Differences between High Performance and Stock Headers


Exhaust headers are aftermarket parts that can be fitted to your car in order to improve power and performance. Modern cars are designed to minimize the noise emitted from the engine. This could, however, have a cost on the efficiency and power of your engine.

Gain in Performance

Fitting an aftermarket exhaust header to your car will give a slight increase in vehicle performance. They are really only of interest to high performance drivers who want to squeeze every single little bit of power out of their engines. Other modifications can be made to make your car go even faster.

Think back to your time at school and you might remember that energy cannot be destroyed or created. This means that any waste of energy will affect the performance of the engine. Fitting exhaust headers might be an ideal way of improving efficiency and performance of your engine.

How Exhaust Headers Work

exhaust header

Headers are a very easy bolt-on aftermarket accessory which can be fitted to improve the performance of your engine, but how do these really work?

The engine produces power by burning gasoline, which then causes it to expand and pressure up the cylinders. This in turn generates power. There are, however, another three strokes required for the process to be repeated and if these use any of the power then they reduce the efficiency of your cars engine.

The engine gets rid of exhaust gasses in the exhaust stroke. Back pressure is one of the most common ways that an engine can lose some power. The piston is used to push the waste gasses out through the exhaust valve. This creates a problem if there is any resistance, power will be wasted because the piston has to push harder to get rid of the waste gasses.

In a standard car the exhaust gasses will enter the exhaust manifold after leaving the cylinders. The manifold is one of the biggest sources of back pressure caused by the pressure of exhaust gasses building up and affecting wasting energy.

An exhaust header is a bolt-on accessory which is used to get rid of the back pressure caused by the manifold. This means that the exhaust gasses from each cylinder don't all flow into the manifold, instead they have their very own exhaust pipes. Although they all share the same pipe eventually, every single exhaust pipe is the same length which means the gasses will all arrive at the same time.

Differences Between Stock and Performance Headers

A stock car does not have headers. Instead it uses the manifold to cope with the removal of waste exhaust gasses from the engine. High performance headers can be bolted directly onto your car’s exhaust system to reduce back pressure, which can affect the performance of the engine.

An aftermarket stock header deals with the exhaust gasses in a much more efficient way, which improves the overall performance of your engine. Performance headers are more concerned with increasing performance rather than reducing the noise from the engine.