Drivers, especially young men, simply love to modify their cars. Be it a gas pedal shaped like a foot, or a full blown performance suspension system, the urge to personalize ones vehicle is sometimes uncontrollable. One such modification that I’ve seen done on everything from Vega’s to Viper’s is the addition of a new muffler and or new exhaust system. Performance wise a new exhaust will only get you marginal, if any performance gains. However from a “look at me” perspective, dollar for dollar they’re hard to compete with. Budget minded import cars like the Honda Civic and Mitsubishi Lancer usually run with whatever is on sale at their local Pep Boys or Autozone. The mufflers, when looked at carefully are actually quite amusing as most of them have large 3″ to 4″ tips that do absolutely nothing except give off that annoying “fart can” melody.
Muscle car guys generally tend to pony up a few more bucks for mufflers and go with a nice set of Dynomax or Flowmasters. However, they will then attach them to some crappy old non-mandrel bent tubing, which then eliminates any benefit they would’ve have incurred by just doing it right. Then there are the exotic and high performance crew. These guys have the cash and do it right with a full system from the headers back. This gets them decent performance gains, a great sound and most of all, a great quality product.
Honestly, I can’t say that doing any of the above modifications is wrong as it all depends on your budget and what you expect from the end result. Personally, I tend to leave new cars stock, as the only thing new exhausts tend to do are annoy me as I’m trying to listen to the radio. So how about ya’ll – are you into stock, slightly modified or a full-blown exhaust system?