicals produced during the combustion process to go straight into the air causing pollution. There is no workaround for straight pipe systems breaking emission standards and it’s considered illegal in many places. This is why you might want to look into your local emission laws before you purchase one.
- Resale Value
If you straight pipe your car, it might make it difficult for you to sell it afterward. If you’re worried about the resale value, it’s best that you keep your stock muffler and catalytic converter so you can make the switch later if you have to.
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Straight Pipe vs Cat-back vs Muffler Delete
Many people claim to have a straight pipe setup when they actually only have a muffler delete or resonator delete. So, what is the difference between all these exhaust setups and how do they vary in cost?
- Muffler Delete
A muffler delete is perhaps the most inexpensive method of making your car louder. By essentially only removing your muffler, you make the car noisier but only to a certain extent. Removing your muffler can cost you anywhere between $100-$200 and make your car have a distinct noise. Since the catalytic converter stays in place, car emissions still remain at safe levels. This is why muffler deletes are usually more popular than straight pipe setups.
Cat-back setups are essentially like the name suggests. You replace the exhaust ports that are plugged behind the catalytic converter with less restrictive ones. A cat-back exhaust can be quite expensive around $1200-$1500 but they come with all the upsides of a straight pipe exhaust and none of the downsides. Since the catalytic converter remains in place and the muffler is only replaced, it’s arguably the most legal option of the three.
- Straight Pipe
Finally, the straight pipe setup removes both the muffler and the catalytic converter. It’s the loudest option of the three and also the one with the most performance. By removing the catalytic converter, your car will be able to produce a truer sound and have the least amount of backpressure. However, this comes at the cost of failing emission checks which might make it illegal for you to drive in some places.
Straight pipe exhaust systems are very straight, loud, and possibly illegal. Hearing your car howl every time you step on the pedal while you shoot flames from the back is every car lover’s romance. But they aren’t without drawbacks.
So, how much does it cost to straight pipe a car? Depending on your car, you can expect to spend $500-$1500 for a straight pipe system. But you can almost cut the overall cost in half if you do it yourself. Be sure to do proper research before making a decision to avoid unnecessary expenses.