How to Buy Car Exhaust Parts

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How to Buy Car Exhaust Parts

Car exhaust parts include any parts for the car's fuel exhaust system, which is used to guide gasses and smoke away from the engine. Purchasing car exhaust parts includes getting parts that match the make and model of the car, deciding which parts have to be replaced, and checking the appropriate size and length of the parts needed. Many are customised to the make and model of the vehicle and must be purchased accordingly.

There are many different parts that go into each exhaust system so buyers must decide if they plan to replace the whole system or just part of it. Important considerations include the diameter and volume of the exhaust pipe, the curve and size of the pipe as it fits under the car, and of course the specifications for air and heat management. Buyers can usually find these ratings in the description of the product when bought online or the box before purchasing any car exhaust parts.

Knowing the Parts of a Car Exhaust System

There are various parts in each exhaust system and sometimes the parts differ across brands and makes of vehicles. Catalytic converters are not present in all makes and models of exhaust systems and neither are catalytic converter backs. Buyers should always take the car to a professional mechanic or look at it themselves to decide which parts are present and which must be replaced. Anyone who is building a custom exhaust system should simply choose a correct size based on the dimensions under the vehicle.

Cylinder Head

The cylinder head is the part of the exhaust system that sits over the cylinder block. The system uses a series of gaskets to seal against the top of the cylinders to form the combustion chamber, which then allows exhaust to vent into the manifold and then out through the exhaust system. Different engines require different numbers of cylinders and therefore different numbers of cylinder heads. Most inline engines for automobiles use a single cylinder head to span all of the cylinders but many larger vehicles require a cylinder head per cylinder. Most cams used today are dual overhead cams or overhead cams, which means that intake and exhaust valves are located on the head rather than on the block. Some very old engines might have valves located on the block but these are very rare. Replacing cylinder heads usually requires replacing the gaskets and valves with the head and these should be matched precisely to the size of those on the engine.


The manifold is traditionally made of cast iron and is the entry part of the exhaust system. Usually the manifold funnels smoke, gas, and air from around the engine into the exhaust system. Standard manifolds are made to use the least amount of metal and to be produced as cheaply as possible. Extractor manifolds are made to be as efficient as possible without regard to weight or cost. Usually extractor manifolds are installed as aftermarket or custom improvements. Extractors can sometimes be purchased from dealerships, custom shops, and online stores that deal in a variety of items including car exhaust parts.


A turbocharger is used to increase engine power but is not always present in exhaust systems. The device essentially works as a forced induction mechanism, forcing a better air-to-fuel ratio into the engine and forcing exhaust out. Some cars also have a supercharger, which is less effective but more responsive. Cars with both systems are known as 'twin chargers'.

Catalytic Converter

While not always present in older models of cars, the catalytic converter is required by law in most areas. Anyone who is replacing an exhaust system should install one even if it is not already present. Catalytic converters can be purchased as three-way converters and are easily installed into the exhaust system. Purchasing a catalytic converter also requires the purchase of a cat-back or catalytic converter back to vent air. Usually piping required for catalytic converters is larger in diameter than that required for other systems.


The header back is produced for automobiles with an extractor manifold rather than just a manifold. The part connects the header's final vent to the outlet that leads to open air. While the exhaust manifold is not present in all exhaust systems, buyers should consider installing the connections.

Tailpipe and Exhaust

Tailpipe and exhaust parts are the most common exhaust parts to require replacing. These parts include the silencer, the tube running out under the car, and the physical air vent. This part of the exhaust system must be measured and cut to fit the car and must be solidly attached in place to avoid being lost while driving. The silencer should meet regional quality specifications, and the pipe should be protected with a thermal layer if exposed, such as on a truck.

Because this part of the exhaust system is visible, many people choose to upgrade it, fit it with chrome or custom tips, and sometimes attach a twin tailpipe heading over the pipe. Each of these options adds to the decorative value of the vehicle but does not make it more efficient. Important considerations for installing modified tailpipes include that the tailpipe be protected from water and rust, that the pipe not be easy to touch, and that the exhaust vents properly.

Choosing a Car Exhaust System

Choosing an car exhaust parts should involve taking measurements and deciding which parts are necessary for the vehicle. Experts recommend that nearly any exhaust system can be installed in any vehicle as long as it is cut properly, the gaskets chosen according to the size of the engine cylinders, and the entire system installed securely so that it does not come out while driving. Many exhaust systems are made specifically for the make and model of the car and many can be ordered to be tailor made to the specifications of the buyer. Anyone who is purchasing exhaust parts should measure the car from the start of the exhaust to the tailpipe.

Car Make and Model

Because many cars feature slightly different engine placements, the exhaust system could be optimised by placing it around the engine. In this case, it is a good idea to purchase an original exhaust pipe either new or used from the same make and model of the car. As stated above, this can be worked around by simply having one custom made but this can be expensive. Buyers can look online for used mufflers or contact the factory to get new ones.

New or Used

Choosing between new or used car exhaust parts can be slightly difficult for buyers who do not know the benefits of each. However, new exhaust systems are likely to last longer but can be a great deal more expensive. Some exhaust systems intended for older models of cars might not be available new if the factory is no longer producing those cars. Many exhaust systems are removed from cars that have been wrecked or damaged and are put up for sale. Normally buyers can save money by purchasing a used exhaust system or exhaust parts but it is important to check to ensure they are in good condition before the purchase.

Full or Partial Replacement

Another thing that buyers should consider when purchasing car exhaust parts is that it is possible to replace the entire exhaust system or simply a faulty part. Many people also choose to upgrade the exhaust systems of their cars in order to increase performance. In this case, buyers should ensure that the new system is fitted with a catalytic converter in order to comply with air pollution regulations before purchasing the parts.

Buying Car Exhaust Parts on eBay

There is a range of car exhaust parts available on eBay,, including individual gaskets and parts as well as full systems, in both new and used conditions. eBay includes a great deal of different items such as specific make and model systems and parts as well as customisable options that can be installed in any car. Buyers can choose to purchase custom options that range from chrome to twin tailpipes as well depending on their preference.

Try searching for either the design or style that you would like and browse through options. Once you find a part that you need for your car, read the full description and contact the seller with any questions you might have. It is also important to check the shipping as some large parts might be too heavy to post. In this case, you can choose a local eBay seller and then simply drive and collect the part.


Buying car exhaust parts requires knowing which parts must be replaced and which parts fit in the car. Knowing the make and model of the vehicle as well as any special measurements, the number of cylinder heads required, whether or not the engine uses a turbocharger, any special fittings, and the length of the tail and exhaust pipes are all very important. Most of the information can be found by looking at the model already in the vehicle, checking the owner's manual, or asking a professional to look at the system.

Buyers can choose to purchase exhaust system parts from car mechanics, from vehicle parts and accessories shops, or at an online store such as eBay.. Options include purchasing custom looks such as chrome or detailed tailpipes, purchasing different systems and different pipe widths, and choosing between new or used exhaust systems. Most buyers should consider all of the above information when purchasing the parts they need for the exhaust systems of their cars.

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