Will An Exhaust System or Muffler Improve Gas Mileage?
Exhaust system and muffler manufacturers make a lot of claims about their products. Understandably, consumers are a little skeptical when an exhaust kit claims to both increase horsepower AND improve gas mileage. After all, aren’t performance and gas mileage mutually exclusive?
The thing is, mufflers and exhaust systems DO improve gas mileage. Here’s why:
1. Exhaust systems and performance mufflers don’t add power – they improve efficiency.
Almost every new vehicle comes with a restrictive factory exhaust system. The reason? Restrictive exhausts are both quiet to the ears and inexpensive to build. Since automakers are building cars for everyone – and since some people decidedly don’t want a car that makes noise – factory exhaust systems are usually designed to be quiet. Because automakers cut costs on exhaust systems, this quietness is achieved by making a restrictive system.
A restrictive factory exhaust pipe. Image copyright Ben Frantz Dale
When a factory exhaust is replaced with an after market muffler or cat-back system, there’s less restriction in the exhaust. “Less restriction” means the engine exhales a little easier. This improves efficiency, and that means the engine suddenly has a little more power. However, nothing was “added” – the additional power was always there. You just needed a better exhaust system to find it.
2. Efficiency isn’t just about horsepower
An efficient engine isn’t necessarily powerful. For example, the gas engine in a hybrid is incredibly efficient, but rarely are these engines considered “powerful.” Efficiency means that an engine gets as much energy as possible out of the diesel or gasoline it uses for fuel. Therefore, improvements in efficiency improve power…but what if that power isn’t used to go faster?
Speedometer image copyright PowerBookTrance
If you can make your engine 3% more powerful, you’ll need 3% less fuel to do the same amount of work, right? Exhaust systems, depending on the system or muffler you choose and the vehicle they’re installed on, typically improve power by about 2-5%. If you’re driving a 2008 Ford F-150, for example, your truck probably gets about 16mpg. Adding an exhaust system might improve power 3%. If you don’t use that extra power to go faster and drive the exact same way you did before, you’ll see a 3% improvement in fuel economy.
A 3% fuel economy improvement on an 08′ F150 with an exhaust system means about a 0.5 mpg gas mileage improvement. While that might not sound like much, consider this: If gas costs $3 a gallon, and your drive this truck 15,000 miles a year, you’re saving yourself about $85 a year on gas. In five years, you’ll have saved nearly enough money to pay for a complete cat-back exhaust system.
Not to mention that you’ve got an extra 3% of power when you need it (like while towing or hauling), or the fact that your truck will sound a lot meaner too.
3. Small cars can benefit the most
If you have a truck with a big V8, your engine is so powerful that it can push past a restrictive factory exhaust system pretty easily. However, if you have a small displacement 4-cylinder, adding a less-restrictive muffler can boost efficiency tremendously – sometimes as much as 10% (only 5% is more common). Adding an HKS Hi-Power exhaust to a 2005 Subaru WRX improves power output about 8%, which means fuel economy should improve by about 2mpg.
Obviously, boosting fuel economy by 2 mpg is going to help pay off a new exhaust system pretty quickly.
Bottom Line: Adding an after-market performance muffler or exhaust system will improve engine efficiency from 2-10%. Improvements in efficiency can be used to either increase horsepower or improve fuel economy.
Whether this efficiency is used to go faster or to get better fuel economy is up to you and your foot!
I have a 2007 Jeep compass, 4×4… What muffler/ exost system will improve gas mileage the most, for the money???
Thanx, Donnie smith
Donnie – The testing I’ve done for TundaHeadquarters.com shows that most exhaust systems have minimal impact on fuel economy. If you’re trying to boost gas mileage, you might look at a cold air intake system first. However, if you’ve got the money, adding a quality cat-back exhaust system can add a few hp and improve mileage.
Yea I installed a K&N cold air intake kit with a mass flow filter last month but it didn’t seem to have much effect (went from 23mpg to 25mpg)… Any other tricks?
Donnie – That’s pretty good – +2mpg is big as a percentage!! 😉
– Power programmer, many of which allow you to program a “fuel saver” mode. Might give you another 1-2 mpg (maybe just 1mpg)
– Full synthetic oil, as thin as you can buy (you can probably run 0W-20 instead of 5W-20 without any ill effects) – might get you another 1mpg
– Run a bottle of fuel injector cleaner through the gas tank every 30k miles (won’t help but will make sure you’re not hurting yourself with a dirty injector)
– Check your tire pressure regularly…this can make a big difference if one of your tires is low
– Switch to low rolling resistance (LRR) tires…you won’t handle as well off-road and/or in the snow, but you’ll definitely save gas. Most LRR tires boost MPGs 2-3% (+1mpg)
– Cat-back exhaust might be good for 1mpg, only it might not do anything, so it wouldn’t be my first choice
– Some people have had success using this weird little device called the “fuel doctor”, including a Tundra owner named Toby – http://www.tundraheadquarters.com/blog/2011/05/25/fuel-doctor-initial-test-results/
Mostly, however, the best way to boost fuel economy is to get something that gets better gas mileage. 🙂
Hi donnie , although I drive OLDER RANGER 4X4 KING CAB 4X4 4.0 liter , I HAVE USED THE ACETONE TRICK AND NOTICED MY TACH SAYS I AM USING ALMOST 500 LESS RPM ON THE HIGHWAY AT 75 MPH PLUS ABOUT200 LESS RPM AT IDLE some say it can hurt the injectors , and I am by no means a gearhead I WOULD SERIOULSY TRY THAT . THEY CLAIM THE ACETONE PURE 100 PERCENT BTW WHICH IS EXTREMELY CHEAP REDUCES THE SURFACE TENSION OFTHE FUEL , WHICH ENABLES ITTO BURN EASIER AND MORE EFFECIENTLY .
Michael – Just a quick note – acetone is a plastic solvent. It’s not *if* it’s going to hurt your injectors and fuel system, it’s *when*.
thats impossible for your rpms to be lower on the motorway , your either a fool or a liar. The engines rpm directly corresponds to the road speed depending on the gear your in. unless you were driving in 4th on the motorway then after adding acetone decided to drive in 5th gear. what your saying is you actually went slower on the motorway since adding acetone which is just plain retarded.
your idle however may change depending on your ECU
Little late on conversation but 2 mpg from just addimg air intake is pretty good. You won’t get that much with most aftermarket parts. Especially if you were driving a real man’s vehicle. Lol. JK
Any pros or cons to adding an after market exhaust brand new compared to a used one off craigslist?
Drew – A craigslist sourced exhaust can be a great way to save money. Just make sure there aren’t any leaks or clogs.
I have a 2019 Ram Promaster 1500 cargo van. How many extra mpg could I hope to gain, by adding a Flowmaster Super 50 series exhaust?
I have a 2000 honda accord coupe V6. If I replace the stock part with a magnaflow caddlac converter and catback system how much would this improve my gas mileage? also what other modifications could i add to help my honda and its gas mileage?
Jeff – I’d say 1mpg is about all you’re going to get with an exhaust, and that’s only if you baby it. If you combine the exhaust with an air intake and a performance chip, however, you might be able to squeeze another 3-4mpg out…even more if you go with low rolling resistance tires and if you drive like a little old lady.
I have changed the rear box of my exhaust, will this give a better Fuel Economy?
Daniel – I don’t really understand what you’re saying (rear box is the tip maybe?), but generally speaking exhaust system changes have little effect on gas mileage good or bad.
Read what it said about exhausts on small cars
I just purchased a magnaflow exhaust and soon will get an intake
For my 2.2 cavalier
Wondering how much you think I’ll get in mpg
Joel – It’s harder to move the needle on small cars, as they’re already pretty efficient. Still, 1-2 mpg is possible.
Hello, I have a 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid…
I have installed NGK lazer eridium plugs, a K&N air filter, new
Mobile1 full syn oil (0w-20), and I tip. I want to make it louder and faster! I have ran completely out of ideas on how do do that without effecting the mpg! It’s getting between 35-45mpg at the moment and everybody says that since in is a hybrid (with a 1.3l, 79.3cubic inch gas engine, and a 1300cc electric motor) that if I put an intake system or an exoast system it will go haywire and destroy my gas mileage!? Please help! Any thoughts or suggestions???
you dont buy a civic hybrid if you want to go fast.
I didn’t buy it, got it for free! And I don’t have the cash to but something better
I have a 1997 Honda Accord coupe. I recently replaced my old, rusted out muffler with a brand new stock muffler. Will my vehicle gain any mpg?
Dan – Possibly. If the old rusted out muffler was blocking exhaust flow, the answer is yes.
I have a 2006 Tacoma, if I add a cold air intake and a cat-back exhaust will I have problems with the computer? The last thing I need is to have CEL or spending the money just to have it run poorly.
Pete – Adding an exhaust system will have no impact on your engine computer – the only component in the exhaust system that the computer pays any attention to is the oxygen sensor, and that’s mounted into the exhaust manifold…if you’re doing a cat-back exhaust, nothing to worry about.
As for a cold air intake, the only concern is that you don’t use an over-oiled filter. If you buy a filter that requires periodic cleaning, you have to be really careful when re-applying the oil to the filter. If you put too much oil on, it can coat the mass air flow (MAF) sensor and cause a check-engine warning.
But if you guy with an oil-less filter (AEM and aFe both offer intakes that use lifetime filters which don’t need to be oiled) you’re good to go.
Thanks…I’m going to add both and see if it will help improve gas mileage. Not looking for miracles but anything is better than 18mpg.
I just put a glasspack on my oo Saturn sl2. I’ve noticed a major drop in fuel efficiency. How can this be?
Austin – Not sure. Shouldn’t have caused a major change in fuel economy, unless it’s clogged. You might pull it off and take a look.
So I have a 2004 audi a4 1.8t turbo Quattro and was planning to get a magnaflow exhaust system, and was wondering how much more mpg will that give me? I’m current getting an ave of 500 km a tank and I drive mostly highway! And how much will a k&n air intake mpg increase will I get?
Yvee – As the article says, new exhaust systems can improve fuel efficiency from 2-10%. In terms of real-world improvement, 1-2 mpg isn’t unheard of, but improvements of 1mpg or less are most common for both exhaust systems and upgraded air intakes/air filters. I’m not sure what 1-2 mpg is in L/100km, but I’m sure you can figure that out. 🙂
Jason, I have a 2005 Audi S4, that is completely stock. 6 speed manual transmission, 4.2 Liter V8 dual exhaust. tire size is 235/40 Z R18. I plan on keeping the car for a long time, and am interested in making it more fuel effecient and getting some more horsepower. Can you guide me in the most cost effective way to acheive this? Im interested in performance computer chips, exhuast systems, tires, other?
Phil – First, nice car! Second, not that you asked, but I’d look into carbon deposit cleaning systems…there’s a system called Terraclean that you might check out if you’re concerned about it. Three, the best levers you can pull are 1) intake 2) exhaust 3) programming, preferably a map that is adjusted for whatever intake and exhaust you choose.
Otherwise, there’s not a lot you need to do. The S4 is already very well “optimized” and really doesn’t need anything. That’s the beauty of buying an already fast car. Unless you’re up for spending lots of money on pricey upgrades, I’d stick with those three.
I have a 09 Jeep Wrangler that I installed an AirAid intake on and my mpg went from 17 to 19. I then installed a Dynomax axel back exhaust system and the mpg went to about 15. Is that normal? I lifted it 2 inches and put bigger tires now it’s down to about 14.5. I can understand the losing mpg with the lift and tires, but the exhaust I don’t get.
Marcus – Not common to see exhaust systems effect gas mileage more than 1-2 mpg either way…they’re important, but they’re not that important. 🙂
My guess is that either a) your engine computer is still adjusting to the new air intake or b) you got some very good mileage prior to installing the exhaust that threw things off.
Gas mileage is notoriously inconsistent.
Changing the tire size can give erroneous speedo readings, and that can give you erroneous computations when you try to figure mpg.
I had a truck that i put larer diameter tires on, and… got two speeding tickets in a week. The speedo said i was going 60, and the radar said I was going 65.
If your tire diameter changes much, it will not really affect economy, but can give you wrong MPG calculations.
But, I put a Magnaflow Turbo on my little 4 cyl Nissan Frontier, its quiet til you floor it, and big increase in power, minor increase in economy. Along with a K&N air filter.
I have a 2012 Ford Focus SE (sedan; 5-speed manual). What would you recommend to me to help improve efficiency & power?
I also wouldn’t mind my engine/exhaust having a bit more sound to it!
Hi, i just bought an sel ’12 focus and i am really planning on upgraging my intake and exhaust, will thesemodifications void my warranty??? And 2nd what is the difference between named brands exhaust systems and the custom exhaust systems that is made in our local muffler shop?? Ty
John – First of all, modifications to exhaust and intake don’t effect warranty (only your local dealer will probably tell you that they do). See this post for more info: http://www.tundraheadquarters.com/blog/after-market-accessories-new-warranty/
Second, the main difference between systems sold by Magnaflow or Flowmaster and systems from your local shop is tuning. Cat-back systems sold by these big name manufacturers are carefully tuned to maximize power. Systems sold by your local muffler shop are not carefully tuned, but this is not to say that they can’t be powerful. Often times your local muffler shop can get very close to a perfect tune just because they a) have a lot of experience and b) they pay attention to what the big names are doing on their kits.
My advice is to contact your local autocross club and see what local muffler shop(s) they recommend. This will help you make sure you work with an exhaust shop that understands tuning.
the best was to get better gas mileage is to switch to 100 percent pure octaine Caroline. Not not only is it better for your engine I have an 05 Chevy Malibu mass ls and with just that change I’ve went from 25 to 30 miles a gallon and all of my parts are stock
Allen – Not to argue, but octane doesn’t effect fuel economy in and of itself. If your engine is getting better fuel economy after switching from regular to premium, it’s likely a tuning or injector performance issue. Premium fuels have more detergents than regular, and a faulty or degraded oxygen sensor can sometimes lead to better performance with higher octanes…you might get your vehicle checked out (the local auto parts store will pull codes for free if you don’t have your own reader).
Hi I have a new 2012 Dodge Ram with the HEMI. Surprisingly I was averaging about 19.5 to 20 mpg on the highway. I recently changed out my stock muffler and replaced with a performance muffler. Now I am averaging 16.5 on the highway at very bust. I have been a dodge truck driver for years and know these trucks dont always get good milage. What could have caused this decrease???
James – If you swapped out your muffler right about the time winter started, that would explain the lost in MPG. Winter is bad for your mileage, partially because of the cold, partially because winter fuel is a little less potent, partially because you might spend more time letting your vehicle to idle and warm-up, etc.
Additionally, even if the winter doesn’t really effect you (say you live in southern California and it never really gets cold), adding a new muffler can hurt your gas mileage because you spend more time driving aggressively in order to listen to the exhaust note…
However, as a general rule, adding an exhaust system isn’t going to effect your gas mileage dramatically unless there’s something wrong. A clogged muffler is about all you have to worry about (and that’s unlikely), but otherwise the very worst system won’t effect you more than 1mpg or so (and vice versa).
Great article, thank you. Based on it, I believe a new exhaust could benefit my ’99 Rav4 (4cyl). Especially since the previous owner told me the exhaust will “need to be replaced soon” and already “has a clamp on it”. I don’t know what/where the clamp is/does, but I imagine this is causing me to get the poor mileage (~20mpg highway!) I’m getting.
Do you think I’ll get near the 10% you mentioned was possible with my situation? Which exhaust should I get? Cost? Install cost price range?
Thank you for your help,
Patrick – If your existing exhaust system is clogged or restricted somehow (rust can really plug them up), replacing the system from the cat back (i.e. everything behind the catalytic converter) is a good idea.
As for fuel economy improvement, it’s tough to say. Older vehicles can suffer from poor mileage for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with your exhaust. My suggestion? Get with a trusted local mechanic and see what they have to say.
Hello, what are your expectations if I were to replace the entire exhaust system in my 1993 Toyota Corolla 7afe? I live in the middle of Texas where temperatures are fairly high to most of the year, and the previous exhaust system has rusted 20 years, and the car is considered compact-subcompact for its less than 2000 lb weight. What are the expected gains?
Vince – 3-5% of base rated HP with a new, performance after-market system. However, finding a performance system for a Corolla is tough. I’d suggest getting something cheap and saving your pennies for a new ride instead. 😉
I have a stock 1988 ford crown vic I’m to purchase in a few weeks and i’d like to know if going with the k&n cold air intake system how much of an increase in mpg will I have and what other tricks I can use to increase gas mileage
I have a 2002 mercury cougar 2.5L v6..
id like to a get a magnaflow dual exhaust system and have it installed.
can anyone tell me how much this would cost and how to go about doing it?
I’m looking for more horse power or torque and a manly rumble
I’m running a 97 dodge avenger v6 on the factory exhaust system, and I’m looking to swap out the muffler. The motivation for this is hoping to improve performance a bit, yet a muffler that gave my car more of a muscly rumble would be nice. Not looking for an outstandingly loud noise, that’s unappealing.
I was hoping someone more experienced could point me in the direction of a muffler that’d fit my car, and would give it that sound and performance boost.
Dallas – Any number of mufflers will fit, but most of them will just make your V6 sound louder. It’s hard to get a “rumble” out of a V6, and when you do, it’s usually by adding a dual with a cross-pipe (helps mellow out the higher frequencies). If you just want to buy a muffler (and I don’t blame you, as I think that’s a prudent compromise), I’d suggest finding a good local muffler shop and letting them install the muffler they think is best.
Also, after the muffler is installed, it might take 500-1000 miles before you really hear how it’s going to sound.
Jason, I was wondering why it would take 500-1000 miles to hear how the muffler would truly sound. I have a 1998 Ford Mustang with no muffler, and am trying to find something that sounds the way I like.
Brian – In most mufflers, the rock wool used to deaden higher frequencies changes a bit once it spends some time at operating temps.
If you have a muffler that doesn’t use rock wool (like a magnaflow muffler), than you probably won’t notice any change.
Hi I was wondering..I installed a yonaka full catback on my automatic trans 01 Acura integra LS… the exhaust diameter is about 2.3 inch… I feel like when i drive it makes my car slower..and it is kind of loud.. is that because the pipe is way too big or the cat back exhaust is not good for automatic transmission car? thank you
Mag – Unless you’re measuring the change scientifically (i.e. at the drag strip or on the dyno), than I’d say that your cat-back system is probably helping you.
Now, if your system was designed for an Integra with a more powerful motor (say a GS-R instead of an LS), than you could see a loss…but again, without data, it’s just conjecture.
Finally, exhausts can help vehicles with both manuals and automatics. It makes no difference. 🙂
am burning a lot of fuel what is the best muffler system can i used to held .it as a muffler system straight from manifold to a cherry bomb them comes a 2’pipe to a drum then to a double tail pipe
Rodger – Is there a question in here? Didn’t they teach you punctuation and grammar in school? 🙂
I bought a used car 98 corrola and realised a buzzing sound coming from the engine whenever i accelerate. i realised that bolt was broken at the exhaust manifold and I replaced. I am still hearing the sound. upon closer inspection I saw that the previous changed the head pipe and put in a rather “squeezed” one with a reduced diameter. Could that be causing the buzzing sound?
gareth – Hard to know. Internet diagnosis is notoriously unreliable…I’d get it looked at by a professional.
I own a 2005 Subaru impreza wrx 2.0 turbo.
Just wanted to know whats the best brand of muffler to install that will give me that Subaru sound and also improve on fuel efficiency?
Ian – There’s rarely a difference in performance from one brand to another – the difference is in design and tuning resources and materials used to make the muffler. My standard advice is to buy something from Flowmaster, Magnaflow, or Borla. All three companies have plenty of money for R&D and make a good product.
Having said that, I’d cruise the WRX forums for a boutique brand that offers a cat-back exhaust system and a new downpipe…I’ve seen some impressive performance improvements on a WRX with those add-ons.
I am currently driving an I4 Honda. Being a Honda, the torque band is quite high up, and I’d like to lower it by using a longer exhaust manifold.
For reference, its a D15B7 engine with a fixed timing cam so I doubt it would be aggressive, but without taking the engine apart I can’t tell for sure if there is any valve overlap.
Understanding that a longer exhaust manifold promotes better exhaust evacuation, I’m wondering will it get to the extend of drawing clean air into the exhaust manifold (thus affecting consumption via O2 sensor)? If that would be the case, I’m guessing I would need a variable resister put on the O2 line?
Thank you 🙂
Yee – Generally speaking, long-tube headers reduce low-end performance. I’m not sure that longer tubes are going to accomplish your goal.
As for changing the O2 sensor to compensate for increased scavenging, I’d say no. The increase isn’t likely to be substantial across the entire RPM range…it’s only going to effect things in a certain band. You could replace the O2 sensor to try and get a little boost in a specific range, but it makes far more sense (IMHO) to make this adjustment by tuning the ECM.
Finally, it’s all but certain that your Honda has some valve overlap. Most engines do.
I got the idea of longer manifolds increasing low-end torque from a combination of http://www.mazda.com/mazdaspirit/skyactiv/engine/skyactiv-g.html, and a whole lot of other pages which I don’t remember.
Not to sound like I’m doubting you, but from your understanding what do longer exhaust manifolds do?
Long tubes increase exhaust velocity, but that’s not really a good thing on most engines between idle and 3500 RPM (or so). The reason? Your exhaust system is technically over-sized for your vehicle at these lower RPM ranges. Therefore, increasing the velocity effectively increases the size of your already over-sized exhaust. This means that you lose low-end torque…I’ve seen this happen on truck engines numerous times. Long-tube headers hurt gas engines on the low end.
Conversely, your exhaust system is typically undersized at the top RPM range. If you throw some long-tube headers on, you’ll get better performance above 4,000 RPM. This is great for adding HP, but again I’m not sure that you’re looking for more HP.
Now it’s important to understand that engine designers can change head design and valve timing to accommodate a specific header. Mazda may very well have been able to increase low and mid-range performance with long-tube headers, but only because they changed the timing and tune
Exhaust systems are the last component in a very complex chain. As a general rule, the best thing you can do is purchase a cat-back exhaust system and/or exhaust manifold that’s specifically designed for your vehicle. Once you’ve purchased these things, you can use an after-market tuning system to maximize power.
In other words, don’t over-think it. Unless you’ve got the tools to measure and model the exhaust stream, you’re spinning your wheels. Just go with the setup recommended by Greddy (or whomever you’re buying your parts from) and call it good. 😉
Thanks Jason for all this insight.
This is very helpful. Cheers!
Just installed a airaid system on my 2011 f250 gas .I get about 2.3 miles per gallon more when the truck is empty.i also pull a trailer that’s about 10000 pounds. When I’m towing it gets about 1.3 mpg better on the highway .
I have the new 2013 Toyota Rav 4 with a 4 cylinder. I want to improve the exhaust system to get a deeper sound, but NOT real loud, also better milage would be nice. What do you recommend…THANKS…
Daniel – Sorry, no idea. Hard to get what you’re looking for with a 4cylinder.
I have a 1998 toyota corolla , rsi shape and was wondering if adding branches and an exhaust system will effect my fuel or rather improve it? all i want is a better performance and sound with out effecting my fuel intake.
chubbz – Provided you size an exhaust system upgrade correctly, it will not hurt fuel economy.
Jason_What do you mean by size is correctly bru? and what about branches added as well ?
chubbz – Not too big or too small – see https://www.exhaustvideos.com/faq/how-to-calculate-muffler-size-pipe-diameter/. As far as going from a single exit to a dual exit, it’s not a problem if it’s sized correctly.
i have a 93 mustang fully built high compression 306 cold air 73mm maf and tb headers catless exhaust with flowmasters i get 8mpg highway im gona take a guess that there is nothing i can do to improve mgp without loosing power at this point
jon – It’s not like swapping out mufflers was going to make your 8mpg Mustang (which sounds awesome, btw) a 20mpg cruiser! 😉
Frankly, I don’t think there’s anything you can do to the exhaust in this specific case that would make a noticeable difference. You might look into using a programmer to run in an “economy” mode when you’re not at the track…assuming you can re-adjust back to your tuned mode when it’s time to go fast.
My wifes 2004 Ranger 4.0 L Super Cab 4×4 usually gets 16 to 17 mpg ( read on a Scan Gauge I have installed in it) all of a sudden we are getting 19 mpg. This is a good problem to have. Driving home on a110 mile route where we usually get 17 mpg I got 19.2 mpg again as read on the Scan Gauge and this is heavily loaded as usual. The only thing I can think of that is different is that about 500 miles ago at the start of a 400 mile trip the muffler blew out with a fist sized hole in it. I heard this when she got back from the trip and was planning to have the muffler replaced but after this most recent 110 mile trip maybe I need a less restrictive muffler. Your thoughts?
Martin – Could have been a restriction in the muffler, could be the muffler itself. OEM mufflers – especially as they age – can become clogged with rust and “junk” and underperform.
Glad to hear you’re getting 20% fuel economy!
Do you know what would be the least expensive way to replace that muffler with something that acts as if it has the big hole in it but is quieter?
Martin – A glass pack muffler costs as little as $20, and while it’s loud, it offers very little restriction. Your local muffler shop probably installs it for $100 or less.
Hey there I’ve got a vauxhall astra CTDI life 1.3 diesel I was looking to make the car faster as it only reaches 100mph tops what can I do ? Add a turbo exhuast maybe ?
Ahmed – Sorry to say it, but there’s no replacement for displacement. If you’ve got a little motor, you’re only going to get a small amount of power. My advice is to save your money for a car with a bigger engine.
I have a 2002 Nissan maxima My exhaust is pretty much rusted out what exhaust system do you recommend for my vehicle I want sound ,mpg and performance thanks
ricky – Any cat-back system that’s designed for your make and model, budget permitting. I’d go with aluminized steel too due to the age of the vehicle.
Forgot a couple things lol 2002 Nissan maxima also an air intake ,and performance chip
I have a 1970 Chevelle sedan with a 350 V8 And I want to put a flowmaster 50 series on is, should I do it
Pablo – I don’t have any opinion on specific mufflers/setups. In my view they’re all pretty equivalent. What’s important is that you choose the right size and material.
I have a 2001 lincoln navigator. How can I get some improvements in fuel.
Jack – Short answer: trade it in.
Long answer: Driver slower, accelerate as slowly as you can bear, remove any un-needed weight (like gear you’re not using, a 3rd row seat that isn’t being used regularly, etc), and make sure your tire pressure is correct.
Exhaust system, air intake and/or performance air cleaner, and an engine tuner can help too…but only if you do all of the above.
Jason, I have a 2007 Chevy Tahoe LT3. What would the best muffler to get improved flow, but without the drone and heavy rumble? I am also wondering about a K&N filter (not cold air intake) for it. I have heard mixed stories on the tack spay jacking up the MAS. True? Or is it worth it to put one in?
K.S. – I don’t have a specific recommendation regarding the muffler, but I will say that Borla systems tend to be a little better than the others in terms of drone/rumble.
Only it’s all subjective.
As for the K&N filters screwing up Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensors, it’s 97% exaggeration. New K&N filters have a small amount of oil on the cotton-gauze coating, the purpose of which is to catch particulates. The oil is perfectly applied at the factory – there’s no chance that excess oil will get sucked up into the engine and coat the MAF sensor.
However, if you clean the filter yourself and re-apply the oil too liberally, you can have problems. Some MAF sensors are incredibly sensitive to this type of contamination. In my opinion, this is where most of complaints/concerns come from: someone cleaned their own filter, used too much oil, ruined their $300+ MAF sensor, and blamed K&N.
Therefore, my advice is to clean your K&N filter sparingly (once every 50k miles), and to follow K&N’s cleaning instructions to the letter. If you do that, you’ll be perfectly happy with a K&N filter (they improve throttle response and improve fuel economy).
I have a 2005 Suburban with 33 inch all terrain tires 5.3L, 150,000 miles getting 13 mpg…If it were yours and you wanted to keep for at least 3 more years what would YOU do to it.??? i might pull a trailer or camper once a year, but better MPG is my goal.
David – Tires can make a big difference in fuel economy, especially large off-road tires with aggressive tread.
Frankly, I’m not sure that you’ll be able to do much to get great mileage out of a Suburban. However, if it was me, I would think about less aggressive tread on my tires, make sure I had an after-market air filter or air intake, and invest in a programmer/tuner that had a fuel saving mode. Those changes will boost fuel economy without negatively impacting long-term wear and tear.
im about to put a custom made cat back on my 03 Mitsubishi Triton 3.0 v6 will i recive much more power and torque that i will notice it 4wd?
Sam – Let me repeat that back to you: You’re installing a completely custom system and you want to know how this custom system that I’ve never seen will impact performance. Correct?
Obviously, I have no idea. 🙂
I have a 2009 toyota yaris sedan, i have installed an AFE cold air intake (dry filter), new tires, amsoil 5w30 and amsoil transmission fluid. getting 48.9 MPG right now driving speed limit. question is in you opinion will, a header pipe, and/or a cat-back exhaust actually be worth the $$ to get more MPG. Thanks Jason.
Larry – Nice job! 49mpg is impressive in any vehicle.
While I think a header and tuned cat-back exhaust system might help you boost fuel economy a bit (1-3%), and eventually pay for itself, I don’t think you’re going to find these products on the after-market. Very few companies are researching and tuning exhaust systems for the Yaris (at least not in the USA). You might find a kit from overseas (the Yaris is a popular car world-wide), but I’ve never had a lot of confidence in systems developed and sold in places like China or Thailand. It’s not that these countries don’t produce quality products, it’s that I don’t think they’re using a strict R&D process.
So, the answer to your question is “probably,” but it’s a moot point as there’s likely nothing you can buy that fits the bill.
Good day. I just bought a surplus from japan a 2004 honda fit and i plan to change its original muffler into hks silent-power muffler. Does it affect its gas economy?
Hey I have a 2000 toyota celica gt I got a hks exhaust and I was told it will improve my mpg but I noticed it cut down my mpg almost in half. My car used to last my 2 weeks driving 30-35 miles every day now it just lasts me 1 week. Any suggestions what can help? Maybe add a cold air intake? Or should I switch back to stock ?
venancio – You’re not the first person to say that an after-market exhaust system has hurt fuel economy, but I’ll tell you that it’s probably you that’s changed rather than the car. It’s natural to get into the gas more once you have an exhaust system, at least if you like the way it sounds. 🙂
If you don’t think that’s the problem, I’d suggest making sure that your exhaust system wasn’t damaged (specifically, the oxygen sensors and catalytic converters) during the upgrade, and that your engine computer wasn’t reset…sometimes shops disconnect the battery, which forces your engine to “re-program” and waste some fuel for a while.
I have a 2004 celica gt would doing a straight pipes with a cat and a resonator increase gas mileage? Or would cutting the muffler cause a decrease in mpg and power?
Chris – Straigh pipes and/or cutting a muffler off may or may not boost fuel economy. I would guess that it won’t help much either way…which is why I suggest buying a performance muffler over going with no muffler at all. The vehicle is designed to work with a certain amount of exhaust backpressure at various RPMs – if you change that pressure at your cruising RPM, you can reduce scavenging and/or increase backpressure, and that can hurt gas mileage.
Besides, a performance muffler is cheap and will give you a great (yet legal) sign.
I got a 05 rsx, after i swap my exhaust and header, it cost me more on fuel. It could went up to 500km per tank, now i can only go around 450 or less. Last tank only went for 444.
I just don’t got it.
Hugo – Could be the colder weather, could be that you’re driving more aggressively, could be that the engine is still adjusting to the new add-ons. I’d guess colder weather (and a cold weather fuel mix) based on the time of year (and assuming you’re in the Northern hemisphere).
This page is an awesome resource for this subject! Thanks so much (in advance) for your insight and assistance!
I just picked up a ’10 Mazda CX9, 3.7l Dual exhaust. I discovered that the right side tip and muffler (damaged) are pushed in (backed into something?) so, I am looking at adding aftermarket “N1 style” mufflers. The OEM product is about $250+, while these Ebay A’pexi N1 knockoffs are $40. If I add these freer-flowing mufflers, without changing the remainder of the exhaust system from the cat, can I expect any increase in efficiency? I replaced the stock air filter with a standard (non-CAI) K&N filter and noticed a slight improvement. This is a CARB vehicle with CA emissions. I understand that this change may increase HP, but I’m more interested in MPG than sound or HP. 1-2 mpg over a year will more than pay for these.
You probably won’t see much increase in efficiency or performance, but you might see a little (1mpg?).
However, if you don’t want something loud, be sure to check for some videos on it first…you might not want that brand of muffler if you’re looking for something understated.
Hah! Yeah, I’ve been trying to find videos for anything similar to my car. However, I figure since I’m leaving both cats and the resonator, there still should be sufficient muffling of the sound.
Regarding to your reply above, if the entire cat-back system were replaced, ie: 3″ pipe(s) & straighter/mandrel bends and high flow muffler, then I would see an increase? The muffler itself alone is not enough to warrant a significant decrease in back-pressure?
CJ – The catalytic converters don’t really soak up much sound by themselves, so changing the muffler can make a big difference in sound.
Also, a 3 inch system is almost certainly overkill for your CX9. A dual 1.75″ or 2″ system is a better fit…go too big and you’ll ruin low-end performance (and fuel economy).
Please correct me if iam wrong. But valve overlap is where the exhaust valve and intake valve are open at the same time,if the exhaust gas pressure is to low caused by the free flow muffler than more intake fuel can be sucked from the cylinder leaving less fuel to burn.Giving less power. I have seen exhaust pipe reduces put on the end of a exhaust system and the pwr.goes up. This might help Austin Stueland who left a comment
Peter – I think it’s the opposite. The free flowing exhaust has no (or almost no) negative pressure, so the exhaust system isn’t “sucking out” the combusted air and helping to suck in the clean air prior to combustion…thus causing poor performance.
I have a 2004 BMW z4 2.5i, I currently have an aFe Dry Filter, Cold Air.Now I always shift at 2k RPM each gear, I try to save as much gas as I can. If I get this “Remus Exhaust” will that better my gas mileage + with my cold air?
I believe if I buy high end products, I should not be to worried.
link to the website, im getting it from
Would adding a removable silencer decrease the efficiency/add more back pressure? How effective (audibly) are silencers when used on high-flowing mufflers and do they detract from the performance?
PS, I installed the after market N1 on my CX-9. It is louder in lower RPMs, esp inside the cab. I have already noticed an increase of about 2-3 MPGs based on previous readings. It does feel a little easier to drive. However, since it’s my wife’s car, it’s a little annoying to her, being a bit loud. Once you hit a steady speed, it’s almost unnoticeable compared to stock.
Thanks for your time!
I should edit/amend that previous. It’s louder at lower speeds, while accelerating esp inside the cab. The higher the RPM, the less noticeable it becomes.
CJ – Probably wouldn’t have much of an impact.
I have a 99 grand am se. 4 cyl. I drive about 30 miles to work everyday. I want to put a new muffler/exhaust on my car. I want to try to get better gas mileage but also have a better sound. It is worth makin a switch on my exhaust? If so will I be getting more or less mpg?
Justin – Most of the time, changing your exhaust system has minimal impact on fuel economy. 1-2 mpg, tops. That’s not a lot on a vehicle that already gets decent mileage.
Thus, I’d probably focus my attention in other areas – specifically, driving with more emphasis on fuel conservation – as that will get you more impact.
Since installing headers/dual exhaust on my 2010 5.7 Dodge Hemi 1500 truck, my engine light is on and indicates an O2 sensor problem.As long as the warning light remains on, the MDS feature and remote starter will not work.Should I replace the sensors?
James – It may be that you need to replace the sensor(s), but I’d check to make sure something wasn’t disconnected or damaged during install. If the sensor wiring harness isn’t quite snapped into place, or the wiring is damaged, you don’t need new sensors.
How are the headers working out? Did you do a before and after dyno run?
Will Toyota void warranty on a new 2013 Corolla if I change
He muffler for a high performance muffler.
No. First, because changing the muffler has no meaningful effect on the mechanical components of your vehicle. Second, it’s illegal for any manufacturer to void any warranty just because someone chooses to install a non-factory part.
If, however, the muffler causes damage to the vehicle somehow (because it was installed incorrectly, it’s the wrong size, etc.), that won’t be warrant-able. But that is extremely rare.
i have a 2000 kia sportage automatic 4 cylinder. if i were to add a thrush cherry bomb glasspack muffler onto it, would it decrease my gas mileage? would it make it sound like a truck or weird sound. Would it be bad for a fuel injected car.
jacob – Generally, adding a glasspack to a 4-banger sounds bad. It’s the “fart can” sound that a lot of people seem to hate. As for effecting mileage, it probably won’t push things too much either way.
Unless you’ve got a turbocharged 4-cylinder, or you’re really going for the “sport import” sound, I’d suggest leaving your exhaust system alone. It’s only worth messing with an exhaust when you’re going to get power or cool sound. You’ll get neither with a naturally aspirated 4 cylinder.
Hi Jason! I have a 2006 Honda Fit 1.3L and i want to improve my fuel consumption. Is it advisable for me to install new 4-2-1 headers and muffler? i want to get better fuel efficiency. Thanks!
Martin – My advice is to leave the exhaust manifold alone. The fit is already very fuel efficient, due in no small part to some careful exhaust manifold design. Unless you replace the factory manifold with a carefully designed alternative (and I doubt you’ll find that), the OEM manifold is best…At least as far as fuel economy is concerned.
As for the muffler, you’ll be lucky to see any improvement. The exhaust isn’t really holding that vehicle back.
Thanks for your reply. What if i change the header up to the tailpipe to add power? would it improve my fuel consumption? My fit as of now is just doing 10-11km/L. i want to improve the fuel consumption.
Hi Jason, Im thinking about replacing my stock Air Intake and Exhaust from my 2011 Toyota Tacoma V6 4×4 Pick-up with a TRD Cold Air Intake and Cat Back. Doing this, will it improve the HP and fuel efficiency? I hear both sides that its either a waste of money and can harm the engine, too its worth the buy and will improve the vehicles performance . Need your help to decide whats best.
Dave – Harm your engine? No. Anyone who says that is either a dealership employee or absurdly paranoid. Some people argue that cotton gauze air filters let more particulates into the motor (and cause wear), but I have yet to see anyone prove that. So, like I said, no reason to worry about engine damage. At all. 🙂
As for “waste of money,” you’re going to spend $500+ on an intake and exhaust (maybe twice that if you go TRD), and you’ll get maybe another 10-15hp, maybe another 10-15 lb-ft of torque, and (if you drive conservatively) another 1-2 mpg. To be completely honest, the ROI is poor. You can buy a lot of gas for $1,000, and the extra power won’t make a huge difference in most situations.
However, if you’re looking for some additional fun, the sound of an aggressive exhaust and intake system has a value. I personally have no problem with spending my money that way, but I can see why some argue it’s a waste of money…
Basically, it’s only a waste if you derive no pleasure from the sound or the extra power. 🙂
i recently got a 2010 Hyundai Genesis 4.6. while it is both comfortable and powerful, it could do with better mpg. how much would just cutting the mufflers off and adding straight sections of pipe increase or decrease my fuel efficiency?
Chris – Straight pipes rarely boost performance or fuel economy, at least not on a relatively unmodified street car. I would recommend a set of performance mufflers if you’re looking for sound, and if you’re looking for better gas mileage, I’d probably look at an after-market air filter and an engine tuner…exhaust doesn’t make a huge difference in fuel economy.
I have a 2014 Toyota Tundra with a 5.7 liter V8 and wondered what is the best exhaust system for my truck. Don’t want anything to loud, but maybe hums. Any suggestions?
Robert – TRD’s system is probably the best option if you want something that adds some noise (and a little power) without ruining your commute with drone. I’d go that route if noise is a concern.
A Borla kit is the other option.
My ’07 Ford Taurus SE must have been really restricted. Ford said it makes 12 city 25 highway stock with the 3.0 V6. I replaced the cats, resonator, and muffler with high performance units and it runs 31mph at 65.
Can someone help a Navy Vet ? Have a 2006 Toyota Rav 4 Sport. Muffler started deteriorating on the seams so I switched had the original stock muffler[ 32″ x 14″] taken out and installed with a generic muffler that was about 2/3 [22″ x 10″] the original size. Will this greatly affect the mpg? Would appreciate any feedback.
Forgot to include that it does seem that I am NOT getting better gas mileage, and actually spending more on gas. Could this be true?
Definitely possible. The smaller system will be more restrictive which can reduce the efficiency of the engine.
I’ve noticed you recommend *tuners* and *chips* fairly regularly to increase performance AND MPGs, while maintaining a frugal budget. Which ECU mods, tuners, chips etc would you say offer the best ROI?
Do chips void warranties or harm the engine?
’10 CX9 3.7L – K&N, N1 Dual exhaust
’07 R56 Mini Cooper S – CAI/Short Ram
Chips don’t generally void the warranty. But, if something goes wrong and it can in any way be traced to the chip, the warranty won’t apply. Don’t expect to spend less than $300 on a chip if you want it to be any good. Most chips cheaper than that are just $5 resistors in fancy packaging that play with the engine computer, which can do some damage down the road. My recommendation, if you’re looking to get the right stuff for your vehicle, take it to a local tuner shop.
Never heard of a tuner voiding a warranty. Did hear of a chip voiding the warranty because you actually modified the computer with an aftermarket chip.
Hi changed the catalytic converter on my Toyota camry 1997 v6 I realized a slight loud sound. Is it going to affect my speed and fuel consumption? Need an advice
Reggie – I’m not sure what you’re asking, but if you change your catalytic converter, it should only improve performance. If it doesn’t, it’s probably a good idea to check the oxygen sensors and connectors.
I have a 2011 Subaru Legacy 2.5i. I just did an axle-back swap from stock to a DC Sport muffler. Im wondering would this swap improve my acceleration? It seems to feel improved most when im driving on the highway. Could it be an improvement or just placebo? Thanks in advance!
Gerry – A lot of people notice improved throttle response, and it may be that you notice the improved performance on the highway. If you drive the same route every day, and you tend to notice these things, than I’d say you’re probably picking up on the increase.
I have a 2014.5 Camry SE Hybrid. I am converting the single exhaust to dual because it comes with the dual precut. I am actually doing this just for the looks. Anyway, is it better to install (I already bought the OEM muffler from toyota) it as a dummy/fake just attach to the existing system without cutting holes or really make it as a working exhaust. Any helpful advice is highly appreciated. Thanks
Roger – Hybrid exhaust systems are very carefully designed to be as efficient as possible from the factory. Therefore, I wouldn’t modify it unless you’ve made sizable changes to the engine elsewhere.
Any change could negatively impact fuel economy and performance, so I’d just “fake” it and call it good. 🙂
I have a 95 Chevy k1500 with a 5.7L V8, no cold air intake or anything but what the factory put in it and I get 23 mpg.. my exhaust was rusted so I took it off up to the catalytic converter and now I get 25mpg, I can go 530 miles on a $100.00
pardon my french , but no stinking way do i beleive a 1995 K1500 factory set up or not will NOT get 25 mpg, gotta see the video of filling up, drive 25 miles and fill up again and it only hold 1 gallon for me to believe, baby it for the 25 miles down hill and it still wont get 25 mpg, and as far as 100$ lasting 530 miles , are you buying gas for less than everyone else??? at $3.25 per gallon 100$ will get you 30.77 gallons, . 530 miles on 30 gallons is only 17 mpg. definitely more believable but my 2005 factory set up and in town driven only gets 12 mpg here lately. and before you ask yes i do have the tires properly inflated…LOL
Hah! What he said. Somehow, you’re getting better MPG than the manufacturer even intended! By nearly DOUBLE!?!? Miraculous! You should contact the EPA so they can document your specific case.
I just purchased a new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Crew Cab. The engine is an ecotec 5.3L V8 which shifts to 4 cylinders on the highway. I was wondering with this new truck if the cold air intake, programmer and exhaust will hold true for increasing the fuel efficiency. Also with this ecotec engine will the programmer be beneficial? I never had a mangaflow and was wondering if it will be load running long distance trips on the highway at low RPM’s? Thank you for your help.
TJ – Strictly speaking, you may see a gain in fuel economy by adding a louder exhaust setup, a louder intake, and an after-market chip. However, most new trucks are very carefully optimized for every last MPG. The stock exhausts are fairly free flowing, as are the stock intakes, and the engine programming is tilted to that purpose as well.
Noise reduction still exists, however, and wherever you have noise reduction you have some inefficiency…but it’s likely very small.
My advice? Don’t buy air intakes, exhaust, or programmers for a brand new truck if you’re trying to get better gas mileage. Buy these things because you want more performance or because you want to hear the engine. 🙂
Thank you Jason. I’d like an exhaustive system that will have a growl but be relatively quieter running long distances on the highway. Any ideas? Magnaflow, Dynaflow?
TJ – The trick is to buy a system that doesn’t talk about “aggressive” sound. Look at systems that are marketed as being low or no drone or even “quiet.”
Borla’s systems tend to be a little quieter than Magnaflow/Flowmaster, but they all offer moderate-sounding systems.
Hi again, Jason. This time, I’d like to ask about my ’07 R56 MCS (Mini Cooper S – Turbo.)
I have added a Short Ram Intake, which has definitely reduced the Turbo lag. I can’t speak for HP increase, but there is a noticeable difference in performance. I also can’t speak for the MPGs as it’s a little difficult to stay off the accelerator…
Based on your statements above, having a 1.6l turbo 4 cyl might see more marked increase with aftermarket *stuff.* I was thinking about a cat-back upgrade with higher flowing exhaust. Do you have any experience or details or records of MPG/HP improvement on this car?
CJ – No idea on fuel economy, but most good exhaust manufacturers will provide dyno data to show how their exhaust systems improve upon the vehicle’s performance.
I’d suggest you look into a downpipe…that’s one of the best bolt-on parts you can add to a turbocharged vehicle, at least in terms of performance. I’m not sure what they do to fuel economy, but who cares about that, right? 🙂
Ah yes. But in California, it is difficult to find a CARB downpipe or any after market Cat for that matter… Suggestions for CARB legal, non-over-priced products?
CJ – No, unfortunately. I did a quick search and found a Milltek kit that seems promising:
But I have no idea if it’s CARB legal. I can’t advise you here one way or another, but lots of people decide to ignore the CARB reqs.
I have a 2002 CE2 GLI Mitsubishi Lancer 1.5L looking at around 69kW or 89HP, I’m getting a custom sports muffler tomorrow, (looking forward to it) would anyone have a round idea of the extra power and fuel economy, I read the entire article and it said 4cyl’s get a significant improvement, cheers
Got a 1999 Nissan Altima. A few months ago my flex pipe exhaust was damaged and I think smoke was escaping from there. Due to that there was a louder noise emanating from the engine or below my car. Also I felt my car had lost some power due to the above.
Just a few days ago a different part of the exhaust completely broke off so I immediately took it for repair. The mechanic suggested that I replace the flex exhaust and also the part that was broken. All new after market parts installed, and wow now my car runs quiet as a cat! There has been a significant boost in power also.. and I just love how quiet it runs. I think having a proper exhaust system does make a difference, at least it did to my old Nissan.
A little late here but im about to throw in a flow master super 44 cat back dual out on my 98 ford expedition 5.4 330 how much power & mpg will I get? & also if I install an aftermarket air intake won’t it suck more trash in? Because I take it off road sometimes.
I just put on a outlaw system on my 1500. Do i need to get my truck tuned now?
I have a 1996 chevy cavalier and was thinking about adding a DC Sport muffler. Would that Improve my mpg? (Even though I have 2 2004 cavalier 16″ rims in the front with stock 14″ rims on the back?)
I have a 2011 f150 5.0L that is bone stock. I’m averaging between 18-19 mpg. I’d like to get a little rumble in the exhaust so I am thinking about changing out the factory muffler with a Magnaflow and eliminating my resonator. Will my fuel economy drop or will I lose any power without a resonator?
Jacob – Typically, the gas mileage improves when you add a quality system. If you’re only adding a muffler, it probably makes no difference. A tuned cat-back is the way to go if you want more power/better gas mileage.
I drive a 2006 Mazda MPV. Lately I’ve noticed a dip in effiviency. I have chsnged the plugs, the air cleaner and purged the injectors. No change. Could it be my burnt muffler? The engine is a lil noisier.
evans – A clogged exhaust can certainly impact performance. Sometimes the catalytic converter itself is the issue, sometimes it’s rust. A vacumn test will help you confirm it’s a clogged exhaust, and from there it’s looking for obvious damage or removing the cat and inspecting it.
I am planning to replace the stock with borla pro xs muffler on my 2005 Toyota Corolla S to get decent sporty sound which is not too loud , will this work out?
Senti – As long as you’re open to having a vehicle exhaust that sounds raspy, it will work out just fine. If you want something that sounds deep, you probably won’t find it. 4-cylinders almost always sound like 4-cylinders…a lot of people are disappointed.
Be sure to listen to some vids on Youtube before you buy. 🙂
I’ve recently had a cat back manifold system fitted on my Clio cup 197, im pretty sure some power has been lost. Any thoughts?
Hello, i was wondering if i have a newer mitsubishi lancer and I change anything with the exhaust system or muffler will that void any warranties I have with the vehicle? and what about glass packs? would that be a safer alternative to not void my warranty?
Danger Dan – They’re not going to invalidate your warranty just because you made some mods. See http://www.tundraheadquarters.com/blog/after-market-accessories-new-warranty/ for more info.
electric cars get infinite mpg… or 0 depending on how you look at it…
Hey..!! first of all I liked your article much…thanx for that….
I have Suzuki Swift and i want to have a little more unusual exhaust sound..thats rite..I want have turbo sound and +- 2 Miles change in Mileage is what i can cope with.What kind of Mufflers i can look for. pls help me out.
Ck – Sorry, no specific recommendations. Try to find a tuned cat-back system if you can. If not, find a good quality muffler and you’ll get more sound.
I have a Nissan Altima 2008 looking for something that’s a deep sound and helps saves has any suggestions?
Kevin – Not really. Find a tuned cat-back, and remember that there’s nothing you can do to make a 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder sound like an 8.
I have a Mazda 3 1.6 L activematic.
I replaced my original muffler with a straight flow muffler but my efficiency has gone down and my revolution has increased (is higher) when I lift my foot off the pedal. What is wrong?
sam – Mazda’s use a unique exhaust design that you have to be very careful modifying. Did you buy a muffler that was designed specifically for your specific year and Mazda model? If so, you should complain to the muffler manufacturer.
If not, I’d remove the muffler and find one that was designed specifically for your car. Or put the stock muffler back on.
Mazdas are sensitive due to the nature of their proprietary Skyactive engine technology.
It’s not a designer muffler. I have added an additional resonator and it’s better. I’ll change it back with the stock muffler if I don’t feel comfortable. Thx again
i have 2010 rav4,the muffler is bad and as result the sound of the car is on the high side.Does this affect the fuel economy/consumption.
joseph – Probably not, but if the muffler has deteriorated enough to have a hole in it, it’s possible that the muffler is corroded inside and is therefore restrictive.
Replacement mufflers are relatively cheap – less than $100 for a bare-bones OE replacement – and install isn’t a big expense. If it was me, I’d go over to the local muffler shop, tell them you’re broke, and see what they can do for you (you don’t have to be broke, but it might help you get a good deal).
I have an 97 toyota camry limited i just got to play around with and was wondering if you think it would be a pretty good idea to use a toyota supra exhaust system or unless you have any other types I could use but I don’t want it to sound like a ricer .. just a hefty beffy sound
I have an 97 toyota camry elite edition i just got to play around with and was wondering if you think it would be a pretty good idea to use a toyota supra exhaust system or unless you have any other types I could use but I don’t want it to sound like a ricer fart can .. just a hefty beffy sound
What gains will i have with a magnaflow xl turbo muffler for my elantra 2013.also adding a petformance filter from auto zone ?
I have a 2014 Chevy Silverado with a 5.3 flex fuel. Question 1: will exhaust even sound good? I mean it switches from 8 to 4 cylinders depending on how I drive. And 2nd question. What exhaust will sound good and not hurt my mpg at the same time… I would hate to loose my 18-23 mpg.
1. Yes. It’s a V8. When you put your foot in it, it will sound great. When it’s idling (or running at low RPMs on the highway), you won’t really notice it.
2. If you invest in a cat-back exhaust system that’s tuned for your specific vehicle, you won’t see any loss of performance, fuel economy, etc. Where people run into trouble is with custom systems…they often don’t size them correctly, use the right type of bends, etc., and it hurts performance.
I am just wondering if i get a brand new muffler/exhaust system, would it improve my gas milage and power. I have a 2000 Dodge Caravan. Thank you for your responses.
Cody – Maybe, but probably not much. It’s a minivan, after all.
I have a 2007 Honda Civic to which I’ve fit an HKS aftermarket exhaust. I dont have any other engine mods , and my fuel efficiency has actually dropped.
Aamil – It’s not unheard of. Most of the tuned cat-back systems should have a small (but positive) impact. If you bought a cat-back system specifically for your 07′ Civic, you might just be noticing a drop in fuel efficiency due to the time of year (assuming you’re in North America, where winter fuel mixtures are different and 5-10% less efficient).
But if you went with a custom exhaust using HKS parts, it’s hard to say what will happen. Some custom systems work every bit as well as tuned after-market kits. Other custom systems are poor performers. It depends on the setup.
I Have A Custom Dual Exhaust On My 2007 Dodge Charger RT With Chrome Tips… I’ve Got Rear Ended In A Hit And Run Which Crumpled And Bent My Driver Side Exhaust From The Rear Bumper To The Back Of My Passenger Rear Tire… Can I Just Replace That One Side With A New Pipe And A Chrome Tip Or Both Sides Have To Be Done?…Thanks.
Howard – One side should be fine.
I need advice please. I have a 2013 Chevy silverado and I want exhaust mainly just for the sound. My truck switches from v8 to either 4 or 6 cylinders on the highway. I was told that since my truck switches from 8 to 4 that some exhaust will sound really bad. Any advice on what kinds I should get?
Heather – I’ve heard this comment before, but I don’t think it’s true. It’s hard to imagine someone focusing on how the 4-cylinder sounds…it only comes on when the vehicle is cruising down the highway, and not under load. The engine won’t be making much sound when this happens either way.
Looking for direction…….. I recently purchased a 2016 Tundra Crewmax and am looking to upgrade with the AFE Cold Air IN-Take, KN Air filter and exhaust (open to suggestions). My first question: Do any of these modifications void my factory warranty? Second, is any or all installs worth the investment for performance, mpg, etc? I appreciate any advice or help provided. Cheers
Louis – In order:
1. No. Google ‘magnuson moss’ and after-market parts. There’s a federal law that’s been on the books for 40 years that makes it illegal for a manufacturer to invalidate a warranty.
2. The best investment in terms of dollars per hp is an engine tuner. They offer 20-40 more hp. They usually require you to run premium gas, but if you don’t mind buying premium, that’s your best bet. After that, an air intake and a tuned cat-back exhaust would be next in line. They don’t offer nearly as much power (5-10hp each), but in concert with a good tuner, the combination is good for an extra 30-50hp.
Hi Jason. I have a couple of questions to ask you. First I’m what kind of cold intake should I use for my 2000 Ford Crown Vic V8 police interceptor? Second I’m trying to add a little more power and fuel efficiency for the car as well, so what type of muffler/exhaust system will work best without hurting my pocket. Last but not least spark plugs. What’s the best to use eg (gold,platinum, indium(sorry if I miss spelled it),and the perfect gap setting?
I just bought a 2016 brand new f150 sport series v8 5.0l and had a performance muffler installed
The truck information centre is telling me that i am getting 20 litres per 100 km
That’s horrible and beyond the manufacturer report
I read every where that performance mufflers improve gas consumption so what’s going wrong
Ric – First, the truck is brand new. Generally speaking, brand new trucks don’t get as good of gas mileage as trucks that have a few thousand miles on them.
Second, do not rely on the calculated mileage estimate. The numbers provided by the vehicle computer are very often wrong. Instead, do the math yourself every time you fill up.
Three, did you add any other accessories to your truck when you installed the muffler? Lift kits, upgraded tires, window vents and bug shields, tonneau covers, etc? All of these accessories can impact fuel economy.
I’ll consider your first 2 points which I was told afterwards could be the case
I did not add other accessories other than 2″ bigger wheels from the factory but are there any other accessories I might add to the vehicle that can improve the gas consumption
Thanks for your input and time
hi I have a 2002 gmc sierra 2500hd and i have 2 glass packs i was wondering if i took these out and put a lower rumble on their would i get better gas mpg
TJ – Removing components usually hurts gas mileage. I’d suggest you restriction mufflers, which is basically what you have. So, I wouldn’t mess with it, at least if gas mileage is the main concern.
I drive a 2013 Ford C Max Hybrid and I am considering replacing the factory muffler with a less restrictive one. Is this a good idea or will it mess with the engines back pressure?
Robert – When you have a hybrid vehicle, exhaust modifications are not recommended. Hybrids are carefully tuned and usually as efficient as they can be – even the muffler.
I have a 2016 Nissan Frontier SV Crew Cab v6. What would be the best exhaust system for me? Do I need to also put an intake in? Looking forward to your advice.
Fred – A bolt-on catback system designed specifically for your vehicle is best, provided the manufacturer offers dyno charts to prove hp and torque gain. Generally speaking, you want to look at Borla, Flowmaster, Magnaflow, Corsa, etc.
As for the intake, you want to see proven dyno performance and want to go with a well-known brand (aFe, K&N, etc.).
Finally, consider buying an engine tuner…tuners are probably your best add-on in terms of dollars per horsepower, and they usually have built-in tunes for specific exhaust and intake add-ons.
Thanks for the info. I ordered a MagnaFlow and a K&N Filter. what would be a good tuner to get?
Fred – I’m not sure. Since you’ve got a Nissan, there are probably only a couple of tuners that are compatible. Toyota, Nissan, Honda, etc. “lock up” their engine computer interfaces, which makes it hard for after-market tuners. Ford, GM, and Ram are more liberal in terms of letting 3rd parties access the computer (only this is changing).
Anyways, I’d pick whatever you can find that works for your vehicle at a decent price. The tuners are fairly similar from one brand to the next.
What would be a good exhaust system for a 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 V6?
Sophia – I’m not aware of any systems specifically for the V6. My advice would be to replace the OEM muffler with a properly sized “universal” after-market muffler. You’ll get some more sound of it for not a lot of money, and it might even make more power.
Also, please note that you may have a Pentastar V6. If you do, I do not advise making changes to the exhaust system unless you can get a tuned cat-back specifically for your truck. The Pentastar uses an uber-efficient exhaust design – replacing the muffler (or headers or anything else) will probably just reduce engine power.
You responded to my question regarding my 2011 Dodge Ram. What is your opinion on single exhaust vs. dual exhaust? I was planning to convert to dual exhaust however, I keep getting different opinions. So, what is yours? Thank you Jason & have a blessed day!!!!!!!
Sophia – I wouldn’t put a dual exhaust on a V6, at least not on a truck. Single exhaust systems tend to be a little better for torque.
Like I said, if you’ve got the Pentastar V6, I wouldn’t touch the exhaust system. If you’ve got the 3.7L, you should feel free to upgrade the muffler. That will give you more sound, and perhaps a little more torque/hp. Ideally you would be able to mount a tuned cat-back system, but I do not believe anyone makes a system like that for your engine.
I drive a 2010 Ford F-150 flex fuel 2wd 5.4 engine and I get maybe 14 miles to the gallon. How or what do I do to improve my mileage. I just want to save gas and be able to drive longer.
I have a 2014 F250 crew cab with a 6.2L V8. Behind my factory exhaust system it has a huge resonator, small coffee can resonator, and a huge muffler. Dynomax sells a catback system that reduces all this harware down to a single “pass through” muffler that supports up to 2,000hp and 2,000 SCFM. Do you have any idea what type of efficiency gain I could expect? I average around 11.6 mpg and close to 14 mpg on the highway. I would like to increase this average by 1-1.5 mpg.
Joel – Not much of a gain at all, I’m afraid. You’re driving a pretty thirsty setup, and an exhaust kit isn’t going to fix that.
Usually, exhaust systems boost power and efficiency 1-3%. If we figure 2% gains, than your 11.6mpg average would increase 11.7 or 11.8. You’d also see about 10 more horsepower and 10-15 ft-lbs of torque.
If you want to save gas on your truck: Remove any accessories (like grille guards or bug deflectors) that add drag; Get a set of highway tires; Remove any extra weight you’re hauling around (like sandbags in the bed, a toolbox, etc); Accelerate very, very conservatively.
I have a 2016 wrx and am looking to modify the exhaust. I was looking at catbacks but there are a couple of axle back exhausts too. I was wondering if you could help me answer a few questions regarding these:
1) Is it legal to remove the muffler completely and have a muffler delete axle back system?
2) Do the axle back systems drone? I’ve been looking at quite a few catbacks and a lot of them don’t drone from what I gather.
3) Apart from the cost factor and the ~10HP gain in power, is there a big advantage to moving to a catback rather than just an axle back?
1) Technically, some states/localities have laws regarding muffler deletes and/or exahsut mods. However, it’s more likley you’ll get ticketed for violating local noise ordinances if you delete the muffler.
As I’ve mentioned to other people a few times, mufflers don’t hurt performance if you buy a good one. There’s no good reason to delete a muffler on a street vehicle.
2) Yes, axle back and cat back systems can both lead to drone. But, the issue doesn’t seem to be as big on 4-cylinders as it is on 8-cylinders
3) Cat-back systems have more power, and in the case of a WRX, you might be able to get a downpipe system. But otherwise, yes – the difference is the power vs. the cost.
I have recently had a offbrand magnaflow installed on my 2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 4wd and although it sounds great and have had no problems so far, what are some negative outcomes I may face?
Michael – Probably nothing…if you were going to have a problem, you’d have seen it by now.
Sometimes, if the muffler is installed incorrectly (or if the muffler is not sized correctly), you’ll get a ‘check engine’ light. People also complain about decreased fuel economy (only, to be fair, sometimes that’s just because the car is more fun to drive fast). Finally, noise complaints (and complaints about drone) are the other issue.
If you don’t have any of these problems, you’re good.
I have a 2001 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD with a 6.0 gas all stocked. I get 12-14 mpg and wanting to increase mpg and a little performance, also. It has 175,000 mi. What do you suggest I need to do? It isn’t dualed out. I’m wanting to prep it to do some serious retired RVing. I’m pulling a 31′ bumper-pull RV.
I’d suggest either 1: A tuned cat-back single exit exhaust (which is better for towing), or 2: A muffler upgrade.
Just keep in mind, you could be dealing with drone. Most upgraded exhausts are louder at highway speeds, and that can wear on you if you’re towing.
Have you checked out your tuner options? A lot of tuners promise improved fuel economy and performance…especially on a 2001.
Hey, I have a Subaru Legacy 2.5i and was going to make a customc cat back exhaust through work, that will improve gas mileage still correct?
Noah – A custom system probably isn’t going to work as well as one you buy from an exhaust system manufacturer. Unless you’re replicating the design of a tuned system, you risk hurting performance. Exhaust system tuning is a bit of an art, and part of what you’re paying for when you buy a system from a name brand is tuning and testing that proves the configuration works.
Recently installed a stainless Carven Progressive “Muffler” on my ’14 Hemi Ram 1500 black edition; which is tooooooo L-O-U-D for sane people to run on a street truck… That said, I retained the stock resonators and factory 409 stainless exhaust pipes; no drone has been noted at any RPM or load. Hey, I didn’t say I wasn’t a little crazy.
Anyway, many people here have asked about exhaust drone; which is a sound frequency that is produced by internal combustion engines when under constant load, and at given engine speeds. Some drone may be at low RPM, and some my be at higher RPM; each engine has it’s own character, and drone is a part of that.
A sure fire way to control undesired engine drone, is to use a resonator that is designed for your vehicle’s engine. A good source is to use one that came on your car when new, OR one that is designed for an engine configuration that is similar to what your car has.
A resonator is nothing more than a piece of pipe, that has been enlarged in the middle, and a “Wall”, perforated panal, or woven material inserted; on larger vehicles, old style “Glass packs” can also be used to knock down drone; on smaller vehicles, resonator tips can be utilized. Resonators WILL NOT negatively affect efficiency, but will make the exhaust tone richer.
To help you better understand how resonators can help you tune your exhaust to suit your taste, you just need to search Google for “Resonator design exhaust” or “1/4 wave resonator calculator”, which will help you understand sound shaping better.
Okay so I own a 99 Lincoln Signature touring series town car.
It is a heavy 2tonne beast of a sedan!
I want it to get the best possible fuel mileage, so far I have only been granny footing it and coasting primarily to save gas as well maintaining a given speed for as long as possible.
This is well and good, gets me ‘at best’ 20mpg in the city, and nearly 30 the freeway.
I have been pondering ways to make it very even better fuel mileage.
I’ve used B12 Chem tool to clean out the engine, and Marvel Mystery Oil in the crank case and fuel to improve friction.
I also setup an AC reflow system.
But I am pondering on a cold air intake, chip, maybe even go as far as making an HHO dry cell connected to the air intake, and a performance low cog alternator for reduced drag.
What would you suggest I do to get the best possible fuel mileage of the 4.6ltr v8?
My suggestions would be:
1. Air intakes definitely help with efficiency, but the difference isn’t huge. Same with exhausts. They’re not bad, but they don’t make a huge difference. You might see a couple MPG on the highway, maybe less.
2. Tuners are a different story. If you can find a good fuel efficient tune for your vehicle, you can easily grab another 2-3mpg.
3. Reducing friction and parasitic loss is a good way to go. A good quality alternator, underdrive pulleys, new serp belt and good quality belt-tensioner, all could help.
4. What about shorter gears in the rear end? Pretty sure the Crown Vics from the 2000’s were offered in a couple of rear-end sizes. You might be able to make some hay here, at least on the highway, and all it will cost you is slower acceleration.
5. What about low rolling resistance tires? A drop kit that puts you 2″ closer to the ground? Both of these things could help you pick up a few percentage points.
Finally, HHO is pure unadulterated BS. Unless you drive your conversion kit from a power source other than your alternator, there’s no point. Conservation of energy, and all that.
I have a 2000 Ford Ranger 2WD supercab pickup with the 2.5 liter four. I’m satisfied with its modest stock <120ish horsepower and 140ish torque output, but working to improve fuel economy as much as I can. Living in New England, corrosion resistance is important, so I’ve been investigating stainless exhausts. All of the systems I’ve found thus far are 2.5” diameter, and seemed to be offered at that size for everything from 2.3 fours up to the 4.0 V6, so I’m concerned that this would actually be larger than optimal to improve economy and maintain low-end torque. If I end up getting a custom exhaust made, what diameter would be best?
Chris – My advice would be to match the OEM tubing size. In terms of corrosion, stainless will last longer than aluminized, but I’m not sure that it would be a huge difference…usually aluminized systems last 2-4 years if you periodically wash the undercarriage of your vehicle. On a 2000, 2-4 years is a long time. 😉
2-4 years is nothing, this is the newest truck I’ve ever owned! I’m replacing the frame right now, so I’m looking for a minimum of a decade more out of this truck.
Chris – Understood. In that case, stainless steel for the win!
If you go with stainless, you’ll all but have to get an aftermarket system. I’d get a single exit cat-back system in the smallest size they offer – probably going to be a Gibson, Magnaflow, or Flowmaster kit.
You can have someone build you an exhaust too, and that might be cheaper. They should use the same size as OEM, and mandrel bent tubing if possible…not all muffler repair shops will do that, however, so you might have to call around.
I have a 2015 Dodge Ram Ecodiesel. The truck has more than adequate torque being rated at 420 ft. lbs. However, it is light on horsepower at only 240. Is there a cat back system that you would recommend to increase power for this set up? Given the fact this is a turbo diesel, should I look into a cold air intake or less restrictive air filter?
Thank you in advance!
Joel – Generally speaking, diesel exhaust systems aren’t too restrictive behind the emissions equipment. Instead, it’s the emissions equipment itself (particularly the diesel particulate filter) that’s the restriction. I do not advocate removing these devices, but people who do see tremendous gains in power.
If you’re looking for ways to get more power out of your truck, I’d start with a diesel engine tuner, and then I’d look at a downpipe. An air intake might be a good idea too, but I haven’t seen that make a huge difference on newer diesels. Check out PerformanceTruckProducts.com – they’ve got great prices and a huge selection of parts for diesels.
Can you recommend an exhaust system for an ’04 b2300 pickup with 2.3L engine,and automatic transmission.
I’m looking for the most available MPG.
In the course of further online research, I found a neat exhaust size calculator: http://www.mk5cortinaestate.co.uk/calculator5.php
According to that, a 1-3/4″ exhaust would suit my 119hp 2.5L Ranger and a 1-7/8″would suit the 143hp 2.3 in the newer Rangers and B2300 trucks. Since I want to go stainless, and the available stainless systems all seem to be 2-1/2″ (better suited to the V6 models) I will be getting a custom system made when the time comes.
Aaaron – For a 4 cylinder pickup, the exhaust probably isn’t a restriction. If you want to increase fuel economy, I’d suggest an air intake, synthetic oil (less friction), highway tires (also less friction), and removing accessories (mud flaps, bug deflectors, racks, etc.) that make your truck less aerodynamic.
I have a 2014 dodge ram i went to put headers i already have duels but with the headers will i get more power and better fuel I also have a a k&n filter force air intake what else can i do
John – Usually headers add horsepower, but some designs (like long-tube headers) do so at the expense of low-end torque. Shorty headers are good for increasing torque, but they usually reduce peak horsepower. So, it depends.
In terms of mods, I’d recommend a tuned cat-back exhaust, an air intake, a programmer, and a taller rear end (if you’re trying to maximize 0-60). Beyond that, forced induction is a good option – lots of great superchargers available if you’ve got a HEMI, and there are superchargers for the 3.6L too if that’s what you have.
What should I get for 2001 Chevy Prizm?
Howard – I wouldn’t recommend anything more than a performance muffler. That particular vehicle doesn’t have a lot of aftermarket support.
2000 Chevy Impala 3.4 can I add a dual exhaust with quiet mufflers
David – No. You have a 2000 Impala with a 3.4L V6, and no one makes dual exhausts for that car.
I’d suggest saving up for a different vehicle – something that has more performance options.
2007 Legacy 2.5i, want an exhaust that sounds nice (better than stock), and be able to improve fuel economy. i dont know jack about exhausts, any suggestions???
Zachary – If you can afford it, a tuned cat-back exhaust system is what you want. They’re a bit pricey ($800+) but they’re worth it.
If that’s not affordable, than a replacement muffler is the next best thing. It won’t sound amazing or anything like that, but it will sound better.
Just listening to different people talking about better gas mileage with Cool air systems, exhaust systems, headers and other things. I have a 2018 Dodge Durango GT. Not looking for any more horsepower, just checking to see if there a way to get better mpg. I also have two different driving modes. Economy and Sport. Of course Sport uses more fuel.
Wendell – You can try out an upgraded air filter (they can improve fuel economy at a decent cost), a tuner/programmer with a “gas savings” mode, and then some standard things like checking your tire pressure, getting any extra/unnecessary weight out of the vehicle, removing any accessories that cause drag, and driving more conservatively (accelerating more slowly, avoiding speeds over 55-60mph). These are all good tricks for increasing gas mileage.
Getting a vehicle smaller and more gas friendly works too! 🙂
Interested in buying an Ark catback exhaust for my car 2018 Honda hatch will it lower my mpg ?
Yazmin – Maybe, but it won’t be a lot. If you’re doing it to save money, it’s not a good return on investment. If you’re doing it because you want it to sound cool, than a slight gas mileage benefit could be yours.
However, most people drive their vehicles harder when they sound better. 🙂
what would the best exhaust system be for my 2012 civic coupe? looking to spend no more than 300 bucks?
Interested in buying a catback ARK exhaust for my Honda hatch and want to know if it’ll decrease my mpg’s or help improve them ?!
Yazmin – Probably won’t make much difference either way. Most exhaust systems have a small impact on performance and efficiency, so it’s about the sound and the look as much as anything else. Still, if you’re trying to squeeze all the efficiency out of the engine, it will help…maybe 1 or 2 mpg.
I have a 1997 Honda Civic I just recently took my muffler off and my gas mileage has gone down a lot is it because I took off the muffler
I have a 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium and I’m looking for a exhaust that will increase Mileage and also give me extra sound. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.