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Does Changing The Exhaust Do Anything? Does It Improve Horsepower?

Changing or upgrading your vehicle's exhaust system is a great way to make it sound better. It's also a great way to make your vehicle look better, especially if the exhaust system is custom-made from T304 stainless steel.

But besides sounding good, and looking good, does changing the exhaust do anything? Does it improve horsepower or add performance? We'll take a look at those questions in this post.

What Does Changing The Exhaust Do?

Exhaust upgrade

Changing the exhaust system changes the flow of exhaust gasses leaving your vehicle's engine. This does one or two things:

  1. It changes the sound of your exhaust. This sound change is due to changes in the type of material used for the exhaust system, i.e., aluminum, titanium, or stainless steel, as well as changes in the shape and bends of the exhaust pipes.
  2. If you switch to a less restrictive exhaust or one with larger diameter exhaust pipes, it makes it easier for exhaust gasses to flow out of the exhaust system. This reduces back pressure in the exhaust system and opens up the potential for more air to flow through the engine.

Does Changing The Exhaust Improve Horsepower?


There are a lot of variables that go into whether or not changing the exhaust improves horsepower. These variables include:

  • The type of engine, whether it's naturally aspirated, turbocharged, or supercharged.
  • Increases to the air intake volume, or the air flowing into the engine.
  • Increases in fuel volume due to a larger carburetor, manifold, or fuel injectors.
  • Lower exhaust restriction or increased exhaust flow/volume.

Depending on these variables, changing to a less restrictive exhaust can improve horsepower by about three to five percent. That's a gain of about five to ten horsepower for most vehicles. While that increase doesn't seem like a lot by itself, it does open the door to the possibility of bigger horsepower gains from other changes like increasing the fuel and airflow volume. In other words, increasing the exhaust output lets you also increase the fuel/air input to produce more power.

Thermal R&D Builds Drone-Free Exhaust Systems In the U.S.A.


Whether you're looking for more power or a better-sounding exhaust system, Thermal R&D has got you covered. Each of our systems is developed with True Helmholtz Technology - creating drone-free sound without compromising on performance.

All of our products are made from durable, premium quality materials like T304 stainless steel and come with a lifetime warranty. Our team of talented fabricators and finishers build exhaust systems in the USA to fit a wide variety of cars and trucks, including popular enthusiast models and smaller niche vehicles other companies won't touch.

Check out our videos for more information. If you have questions, contact us online or call us at (661)723-2872.

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