Straight piping a car can be a great way to introduce a sporty vibe onto your car. If you’re a car enthusiast who loves a roaring beast, straight piping is the best way to go. But how much does it cost? Can you do it yourself?
We’re here to explore exactly that. This guide will help you break down the cost and working procedure of straight piping your car. Here in the USA, you can expect a price of $1,500 or higher for professional straight piping service.
However, If you want to do it yourself, a straight pipe exhaust kit can cost anywhere between $75-$500. Now, let’s start breaking down the cost and explore the process even further.
What is a straight pipe exhaust?
A straight pipe exhaust system refers to a system that has no muffler, resonator, or catalytic converter installed.
Here, the exhaust gas comes out of the engine through a single straight exhaust pipe. Straight pipe exhausts are commonly seen on hyper-performance vehicles and racing cars.
In regular cars, the exhaust system utilizes the muffler, the resonator, and the catalytic converter to filter the exhaust gas coming out.
When you straight pipe your car, all those obstacles get replaced with a straight pipe, which increases the sound output and gives a small performance boost.
How Much Does It Cost to Straight Pipe a Car
It’ll cost you anywhere from $100-$2000 to straight pipe your car. The price greatly depends on the location/quality of the shop, the quality of the parts, and labor cost.
You can also DIY it yourself, but that’s not a good option for everybody. We’ll explore the reason in the next parts of this article.
Before that, let’s break down the cost of installing a straight pipe exhaust system:
|Approximate price range
|Tools (for DIY)
|Straight pipe exhaust kit (for DIY)
|Complete professional survive
The Benefits and Drawbacks
This is the primary reason many people get a straight pipe exhaust system. Most modern-day cars are equipped with catalytic converters, oxygen sensors, DPF filters, back pipes, and mufflers. The main purpose of these parts is to direct and regulate the exhaust gas.
Once you straight pipe your car, all those parts are gone and there is no exhaust pressure. As a result, the engine can operate at full potential, providing a 2%-3% performance boost in terms of torque and horsepower.
In regular cars, the sound of the exhaust gas gets minimized by a number of obstacles. For example, the primary goal of your muffler is to refine the sound your exhaust system makes. When you go straight pipe, the exhaust fumes/gasses get a straight way to exit the system.
As a result, your car will sound much more aggressive and louder. Many car enthusiasts, like me, crave this particular sound very much. You can still tune the sound of your car, but no other modification will give you as much raw power and roar as installing a straight pipe.
Better fuel economy
Without having to go through a number of hurdles, the exhaust gas gets propelled efficiently, making more room for the fuel mixture. Installing a straight pipe also cuts down the weight of the car. As a result, you’ll see a slight increase in your fuel economy.
However, if you want to keep this increased fuel economy to last, you might need to tune your car after the installation. If done properly, you’ll notice a significant boost in your overall mileage.
Installing a straight pipe can also make your car maintenance a bit cheaper down the line. Most modern cars are equipped with an exhaust system that is primarily focused on reducing emissions. However, it all comes with a price.
All the additional equipment puts a toll on the engine’s health. They wear out quicker than they should. You can change that by getting rid of all unnecessary parts from your exhaust system. That way, your engine will remain healthy for longer, cutting down on your maintenance cost.
Last but not least, installing a straight pipe will make your car look more sporty. Many car enthusiasts across the globe focus on the aesthetics, and if you’re one of them, installing an aftermarket straight pipe may be one way to make your call look cooler.
Additionally, with aftermarket straight pipes, you will be able to control the material, shape, and color just the way you like it. You can shoot flames out of your car’s exhaust easily with a straight pipe system.
Straight piping isn’t just for the performance and the sound, it also provides a cool outlook.
Loud noise is acceptable until it causes discomfort to the people around you. Straight pipes are mainly installed on race cars for good reasons.
Loud noises can cause various complications to the human body, and that’s why many states have limitations on how loud your car can be.
One of the main jobs your exhaust system fulfills is to reduce emissions. Your car emits a good deal of gasses that are harmful to the environment.
The catalytic converter of your exhaust system filters out the hazardous gasses, making them less harmful; before releasing them into the environment.
Without a catalytic converter, all the hazardous gasses will be released into the environment and the consequence won’t be pleasant.
Your car comes with a standard exhaust system, which will moderate the performance of your engine and filter out exhaust gasses. So, practically, you don’t need to install a straight pipe into your exhaust system at your expense.
Car modification is costly. It can cost you a staggering amount of around $2000. Even if you’re a pro and can do it all by yourself, you’re still looking at an expense of around $100-500, which isn’t very practical/economical for some car owners.
The biggest drawback of installing a straight pipe is the reduction in value. The market for hyper-performance cars is narrow. If you can sell your modified car to another car enthusiast like you, you may get a good price.
However, in the general car market, people are always looking for cheaper alternatives. Additionally, depending on the local sound limit, you’ll most likely see the price of your car reduce significantly.
Do you really need professional help?
For most car owners, yes. Installing a straight pipe requires some level of technical skills (like wielding). There are a lot of things that can go wrong and if you mess up, the economic impact will be hard.
That’s why unless you are very familiar with the work process and have enough confidence, we suggest you take help from a professional. That way, the things that can go wrong will reduce significantly.
Additionally, the process will take around 3-4 hours or more depending on your skill level. A professional will make sure you don’t waste your $1000-1200 exhaust. On the contrary, if you are familiar with welding, installing a straight pipe will become so much easier.
How to Straight Pipe Your Car at Home?
Technically, you can install a straight pipe all by yourself. However, there is a great chance something will go wrong and you won’t get your intended result.
It would be better to leave the job to a professional, but if you still want to go ahead with it, make sure you know what you are doing.
- Ratchet straps
- Socket wrench
- Safety glasses
- PB Blaster
- Car lift jack
- Metal grinder/cutter
Step #1: Size the silencer
Your first and foremost duty will be to cut the straight pipe and your muffler in the right size. This will help to prevent backflow pressure buildup inside the pipe. Every vehicle’s exhaust system is a little bit different. What works well on one car may not work on another.
Take your car’s model and find out the right sized straight pipe for you. Once you get the package, compare it with your existing system to find the appropriate size. Cut the pipe if needed.
Step #2: Lift the vehicle
Once all the parts are ready, you’ll have to go under the vehicle to install the straight pipe exhaust. Use jacks to set the car high enough so that you can make necessary adjustments easily. Once the car is set, get under it and start your work.
Step #3: Remove and cut off the existing exhaust
The job is to replace some parts of your stock exhaust system with the new straight pipe. Take a socket wrench and free the exhaust system from the anchor it is attached to. Apply some WD-40 if the nuts are too tight or rusty.
After that, you’ll need to disconnect the catalytic converter from the system, but don’t detach it completely. Now, take the measurements and cut your new straight pipe to size.
Step #4: Connect the parts
This is the trickiest part. You’ll need to connect every part of your exhaust system you disconnected and put them back together. Take a welder and weld the muffler with the pipe fittings. You’ll need to be extra careful because leakage in the exhaust system can hurt your engine even more.
Here’s a video guide on how to install a straight pipe into your exhaust system:
Using a straight pipe exhaust kit is banned under federal law all over the USA. Unless you install a muffler to reduce the noise, your car won’t get a road-legal permit for your car, meaning you’ll face charges if caught riding that car in public.
That’s why we highly recommend you use a muffler to tone down the noise. Another reason straight pipe exhaust systems are banned is the high emission. Make sure to check the level of loudness and admission allowed in your state before you install a straight pipe exhaust to your car.
1. Why is straight piping illegal?
Ans: Straight piping is illegal across many states because of the emission and the loud noise. Straight piping allows the car to be much louder and emit more harmful gasses, which can be annoying and harmful to the surrounding people.
2. Does a straight pipe waste more gas?
Ans: No. On the contrary, straight pipe exhaust systems increase your fuel economy, providing a slightly better output in torque and horsepower from the same amount of gas.
3. Do you have to tune your car after straight piping?
Ans: Yes. A straight pipe only provides a clear path for the exhaust gas to exit the system. Depending on your car’s model and exhaust system, you’ll need to tune your car for optimal performance.
4. Does straight piping increase performance?
Ans: Yes. Installing a straight pipe exhaust system will make your car a bit lighter, increasing mileage/fuel economy. It’ll also add a little torque and horsepower to your system, providing slightly better performance.