How to Replace Exhaust

How to Replace Exhaust

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Knowing how to replace your car’s exhaust can save you a great sum of money. You might need or choose to replace the exhaust on your car for a variety of reasons. Some drivers can own a car and not need to replace its exhaust for the life of the car. The exhaust is designed to push the harmful gases exiting your engine out of the car. It is illegal to drive your car with no exhaust, and if you decide to purchase an aftermarket exhaust, be sure to check that it is indeed legal in your specific state.

When an exhaust breaks or starts leaking, your car will start sounding louder and more obnoxious. On top of producing noise, an exhaust leak can highly affect the performance of your car. Another reason to replace your exhaust is to get a less-restrictive aftermarket exhaust, which allows the gases to exit your engine freely and flow smoothly. Stock exhausts can be rather small, which creates a bottleneck as the gases push through it. This restriction is called back pressure, which happens when the gases get stuck and go back toward the engine as more gas tries to exit. Back pressure takes away from the potential of your engine’s performance, but that’s not all; a restrictive exhaust and back pressure can cost you extra fuel as the engine works harder just to get the harmful gases out. Aftermarket exhausts can add up to 20 horsepower and can noticeably reduce your fuel consumption.

Most cars have similar exhaust systems and replacing them should be very similar. The only difference from one vehicle to another will be bolts and bracket sizes. If your new exhaust doesn’t come with new bolts and brackets, then be sure to save the old ones so you can install them again. Read on to learn how to replace your exhaust.

Tools Required:

Jack stands
Socket set

Step 1 – Jack up your car

Jack up both the front and rear of your car. Start by jacking up one side, secure it with two jack stands, and then jack up the other side and secure it with two jack stands as well.

Step 2 – Disconnect exhaust from manifold

Start at the connection between the exhaust and the exhaust manifold. This is toward the engine side, at the front of the car. Follow the exhaust to the front of the car. There should be two connections, as there is one exhaust manifold on each side of the lower side of the engine. Each connection will be held in place by two or more bolts and nuts. Remove the bolts and nuts to disconnect the exhaust from the manifold.

Step 3 – Remove exhaust brackets

It is recommended you ask a friend for help. Have the friend hold the exhaust as you remove the brackets. If you don’t have a friend handy, start by removing the brackets one at a time, and be aware of the exhaust so it doesn’t fall on you. If you’re strong or have a helping hand, you can remove the brackets and drop the exhaust as a whole; however, if you are alone, feel free to disconnect the exhaust parts from each other. The exhaust is split in three parts: the part right behind the exhaust manifold, the middle piece, and the rear piece.

Each piece is connected to the next by two bolts and two nuts. The brackets are connected to the top, so remove the brackets to drop the exhaust.

A lot of vehicles have hooks that serve as brackets, so you will need to unhook them to drop the exhaust.

Step 4 – Install new exhaust

Installation is the reverse of removal.

Have your friend hold the exhaust in place as you install the brackets. Then connect each exhaust piece to the next one and end with the connection between the exhaust and the exhaust manifold at the front of the engine. Make sure everything is securely in place.

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