straight pipe pros and cons

Advantages & Disadvantages of Straight Pipe Exhaust System

One of the most fascinating things for motorists for quite some time now is the straight pipe exhaust, especially for those who are constantly on a run to enhance their vehicle’s performance.

The superior performance of a straight pipe exhaust compared to any standard exhaust is the main reason why most vehicle owners love it, as it provides minimal backpressure. Regardless of the supreme performance displayed by it, it is simply a straight pipe starting from the header.

If you are one of those motorists who are thinking of adding a straight pipe exhaust to their car, you have landed on the right page. This article will explain to you some of the important things that must be known about an exhaust system beginning with what it is and will also compare it to the performance exhaust system which is another popular type.

The Purpose of Straight Pipe Exhaust System

Performance enhancement is the primary reason why most motorists add a straight pipe exhaust system to their vehicle. As these exhausts were made for racing cars primarily, they have no gas flow restrictions as they are just aimed to maximize vehicle performance.

They are just straight pipes that start from the header right up to the back without any muffler or catalytic converter, allowing the vehicle engine to reach its maximum potential.

Vehicle enthusiasts also add the straight pipe exhaust to their cars to break away from the standard monotonous exhaust systems. Having said that, the exhaust is used for different purposes by different motorists.

Pros and Cons of Straight Pipe Exhaust

Before replacing a standard exhaust system with a straight pipe exhaust, you must weigh the pros and cons of the replacement to ensure you understand what you are getting. However, this must be easy as both are very clear.

Pros of Straight Pipe Exhaust System

1. Overall Performance Increased

Having the potential of increasing a vehicle’s overall performance significantly is the main reason why most vehicle owners buy the straight pipe exhaust system and are popular for racing cars for the same reason as well.

This exhaust system’s design allows for it to minimize the backpressure exerted on the engine and thus allows the flow of exhaust gases freely. Hence, the functionality of the engine will be optimal without any hurdles.

The torque and horsepower are increased greatly due to no hindrances as the engine is allowed to perform freely. In most instances, the fuel economy will also be improved in this way.

2. Aesthetically Appealing

For many motorists, a vehicle’s appearance is equally important to its performance. Hence, they welcome anything that improves the aesthetic visual appearance of a vehicle.

One such important component is the straight pipe exhaust as it is unique and will make your car appear outstanding in the crowd, given its aesthetically pleasing outlook.

Moreover, a much sporty look is given to the car with straight pipe exhaust systems, which can be enhanced even by a double pipe setup. Many also come with multiple color patterns and an appealing chrome fish that creates a much more attractive look.

3. Brings Out the Engine’s True Sound

Some people think that the exhaust is very noisy, while for others it is perfect to bring out the trues sound of the engine. Hence, if you have any vehicle with a powerful engine like a muscle car, you can enjoy the original sound having with this exhaust system.

This will directly connect with the engine’s end tip and does not pass through other parts like the muffler or catalytic converter. Thus, there is nothing to suppress the sound meaning that you will hear the exact sound your engine makes with exactly the same pitch.

Apart from getting the true feel of the engine sound, there is also an added advantage of making it easily noticeable when the engine has some issues from whatever changes are made in its sound.

Another advantage is that there is no need to replace the mufflers every now and then, and other components to suppress sounds like the setup does not need them.

4. Vehicle Weight Profile Reduced

The straight pipe exhaust system allows them to reduce the weight profile of the vehicle. This means the car will be allowed to move even faster.

Things like mufflers and catalytic converters are taken out along with cutting down the metal used to make the exhaust as just one straight pipe is needed. Hence, the vehicle’s weight automatically comes down.

For some motorists, the few pounds being saved may not be significant but any experienced person will tell that fuel economy is achieved not just with increased speed but also with reduced weight.

For those whose vehicles run a little heavy and they try to find ways of reducing its weight, getting a straight pipe exhaust makes a lot of sense.

Cons of Straight Pipe Exhaust System

1. Excessively Loud

The extra noise coming from this exhaust system may not be liked by many motorists, as the deafening noise created by the exhaust can make it illegal to drive in many authorities, thus restricting you from using the car only in racing tracks.

A 100 decibel sound rating mark can be easily surpassed by a standard straight pipe exhaust system, as there is no sound dampening mechanisms or mufflers, releasing out all the noise created by the engine.

The sound can be very unpleasant for those inside the car if they do not have earplugs, but if windows are closed some of the noise may be kept out.

2. Increased Emissions

Nothing holds back the emissions produced in a straight pipe exhaust system, due to the absence of catalytic converter. Therefore, when you use it in the car, there will be usually be increased emissions that are not just against the law but also harmful to the environment.

When a catalytic converter is present in the system, harmful gases produced due to the burning fuel are converted to less harmful gases, thus if there is no catalytic converter you are releasing toxic fumes in the environment.

Another great disadvantage of the system is that when your car undergoes an emission test, it is most likely it will fail.

3. Expensive to Install

A straight pipe exhaust system is quite expensive and hence you must make up your mind to use a lot of your cash when you plan to get it for your vehicle.

In many cases, the vehicle needs a complete revamp of its exhaust structure to be able to accommodate the new pipes, and if you use top-end pipes, you will spend just less than $1000 on just the pipes.

If you have to purchase the installation kit and parts only and perform the installation job yourself, even then you will be spending thousands of dollars before the procedure is completed.

4. Can Make the Vehicle Harder to Sell

If you plan on reselling your car in the future, a great idea is to skip on the straight pipe exhaust and instead just maintain the standard one.

The straight pipe exhaust setup is illegal in many places, you may have to remove the entire thing to sell the vehicle. Even if you get someone who has no issue with the setup, it is highly probable that they will offer you less money for it as they will eventually have to replace it.

The system adds in excessive fumes, strong gasoline smell and not to forget the strong noise – hence the value of your vehicle is most likely to go down significantly.

Straight Pipe vs. Performance Exhausts Systems

When you are out in search of an exhaust system to improve your vehicle performance, you may end up making a choice between performance exhaust and straight pipe exhaust system. The following are a few points that you must remember to make a good decision for yourself and the vehicle.

1. Performance

When making a choice about exhaust systems, performance should be among the key factors that you must consider. Here, the decision should be quite simple as the straight pipe exhausts have a lower power curve.

The pollutants, gas mix, and sound can easily escape given the absence of backpressure, and the gases that escape will result in a lower power curve ultimately.

On the other hand, high back pressure is maintained by performance exhaust systems that do not allow for the pressurized gas to escape leading to a higher engine power curve eventually.

2. Appearance

The straight pipe exhausts generally sound much better but the performance exhaust systems have an edge with appearance.

They are not just available in various shapes and sizes but also allow greater customization like chrome plating that gives a fancy look.

Straight pipe exhausts can also be customized, but they still do not get the aesthetic appeal that performance exhausts have.

3. Noise Level

If you need an exhaust system that delivers a more authentic and loud engine sound, straight pipe exhaust has to be your pick.

However, if you do not want the vehicle to become louder yet improve its performance, performance exhausts are a better pick as they are comparatively quieter.

Given the relatively low noise, performance exhaust systems are also legal in many places and you will almost pay no money in fines for having one.

4. Emissions

When talking about emissions, the performance exhaust systems again have an edge as they have filtration systems and catalytic converter that minimize any emissions.

On the other hand, a straight pipe exhaust system is simply a long metal pipe having no catalytic converter or filtration mechanisms. Thus, they allow greater levels of emissions to escape that may end up costing you heavy fines.


Your vehicle’s overall performance can be increased in terms of both the horsepower and torque, just with a straight pipe exhaust system which is a very effective yet simple method to do so.

This exhaust provides a more outstanding look to the vehicle in addition to improving the fuel economy as well.

Nevertheless, before opting for this exhaust system you most mind that there is a fair share of cons that the system carries like loud noise and high emissions.

Therefore, if you plan on using anything except a racing car, be ready for the consequences of these shortcomings as well.

Luckily, if the straight pipe exhaust does not work for you, there is still an option of a performance exhaust system available. You can use a bypass system as well that allows switching between a regular and straight pipe exhaust system.

While it feels cool to have a straight pipe exhaust system, it is better to use it after you know it! Here is all you need to know!

What Is a Straight Pipe Exhaust System and How Does It Work?

When you step on the gas pedal of a car that has a standard exhaust system installed in it, it doesn’t make a whole lot of noise. Standard exhaust systems are designed to muffle the sound of a car engine so that it doesn’t produce too much noise and create a disturbance. But when you step on the gas pedal of a car that has a straight pipe exhaust system installed in it, it’s a much different experience. These exhaust systems are set up to allow a car engine to flex its muscles and to make as much noise as it wants. They’re known to make a car very noisy when they’re installed. Learn more about what a straight pipe exhaust is, how it works, and the pros and cons of installing one below.

What Is a Straight Pipe Exhaust System?

In a few minutes, we’re going to talk at length about all the advantages (and disadvantages!) that come along with installing a straight pipe exhaust system in your car. But before we do that, it’s important for you to have some general idea of what a straight pipe exhaust system is. This will make it easier for you to understand how a straight pipe exhaust works and what it adds to your car once it’s in place.

A straight pipe exhaust is, as its name would suggest, an exhaust system that involves the use of straight pipes that start up at the exhaust headers of a car and run straight back to the rear of the vehicle. Unlike standard exhaust systems, these systems don’t usually have a catalytic converter or a muffler , so there is absolutely nothing standing in between the sounds that your engine produces and the back of your car. It’s why cars that have a straight pipe exhaust system installed are so much noisier than those with a standard exhaust system.

What Does a Straight Pipe Exhaust Do?

The first thing you’re going to notice about a car with a straight pipe exhaust system installed is the noise that it allows a car’s engine to produce. But before we get too deep into talking about straight pipe exhausts, we should point out that they do play an important role in the overall well-being of your car. Just like standard exhaust systems, straight pipe exhaust systems are in charge of taking the gases and fumes produced in your engine and carrying them to the rear of your car so that they can be dispelled out into the atmosphere.

For this reason, it’s important for a straight pipe exhaust to be installed properly in your car. If you don’t take the time to install one the right way, your car might struggle to get rid of the dangerous gases and fumes that your engine produces. Whether you choose to install a straight pipe exhaust system yourself or hire someone else to do it for you, you should make sure the job gets done the way it’s supposed to from start to finish.

How Much Does a Straight Pipe Exhaust Cost?

If you know your way around cars and have some experience installing exhaust systems yourself, you may want to take a crack at installing a straight pipe exhaust on your own. But generally speaking, installing a new straight pipe exhaust system in your car is something you should leave up to the professionals if you’re going to do it. Installing a straight pipe exhaust involves the use of welding, which is something that most people aren’t qualified to do.

That being said, it shouldn’t cost that much for you to install a straight pipe exhaust in your car if you want to do it. The parts associated with installing a straight pipe exhaust will often only cost a couple hundred dollars, and it’ll usually only require a few hours of labor at most to install a straight pipe exhaust. This should keep your costs on the lower side. But it’s worth mentioning that everything from the type of car that you have to the specific parts that you need to buy could have an impact on the final price. It’s not uncommon for some people to install straight pipe exhaust systems that cost well over $1,000.

What Are the Advantages of Having a Straight Pipe Exhaust?

Now that you’re a little bit more familiar with what a straight pipe exhaust is and how it works, let’s get into the specifics as far as the pros and cons of installing a straight pipe exhaust are concerned. There are a lot of advantages that you’ll get to enjoy when you have a straight pipe exhaust put into your car. Here are some of the biggest benefits of doing it:

  1. More noise: As we’ve mentioned a couple of times now, a car with a straight pipe exhaust in it is going to be loud. Very loud. So loud, in fact, that you’re going to want to look up your local noise laws before having a straight pipe exhaust installed. There are lots of cities and towns that have outlawed cars with noisy exhaust systems in them because of how much noise they make.
  2. Better performance: Most of the cars that you’ll find with straight pipe exhaust systems in them are racing cars. Reason being, a straight pipe exhaust provides a car with much better performance than a standard exhaust system. A straight pipe exhaust will reduce the amount of pressure that is put on an engine by exhaust gases, which will let an engine function better overall. You’ll see an increase in both horsepower and torque when you put a straight pipe exhaust into place.
  3. Improved aesthetics: From the second you install a straight pipe exhaust, you’ll notice that your car will look a lot faster and sportier than it did before. Even though people won’t be able to see most of your new exhaust system, the pipes sticking straight out the back of it without a muffler will enhance the appearance of your car in a major way.
  4. Less weight: Removing a standard exhaust system from a car and outfitting it with a straight pipe exhaust isn’t going to make a car dramatically lighter. But by removing a catalytic converter and a muffler from the equation, a car will become a little bit lighter than it was before. This may help make a car faster than it would be otherwise.
  5. Better fuel economy: Many vehicle owners are surprised to see their fuel economy improve after installing a straight pipe exhaust. This is due in part to the design of a straight pipe exhaust and the way in which it expels exhaust gases from a car and improves the performance of an engine. It’s also due in part to the reduced weight of a car with a straight pipe exhaust. Either way, you should see a slight bump in fuel economy .

After reading through the advantages of installing a straight pipe exhaust, it’s not hard to see why so many people choose to put one into place in their cars. A straight pipe exhaust can produce more than just more noise. It can also provide people with a long list of benefits.

What Are the Disadvantages of Having a Straight Pipe Exhaust?

As you’ve just seen, there are many advantages that come along with installing a straight pipe exhaust in a car. But on the flip side, there are also some disadvantages that you’ll have to keep in the back of your mind when you decide to install a straight pipe exhaust. Check out some of these disadvantages below:

  1. Too much noise: Yes, it’s nice to drive around in a car that makes noise, especially if you enjoy people looking at your car and taking notice of its power. But at the same time, there is such a thing as a car making too much noise, as we alluded to earlier. You could run afoul of the law if your straight pipe exhaust helps your car produce more noise than is allowed. It’s why most of the cars with straight pipe exhaust systems installed are used exclusively on race tracks.
  2. Increase emissions: Your car’s exhaust system is in place to do more than just keep exhaust gases and fumes moving along. It’s also there to prevent your car from producing too many harmful gases that could hurt the environment. The catalytic converter in an exhaust system, in particular, is designed to convert harmful gases into less harmful gases that won’t do as much damage to the planet. If you take your car’s catalytic converter out of the mix, this won’t be possible anymore, and your car will start to produce too many emissions every time you drive it.
  3. Added expenses: When you buy a car, it obviously comes with at least a standard exhaust system in it. That system will do the job that you need it to do and keep your car in good shape. If you choose to replace it with a straight pipe exhaust, you’ll be adding an expense to your car maintenance routine that wouldn’t otherwise exist. Even if you install an affordable straight pipe exhaust, you’re still going to be taking on an expense that most people wouldn’t consider necessary.
  4. Decreased worth: In some situations, you might be able to sell a car with a straight pipe exhaust for more than you would be able to if it had a standard exhaust system. If, for example, someone is searching specifically for a racing car with a straight pipe exhaust, they might pay you top dollar for yours. But it can be very difficult to sell a car with a straight pipe exhaust since the average person doesn’t need it. They’re not going to pay you a small fortune for a car that is noisier than they would like and that could land them in legal trouble at some point in time. It could force you to accept less money for your car when you go to sell it one day.

If you have your heart set on installing a straight pipe exhaust in your car, you may want to think about the disadvantages of doing it first. It could force you to have a change of heart with regards to your car’s exhaust system.

Can You Sell a Car With a Straight Pipe Exhaust?

As we just touched on, it’s not always easy to sell a car that has a straight pipe exhaust system installed in it. It can actually be impossible for some people to do it, depending on where they live and what the local used car market is like. There is almost no way you’re going to be able to unload a car with a straight pipe exhaust if there isn’t a market for racing cars in your area.

In that case, you’ll have to either think about removing your straight pipe exhaust and putting a standard exhaust system back on your car. Or you’ll need to find another way to try and sell your car and get a fair offer for it. You might not have the option of simply selling it to a buyer in a private sale.

What Should You Do If You Struggle to Sell a Car With a Straight Pipe Exhaust?

If you find yourself in a position where you’re having a hard time selling a car with a straight pipe exhaust system, there is one great option that you should consider. There are plenty of companies that will pay you cash for a car with a straight pipe exhaust, no questions asked. You won’t have to worry about putting a standard exhaust system back onto your car or finding a racing car enthusiast willing to pay top dollar when you take this approach.

Cash Cars Buyer is one of the most reputable companies when it comes to buying cars for cash. And we would be more than happy to take your car with a straight pipe exhaust off your hands. While other companies might balk at buying this type of car, we have no problem doing it and promise we’ll make you an excellent offer for it. Get in touch with us today to see how much your car could be worth.

Do you want to make your car louder and a lot more powerful than it is now? One easy way to do it is by installing a straight pipe exhaust system.