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The Three Main Types of LifAftermarket exhaust systems are among the most popular performance upgrades for gearheads today. These high-performance systems offer increased horsepower by eliminating the power-robbing restrictions found in standard equipment. In this post, we'll cover the three main types of aftermarket exhaust systems and explain the benefits of each.


In a header-back exhaust system, you're basically replacing the entire system. This includes every component from the header collector to the tailpipes. The advantage of this is that you now have the opportunity to enlarge the diameter of your entire exhaust system. This larger diameter permits a greater flow of exhaust gas, which can improve your car's overall performance. Plus, when you replace your entire system, you can eliminate bottlenecks in the exhaust system, providing better engine performance and even better fuel economy.

The obvious drawback is that a header-back exhaust system can be more complicated and expensive to install than other types. While it's not uncommon to see header-back exhaust systems sold as an installation kit, that doesn't eliminate the need for precision and expertise. After all, you're rebuilding your car's exhaust system, and that will likely require the assistance of a skilled mechanic.


A cat-back exhaust system replaces your exhaust components from the catalytic converter back. This means that you'll typically be replacing your muffler and tailpipe, though you may also be replacing a mid-pipe, X-pipe, H-pipe, or Y-pipe in some vehicles.

The most immediate benefit of a cat-back exhaust system is its ease of installation. Unlike the comprehensive replacement of a header-back kit, a cat-back exhaust system only replaces a few components. At the same time, these simple replacements yield a significant gain in horsepower, which means that a cat-back system will provide a substantial return on your investment.

A cat-back exhaust system will also ensure better exhaust flow, which can improve the efficiency of your engine, which translates into better fuel economy. Further, because they retain the use of stock catalytic converters, cat-back exhaust systems are emissions-legal. These benefits make it easy to understand why cat-back systems are among the most popular aftermarket replacements on the market today.


An axle-back exhaust system replaces all components from the rear axle to the exhaust tip. That usually includes the muffler and tailpipe, as well.

The advantage is that an axle-back exhaust system will provide improved power over stock components, as well as providing an opportunity to modify the sound of your vehicle. Best of all, low cost and easy installation make this a reliable choice for car enthusiasts. It's also a more cost-effective choice compared to header-back or cat-back exhaust systems.

In Conclusion

Aftermarket exhaust systems make excellent additions to your vehicle, offering increased performance, better fuel economy, and the ability to customize the sound of your car. The exact performance will depend on your exhaust kit and the make and model of your car. Finally, some car enthusiasts may wish to get assistance when replacing their entire exhaust system with a header-back kit.

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