Straight Pipe Cost Guide for 2021

With straight piping, adding extra performance and sound to your car or truck has never been easier.

As the name implies, straight piping adds a direct connection between your exhaust tips and your engine, ridding the middlemen that are mufflers, resonators, and catalytic converters.

Eliminating manufacturer-installed components leaves the straight pipe exhaust in charge of transporting fumes from your engine through the rear. Without the restrictions, this results in a much louder sounding exhaust system.

However, with important components removed, installing a straight pipe is a job that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Whether installing a straight pipe yourself or leaving it to the professionals, it’s best to research the subject first.

We called various automotive shops to gather price quotes on various vehicles. Here’s what we found!

How Much Does a Straight Pipe Cost?

The modification wholly changes how your car or truck feels at a surprisingly low upfront cost.

A straight pipe exhaust cost can range widely from just over $100 to over $2,500.

While it usually doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, many variables must be considered when looking for a straight pipe cost estimate.

DIY kits vs pre-built systems, labor costs, specialized tooling, and hidden expenses must all be factored in.

How Much Does It Cost to Straight Pipe a Car?

Straight piping can be a varied experience based on what car you have and what method of straight piping you choose.

On average, the cost to straight pipe a car is between $100 to over $1,500. More expensive options exceeding $2,500 are available in custom suiting kits.

Much of the variation comes not from the labor costs themselves, but from the exhaust system you choose. Labor costs alone have much less variation with the installation costing anywhere from $100 to $200. If you wish to save on labor, the process is one you could do on your own if you have the experience and tools.

Depending on the kit you’re looking to buy, material costs can vary. More complicated straight pipe kits are made up of various straight and curved steel tubes. These will require some forethought in assembly as they are not designed specifically for one particular car. Additionally, these types of kits need to be welded together in order to function. However, these straight pipes tend to be on the cheaper side.

Oftentimes it is easier to have a shop perform the work. Here’s a quick example of what you might be working with if you’re going to get a custom straight pipe exhaust system.

On the more expensive side are kits designed for specific car models. These straight pipes come pre-shaped for easy fitment and installation. These types of kits tend to avoid welding since it uses bolts to connect the components of the exhaust.


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Non-Pre-Shaped Straight Pipe Exhaust Kit

An example of a universal kit is the DNA Motoring Universal Kit. The straight pipe kit comes with a wide array of stainless steel piping of different lengths and bends. With a price under $200, it is a great pick for those on a budget who don’t mind the extra work. The steel pipes will have to be welded together, so if you are planning to use this kit on your own, you will need access to a welder.

The kit is available in both mild steel and a stainless steel version. While the mild steel version is cheaper upfront, it might not last as long. Stainless steel tends to have a longer life as a corrosion-resistant material. However, if you live in a relatively dry climate or don’t plan on keeping your car too long, then the mild steel option is a good choice at a better price.

Pre-Shaped Straight Pipe Exhaust Kit Cost

Pre-shapes kits are a simpler but more expensive option. Many tuning companies will offer custom-made straight pipe kits for most vehicles. A custom-fitted AWE Tuning straight pipe kit has a significant price jump ranging from $1,800 – $2,400. While finding more affordable options is possible, it is rare to find a pre-shaped kit below $1,000. However, these types of kits do tend to be of higher quality and are said to last longer with minimal issues.

Additionally, these types of kits are much easier to install. Since the pre-shaped sections come pre-welded, you simply need to bolt the system in place. With an easy installation, savings can be made in terms of labor costs.

DIY Tool Cost

Installing a straight exhaust pipe is certainly doable on your own, but you will need to make sure to have the appropriate tools beforehand.

First and foremost, you need to have easy access to the underside of your car. Ideally, you would use a car lift. However, since most cost well over $4,000, it is unreasonable for most people. A QuickJack is a slightly more affordable alternative but still comes with a relatively high $1,500 price tag. As such, most people will make do with two pairs of jack stands, costing about $36 to lift all four corners of the car. For low-clearance vehicles, it may be difficult to install a straight pipe with jack stands alone.

Secondly, you will need a decently-sized ratchet set to deal with the large amounts of bolts found in the exhaust system. Well-equipped sets can be purchased for less than $60. If you are installing a pre-shaped kit, then this should be all the tools that you realistically need.

For those going with DIY universal straight pipe kits, you will need some additional tools. The most important will be a welder. These can cost anywhere from $300 and go up into the thousands of dollars. If you have no other use for a welder, you can always rent one for about $50 per day. You will also most likely end up needing to cut custom lengths of steel. To accomplish this you can look at angle grinders or reciprocating saws, either will set you back $100-$200.

How Much Does it Cost to Straight Pipe a Truck?

Modifying your vehicle with a straight pipe exhaust is not just limited to sports cars. Truck owners alike have found joy in increasing and modifying their exhaust sounds.

The cost to straight pipe a truck ranges from just over $100 and upwards of $2,500.

Straight piping your truck can be done on your own without contacting a specialized shop for custom work. If you opt to do it yourself, you can save about $100 to $200 in potential labor costs. However, you will have to have the appropriate tools on hand. With the high cost of tool purchases and rentals, the total cost to do it yourself could quickly become more expensive than a professional-grade job.


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Straight Pipe Exhaust Kits

The biggest differentiator in price comes down to the type of straight pipe exhaust kit you buy. The most affordable options will consist of a variety of steel pipes in varying sizes and curvatures. These will require you or your mechanic to assemble them in a way that can fit your truck. Additionally, these kits will require welding work. To make up for this increased workload, these kits are significantly cheaper and can be found for less than $200.

Pre-shaped straight pipe exhaust kits are also available for trucks. While typically more expensive, these kits are custom fit for your specific truck model with a much easier installation.

With an easier installation and a higher quality product, the pros found in the extra costs can be quickly redeemed.

Other Straight Pipe Exhaust Costs

When installing a straight pipe exhaust, many will focus solely on the cost of the materials and labor. Before moving forward with your decision, please consider the possibility of hidden costs.

Loud Exhaust Ticket Cost

One of the main attractions of straight piping your car is no doubt the increased engine sounds. While you may be fond of the louder vehicle roar, many jurisdictions have laws in place to punish cars with “excessive” exhaust noise.

A loud exhaust ticket can typically range from $100 all the way up to $500 depending on the state it’s issued in.

As a reference, you can check the SEMA Action Network map highlighting the relevant state laws pertaining to your situation.

Unfortunately, while some states have set an objective measurement of what is considered too loud, other states will leave it up to the discretion of the police officer. As such, they will be the ultimate judge of whether or not your exhaust is considered excessively loud.

Penalty for Removing Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter is responsible for converting the harmful byproducts from engine combustion into safer compounds. This in turn will cause your vehicle to outpour more emissions.

Straight piping a car or truck requires the removal of the catalytic converter, causing an increase in emissions. While most states treat the penalty for excessive noise relatively softly, penalties tied to the removal of your catalytic converter could be much greater.

Fines for a missing catalytic converter can go up to $10,000 per case. However, straight pipe users tend to have little issues getting around these laws. Without getting underneath, it’s visually impossible to tell if a car has its catalytic converter or not.

In states where vehicles have regular inspections, such as New York, it might be harder to get around. However, in states like Florida and Washington, where there are no mandated vehicle inspections, you will most likely be in the clear.

Cost of Reverting Back to Your Stock Exhaust

Eventually, there will be a time when you are ready to part ways with your car. Unfortunately, it will always be much harder to sell a car that has been significantly modified. Your possible pool of buyers will be limited to just those with the same taste.

If you want to cast a wider net, you will have to revert your exhaust back to its stock version.

Keeping your original exhaust system and components is helpful. If you don’t keep your original exhaust, the cost to repurchase the equipment could become costly.

Thankfully it won’t have to be new, so you can save some money on a used set, but it can still cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars on top of the labor costs.

If you have your original equipment, swapping your straight pipe exhaust out should cost between $100 and $300.

If you’re able to get the job done on your own, you’ll find more savings at only the cost of time spent.

Find Straight Pipe Cost Near You

Since the cost of exhaust installation will vary depending on your location, you’ll want to call a few local shops to get a price quote for your vehicle.

Take a moment to read the reviews and pick out a couple of the best-rated ones. After all, your car is a large asset, so you want it handled with care.

Since straight pipe installations will vary greatly depending on your car, there will most likely not be a standardized price. As such, you should individually call all your highly-rated local shops for quotes. Do keep in mind that some shops might not offer a full straight pipe installation due to the aforementioned penalty for removing catalytic converters.

Straight Pipe Cost Data

For this post, we took the time to call 25 automotive shops and asked for price estimates for a straight pipe installation.

Here’s the data:

straight pipe cost data

As you can see based on this data, pricing can vary quite a lot depending on the shop, location, and type of vehicle.

The variation of pricing between different shops will depend on the labor rate of the shop, their familiarity with straight pipe exhaust work, and the quality of their work.

Location will influence pricing because the cost of living can be quite different in various parts of the country. Although, there is not much you can do about this pricing factor!

Finally, a factor that will have a huge impact on the price will be the type of vehicle. For example – A Ford Mustang has a much more complex exhaust setup than a Chevy Silverado. Due to this, you will see much higher price estimates reflected in the Ford Mustang table.

So what does this data tell us?

It tells us that you should absolutely call at least 3 different shops in your area to get pricing quotes. They’ll be able to give you a better idea of how the factors we mentioned will influence the price!

Click here to find a straight pipe exhaust shop near you.

Where to Buy a Straight Pipe Exhaust

Fortunately, there are many different places that you can buy a straight pipe exhaust kit from. If you are still not sure about the specifics of what you want to be done, then it may be beneficial for you to consult your local shop. There, they should have the necessary equipment and piping to construct a system specifically for you. If not, they can point you towards a pre-shaped kit fitting your vehicle.

If you are comfortable with your knowledge, then there are a plethora of places that you can buy straight pipe kits from.

General Online Marketplaces: Online shops like Amazon and eBay already carry basically everything you can think of, including straight pipe exhaust equipment. These marketplaces might not have the widest selection given that they aren’t dedicated to only cars, but there will still be a healthy selection along with helpful reviews. Do remember to account for additional shipping costs.

Online Car Accessory Marketplaces: If you are looking for a more specific brand or even a wider selection, then an online shop dedicated to car accessories like CarID.com may be helpful. Online shops will typically sell pre-fitted kits specifically for your vehicle, saving you the trouble of constructing your own. As with other online purchases, make sure to account for shipping costs.

Physical Autoparts Store: Autoparts stores like Advanced Auto Parts and AutoZone will typically have the required piping to build a straight pipe system. The immediate benefit of these locations is of course how quickly you can get a new piece when you need it.

Straight Pipe Exhaust Benefits

Most car enthusiasts will associate the more powerful sounding roar of the engine as the only real benefit of a straight pipe exhaust. However, there are a few other aspects in which the system provides tangible benefits.

The main benefits of a straight pipe exhaust are:

  1. Louder exhaust noise
  2. Better exhaust tone
  3. Increased horsepower
  4. Reduced vehicle weight
  5. Increased fuel economy

The first actually deals with improving the horsepower output of your engine. With a more free-flowing exhaust, there is less back pressure on the engine itself. This allows the engine to run a little more freely and can easily add 10-20 more horsepower. It’s far from the most drastic mod, but it does provide a little boost, especially if combined with other performance modifications.

Along with the increase in power, shedding the additional mufflers and catalytic converters makes your car lighter. So not only does a straight pipe exhaust increase power, but it can also bring down the overall weight of your car. This should bring you a noticeable difference in your straight-line acceleration.

In addition, a straight pipe exhaust could see an increase in fuel economy. With a lighter car and less back pressure, the engine can work a little more efficiently. Once again, it won’t be a dramatic increase, but it’s nice to know that along with the boost in performance and sound, your fuel economy won’t even take a hit.

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