There are endless manufacturers and endless shops trying to sell you a cat-back exhaust system for your car – But is it worth changing your exhaust? Why would you change it?
Lets address the elephant in the room first. You are probably not going to get a power increase by changing your original cat-back exhaust for a “performance” cat back exhaust system (assuming the rest of the exhaust system is stock)
If its not for power then why are there so many companies trying to sell you one?
Warranty – First, and probably the one factor that applies to everyone, gearhead or not. The majority of exhaust systems from the factory are made from mild steel. Sooner or later the original cat back will need replacing. If you are going to change the exhaust you can either change it for another mild steel exhaust or you can change it for an exhaust that looks nicer and will last for the life of the car.
Sound – If you want to hear the engine, changing the exhaust is probably the route that most people go down. However, you now have the option of putting a valve in the exhaust so it is quite when you want it and loud when you want it. So a reason not to get a performance exhaust.
Weight – probably the most expensive reason to change the exhaust. A titanium exhaust will usually save big weight over the factory exhaust. If you change to an exhaust which deletes silencers, this can also save a lot of weight.
Looks – Depends on if your exhaust tip is visible. A lot of modern cars have the exhaust tips built into the rear bumper so changing the exhaust changes absolutely nothing on the looks front. However if your exhaust tip is visible, a performance exhaust usually looks a hundred times better than the original exhaust.
Cat Back Exhaust System Summary
Weight, warranty and maybe looks, the reasons to change your cat back exhaust.
However if you have changed your downpipe, manifold, catalyst then it is a different story. If you get rid of the restriction in front of the car back the cat back becomes the restriction.
Restriction is bad.