15 Common Mistakes When Installing Aftermarket Exhausts

Installing aftermarket exhausts can be incredibly exciting. The feeling of anticipation knowing that your vehicle is going to sound and perform like a beast is often overwhelming. However, it’s crucial not to get too wrapped up in this excitement and allow it to lead to mistakes during installation. 

Many gear heads make several common mistakes when installing aftermarket exhausts. In this article, we’ll examine these mistakes in an effort to help you avoid them. 

The Wrong Kit

It’s impossible to perform the proper installation if you order the wrong kit. Make sure all the specs are correct when you’re placing your order for your aftermarket exhaust. Once you make your selection, be sure to double and triple-check to avoid any headaches later. 

Too Big

Many car owners make the mistake of choosing the biggest pipe for their vehicle they can find. However, this is an easy way to kill your vehicle’s performance. When the pipe is too big, the air may not flow out of the exhaust fast enough because of the large amounts present. 

Lifting Your Car

When you’re installing an aftermarket exhaust on your car, it’s mandatory that you place your vehicle on a lift to finish the job. It’s crucial that you use the proper type of lift that’s going to properly support your vehicle and keep you safe. 

Factory Pipe Cooling

Aftermarket exhausts should only be installed once your factory pipes have cooled. If you’ve been driving your vehicle, make sure the pipes are efficiently cooled all the way before you handle them to avoid burns. 

Lost Components 

Make sure all of your components are sorted before you begin installing any aftermarket exhaust. The easiest way is to spread them out and separate them, ensuring you can visualize everything you have and keep it organized. 

Reusing Non-Reusable Gaskets

When you remove gaskets from an old exhaust, you should never reuse them on new aftermarket exhausts. This can lead to performance failure later after you complete the installation. 

Fully Tightening Mounting Bolts

Make sure that you fully tighten the mounting bolts on the new exhaust system once it’s installed. Nothing should be loose or moving around too much after it’s mounted. 

Leaving Labels or Plastic Wrap

You should never leave labels or plastic wrap on any new aftermarket exhaust components. This can cause them to melt and damage the parts they’re attached to. 

Intermingling Parts

You should never intermingle competitors’ parts once you install a certain brand. Mixing parts can lead to failure or complications after you begin installing. 

Check for Damage

Even if you buy brand new parts for aftermarket exhausts, you should check for damage before you begin working. Anything with damage can be returned to the manufacturer for an exchange or refund. 

Check New and Old

When you’re installing any type of new parts, always make sure the old parts surrounding them are in good shape. This will significantly affect the way the entire setup functions. 

Check Silhouette

Check your vehicle’s silhouette. The top of the exhaust should not be visible when you’re viewing your car from the side. 

Torque for Clamps

Make sure the torque for your clamps is adjusted high enough to provide a proper seal. All seals need to be completely airtight.  

Outlet End

Make sure the parts are installed so that the outlet end is facing the right way. Most parts are marked so you can verify the correct facing-end. 


Double-check to be sure your vehicle hasn’t been modified in a way that voids the catalog listing. Things like engine swaps would be included on this list of modifications. 

Installing aftermarket exhausts can be intimidating at first, and familiarising yourself with all of the parts and the process can help provide relief. Slow down, do an inventory of everything you’re working with, and follow this list of things to avoid. 

When you’re aware of the elements that can potentially bring you problems, it’s easier to avoid any major hang-ups. In the end, this will lead to a more efficient and smoother installation and a better-performing vehicle. 

For the latest and greatest aftermarket exhausts, head over to Empire Performance and check out the best quality performance parts.

Author: Brandon Park