There are so many reasons to straight pipe your car: with incredible sound topping that list. Your car needs a powerful exhaust growl to match its look: just like every great movie doesn’t have the same impact without the soundtrack.
Straight piping your car isn’t just for auditory purposes, it also boosts performance and a lot of functionalities. Many car owners decide to straight pipe their cars as a do-it-yourself aftermarket project.
If you’re considering straight piping your car, especially if you want to do it yourself, there are a lot of things to consider. Apart from finding out how much it costs, you also need to know if it’s a worthwhile decision and what to avoid. It’s important to understand the basic science behind why straight piping has this effect on your car, and it’ll help you choose the right straight pipe.
Since you’ll be sourcing the exhaust system parts yourself, you have the opportunity to find the best exhaust system parts for your vehicle and customize the exhaust according to your vehicle’s requirements.
We’ll help you decide what the best decision is for you so that you don’t have to spend money in unnecessary places. While it can get overwhelming once you see all of the options in the market, it’s easy to dissect and choose the ones you like once you understand what you need.
So how much does it cost to straight pipe a car?
Straight piping your car can cost anywhere between $500-$1000. It depends largely on whether you decide to source the exhaust system materials yourself or get the change done from a mechanic.
How Does a Straight Pipe Work
Before you take the plunge and buy an entire straight pipe exhaust system for your car, it’s valuable to understand how a straight pipe works.
The reason why it’s called a Straight pipe is that there’s nothing else in the exhaust system apart from the pipe. The muffler and catalytic converter have been removed. This stripped-back version of the exhaust system provides very different functioning.
In fact, you’ll find straight pipes in race cars and hyper performance vehicles, since it can provide that kind of streamlined performance without the interference of a muffler or a catalytic converter.
So what exactly happens when your car has a straight pipe exhaust system? There is great ventilation and air circulation underneath the car. Any of the gases and contaminants that have to be expelled are free flowing and will be released directly from the exhaust tip.
How much does it cost to straight pipe a car?
Like we mentioned earlier in the article, the straight piping can largely depend on a couple of factors when you want to calculate the toll it will take on your wallet. Straight pipe exhaust systems can be expensive, but can also amass a large range of prices depending on the materials used.
The reason why materials become so important in a straight pipe system is because of the simplicity. Since there is only one pipe taking on the responsibility of the entire exhaust system, that pipe needs to be made of top-notch quality material. Furthermore, you’d want the exhaust system to last a long time if you’re making the switch, and most of them are built for durability as well.
However, straight piping your car is a bit of a commitment: if you only want to experience a straight piped exhaust system for a couple of years, it makes sense to opt for a budget exhaust system. You can expect to find a budget straight-pipe exhaust system within $200-300. This is perfect for people who have already spent a lot of money on the car, or other aftermarket modifications, but still want that straight-pipe experience.
On the other hand, if you’re a die hard straight pipe fan and are willing to make the commitment for the next decade, we see no reason why you should judiciously choose the best exhaust system that money can buy. With exhaust systems, you get your money’s worth in durability. Buying an exhaust system that is double the price of the entry-level budget counterparts will not only last you years and years, but will have a significant difference in the quality and sound.
There’s a big difference between the sound a budget straight pipe exhaust system will make and the one a high-end exhaust system will make, so if the main reason why you’re getting an exhaust system is for the sound: you should factor this in as well.
An added factor pertaining to the price is the labor cost. Naturally, getting a mechanic to do the switch for you will cost a bit of money. You can expect to spend anywhere between $100-200 for a mechanic to make the entire exhaust system switch for you. Getting the mechanic to source the parts for you as well will undoubtedly result in an extra $100-200. That’s why some people end up spending more than $1000 when they visit their local parts store and ask for a complete exhaust system overhaul.
If you’re willing to spend this amount of money, having the mechanics source it and do the switch can save you the trouble. However, you can cut the costs nearly by half if you simply do the research yourself and find the best straight pipe exhaust system. Installing it is not that difficult either. Check out this video to see how this guy does it!
Advantages of a Straight Pipe exhaust system
If you’re still not convinced to make the switch, here are the top reasons why you should change your exhaust system to a straight pipe one and the benefits it provides to your vehicle.
1. Better Performance
One of the advantages of having better air circulation (thanks to the straight pipe exhaust system) is that you deliver extra horsepower to the engine!
2. Incredible sound
We’d go so far as to say that the straight pipe exhaust system actually brings out the real sound of your car. Your engine really gets to growl without a muffler or catalytic converter to hold it back! However, you must bear in mind that this is loud. Driving to the airport at 4am is sure to alert the entire neighborhood.
3. Attractive looks
Anyone who knows anything about cars will recognize your straight pipe exhaust system with one look at it (that is, if they don’t hear it first!). It’s a major style statement as well, and these things can look great with chrome finishes and complement the look of your car.
4. Less unsprung weight
Ever wondered why racing cars have straight pipe exhaust systems? The answer is less weight. Mufflers and other exhaust system parts get heavy, and having less weight means that the car can go faster with less effort.
5. Much better fuel economy
Did we say your car can go faster with less effort? Yes, we did! I’m sure you can imagine what ‘less effort’ means — less fuel consumption! What’s not to love about that?
Disadvantages of a Straight Pipe
It wouldn’t be fair to only advertise the positives of having a straight pipe exhaust system — you should be prepared for the drawbacks.
1. Car is difficult to sell later on
It’s hard to imagine, but not everyone wants a straight pipe system and can be the dealbreaker for someone looking to buy your car once you’re ready to upgrade. A quick solution to this is to keep the original exhaust system handy so you can switch it back in this case.
2. Makes a lot of noise
Yes, the sound is incredible, but it’s also capital-L-loud. If you live in a neighborhood with pesky neighbors who will make an issue out of anything (we know the type), then you might be getting into a long-drawn fight. Be prepared to face this kind of tussle.
You can also read our article on Best Exhaust For 5.9 Cummins.
We can only provide an estimate of the cost: the reality greatly depends on your model and vehicle type. However, it should fall between the range we mentioned above. A good rule of thumb for any aftermarket modification is that you save almost half the money by doing it yourself.
However, it’s difficult to do it yourself without destroying the original system, and you might want to hold on to that in case you’re planning to sell the car in the next few years.
Of course, you can also opt for the latest dual exhaust systems that allow you to switch to straight pipe functioning whenever you want, but since the muffler and catalytic converter still exist, you don’t get rid of the unsprung weight or achieve better fuel economy.
We’re sure you’ll be able to make an educated decision after knowing about all the aspects of straight piping your car. Good luck!