After Market Exhaust Systems for Cars

While participating in the Silver State Classic Challenge this year in September I had a chance to shadow some of the seasoned safety / compliance inspectors. I realize that many cars participating in the event were equipped with after market exhaust systems. While I always thought this was more done for the sound effects, I learned of the significant performance enhancements these aftermarket exhaust systems can offer.

Aftermarket exhaust systems for cars can have both pros and cons. These systems are popular among car enthusiasts who want to enhance the performance and sound of their vehicles. However, there are considerations to be aware of before installing an aftermarket exhaust system. Here are some of the pros and cons:


  1. Improved Performance: Aftermarket exhaust systems can enhance a vehicle’s performance by reducing exhaust backpressure. This can lead to increased horsepower and torque, which can result in better acceleration and overall engine performance.
  2. Enhanced Sound: Many car enthusiasts enjoy the deeper and more aggressive sound produced by aftermarket exhaust systems. They can give your car a unique and sporty tone, which can be appealing to some.
  3. Aesthetic Appeal: Some aftermarket exhaust systems come with visually appealing components, such as polished tips or unique designs. These can enhance the overall look of your car and add a custom touch.
  4. Weight Reduction: Some aftermarket exhaust systems are designed to be lighter than stock systems, contributing to reduced vehicle weight and potentially improving handling and fuel efficiency.
  5. Customization: Aftermarket exhaust systems offer a wide range of options, allowing you to tailor your car’s exhaust system to your specific preferences.


  1. Noise Levels: While the enhanced sound is a pro for some, it can be a con for others. Aftermarket exhaust systems can be significantly louder than stock systems, which can lead to noise complaints, discomfort during long drives, and potential legal issues in some areas.
  2. Cost: High-quality aftermarket exhaust systems can be expensive, both in terms of the system itself and the installation costs. This can be a significant drawback for some individuals.
  3. Emissions and Regulations: Some aftermarket exhaust systems may not comply with local emissions regulations, and installing them can lead to legal issues. It’s essential to be aware of and adhere to local laws and regulations.
  4. Reduced Backpressure: While reducing backpressure can increase performance, it can also impact low-end torque. This might lead to a need for higher engine RPMs to achieve optimal power, potentially affecting daily driving.
  5. Installation and Maintenance: Installation can be complicated and may require professional assistance, which can add to the cost. Additionally, aftermarket exhaust systems might require more frequent maintenance and replacement due to the nature of the materials used and the environment they are exposed to.

Ultimately, the decision to install an aftermarket exhaust system should be based on your personal preferences, the type of driving you do, and your local regulations. Make sure to research and choose a system that aligns with your goals and consider the potential drawbacks and costs associated with customization.

By, April Fischer, Technology Specialist.

April Fisher is a field reporter with expertise in the automotive industry. April also coverers technology used in construction when she is not out and about racing her 1997 RED Corvette and covering the automotive industry.

April Fischer, Field Reporter for Utah Channel 3, participating in open-road events sponsored by (short term rentals).