Tips to picking the right exhaust for you
So you’ve decided to buy an exhaust system for your vehicle. If you’ve never done so before, you probably know someone who has made this upgrade or you happened to be down at the dealer when a modified car or truck like yours rolled by. Whatever your motivation, it’s a great idea.
If you have made such a purchase in the past, the first thing you want to consider before purchase is how loud the exhaust will be once installed. Will it be so loud that it drones you out of the vehicle or makes it impossible to talk to a passenger or listen to the radio? In addition, you’ll want to know how hard it is to install and if the materials used will look good and last long. All good questions.
So the question becomes – how to I form a realistic opinion with so many exhaust systems to pick from?
YouTube has become the go-to site for folks wanting to see and hear what a specific exhaust will sound like on a vehicle like yours. Best of all, most quality manufacturers will offer up not only a dedicated YouTube channel for the brand that features their kits on similar vehicles to yours, but also place these links on their product pages so you don’t have to search for these videos.
Check out the customer videos that are posted on YouTube. These are often the most honest input you can have from folks who have installed the product and are living with the vehicle. This is an excellent source of information.
It is important to note that YouTube videos are not perfect. They will give you a basis of comparison when looking at different companies. Always look at the vantage point of the camera to see if it is close or far away from the car. In combination with the general descriptions of the exhaust, you can discern if the system is mild, loud or race worthy. With the loudest exhausts, you need to consider if loud exhaust could be an issue for you. Loud exhaust can not only irritate the apartment complex folks but your girlfriend/spouse/wife a well.
Forums are a great place to garner opinions about exhaust products. The key is to take the consensus of all the comments to determine the general attitude towards a company or their products. Forum contributor opinions could be due to their personal loyalty, deals they have received from manufacturers or, hopefully, they have years of exhaust experience and can provide insightful commentary.
If a manufacturer has signed to sponsor a specific forum, they believe in the opinion building that happens on that platform. That lends credibility to the site and the manufacturer. It is not a bad idea to review the sponsors on a site as a starting point to search for those exhaust systems. From there, read the threads or start one yourself and see what happens.
There is nothing like word of mouth. Your local mechanic can give invaluable direction with regards to exhaust products. They can add input on ease of installation, overall sound, drone issues and product quality/durability. Ask if the mechanic has any installations planned for the near future so you can be present to look at the product first hand. That speaks volumes.
If you belong to a club, talk with folks who have installed aftermarket exhaust systems. If you don’t, find where car folks get together and ask their opinions. Car folks love to talk about cars and many have some solid thoughts that could be helpful.
Car Magazines have websites that can be searched to locate information about exhaust upgrades – and other modifications that go hand in hand with exhaust changes. It is important to know however, that magazines are driven by advertising and rarely criticize the products they write about if it includes and advertiser. That makes the information biased but sometimes you can learn few tips about installation and quality from the text and photos.
As the adage goes, opinions are like $@#*&%# – everyone has one – and you will too after your research. And don’t forget the little guys, as you could find a gem in the rough. Like Legato Performance – but that’s our opinion!