What Is A Straight Pipe Exhaust System And Is It Any Good?

What exactly is a straight pipe exhaust system and what benefits does it have? Will you have cool flames coming out of your exhaut? Here's a guide for you.

It is very straightforward (pun intended) what a straight pipe exhaust system is.

But why would anyone opt for straight piping their car?

Does it have any advantages?

Does it have disadvantages?

How does it differ from other exhaust systems?

We will go through all these questions and give a better insight if it is worth straight piping a car.

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What Is A Straight Pipe Exhaust?

Cars from the factory must adhere to several regulations regarding environmental regulations.

To adhere to these rules and regulations, car manufacturers, especially European ones, add different particulate filters, mufflers, resonators, and catalytic converters (also called cats).

While these things help with lowering the emissions, it also reduces exhaust flow slightly but also suppresses the sound of the exhaust.

Car enthusiasts who love hearing their engine roar when driving, combat this by either buying a new, more optimal exhaust or deleting the muffler, catalytic converter, or everything in between. 

A straight pipe exhaust is, as the name suggests, just a straight pipe acting as an exhaust pipe.

This means after combustion takes place, the exhaust gases run out the exhaust manifold through a straight pipe without a resonator, muffler, or catalytic converter.

The result is an extremely loud car with a little extra horsepower.

Related:How Does A Car Engine Work?

Other Types Of Exhaust Systems

It is worth noting that some people call a simple muffler delete a straight pipe. This is not technically true, instead, this is simply a muffler delete.

There are different types of exhaust systems that are named depending on the extent of the exhaust system is modified from the factory specification.

For example, a cat-back exhaust will replace the exhaust from the catalytic converter to the end, while a turbo-back system will replace everything from the outlet of the turbocharger (if applicable).

These aftermarket systems come with new, more “sporty” catalytic converters, mufflers, and so on. A straight pipe is just a straight pipe with no catalytic converters, mufflers, or resonators.

Should You Straight Pipe A Car?

There are a few advantages as well as disadvantages to straight piping a car.

In the end, it comes down to personal preference, but it is worth noting that a straight pipe exhaust is illegal in most states.


The main reason why people straight pipe their cars is due to the sound. Some people love hearing a straight piped exhaust system screaming its way through the traffic.

Another advantage is an increase in horsepower due to the reduced backpressure.

A straight pipe can be achieved by simply cutting the unwanted components and welding a straight pipe to replace them.

This means that is very cheap to straight pipe a car, we are talking about $100 to $200 maximum, and that is on the high end if you let a professional do it.

Some people prefer a special kind of metal or piping from a special manufacturer which will pump up the price a bit, but this is not necessary.


Some people may underestimate how loud a straight pipe exhaust is.

It may be so loud, that many may opt by putting the resonator and mufflers back.

Highway driving may also be an issue as you constantly are exposed to loud sounds.

A straight pipe exhaust will be prone to drone – additional vibration to the loud exhaust. Driving with exhaust drone can be uncomfortable, especially if you do long trips.

Another big disadvantage is that a straight pipe is illegal in most, if not all states. This puts you at a big risk of getting pulled over and fined.

No one will mistake your straight pipe exhaust for something else, especially not an experienced police officer. You should therefore have in mind that you will be pulled over sooner or later.

Also, without a catalytic converter, the car is releasing poisonous gases into the environment.


A straight pipe exhaust system is an exhaust system consisting of only a straight pipe without a catalytic converter, muffler, or resonator.

This results in an extremely loud exhaust system that also gives a few extra horsepower, but it also comes with disadvantages.

Driving a straight piped car will produce drone. You will feel vibrations accompanied by the loud sound, something that many may consider uncomfortable, especially for longer rides.

Keep in mind that a straight pipe exhaust system is illegal in most states and harms the environment.

Straight piping a car is very cheap, you simply replace all the components with a straight pipe and weld it in.

Before you consider straight piping a car, you should consider buying an aftermarket muffler, or at least delete one part at a time if you are determined that you want the exhaust to be louder.

Note that many states require having a muffler in the exhaust system. If you want to go the legal way, which you should, it is best to buy good aftermarket parts instead.

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Bajro Muric

Bajro is a big car enthusiast with a love for writing and teaching. He writes about anything regarding cars - from common problems and fixes to racing.