Tail Pipe Buyer’s Guide
- The main component of this system is the tail pipe, which is the metal tube that runs from the exhaust manifold toward the rear of the car.
- The exhaust tail pipe or exhaust pipe is the tubing that directs the exhaust gas to the exhaust tip.
- There are different shapes and layouts of tail pipe for varying applications, namely single exit pipe, dual rear exit, opposite dual exhaust, dual side exhaust, and high-performance.
- In measuring the tail pipe’s diameter, you’ll need to understand two things: the outside and internal diameters.
- The consequences of driving with a broken tail pipe may depend on the severity of the damage.
- CarParts.com offers quality, do-it-yourself replacement tail pipes that you can get for $14 to $1,150.
Combustion produces new chemicals after burning air and fuel. These chemicals are contained in the exhaust gas that’s being purged out from the combustion chambers after every combustion cycle. The exhaust gas travels in a long pipe that typically leads to the very end of the vehicle’s rear. This pipe is called the exhaust tail pipe or tail pipe for short.
The tail pipe is a thin metal sheet that’s susceptible to impact damage caused by rear-end collision or hitting road debris. If you find yourself in a situation wherein the tail pipe damage is beyond repair, this guide will aid you by providing all the details you need for a replacement.
What is a tail pipe?
We’re quite sure that you’ve already peeked under your car and know where the exhaust system is located. For those who haven’t, the exhaust system extends from the engine all the way to the rear of a conventional internal combustion vehicle. It is meant to deliver the burnt gas coming from the combustion chamber to the air for dispersion.
Although it may sound and appear simple, the exhaust system is made of a few complex subcomponents that are essential for straining out the toxic gases in the exhaust and reducing the noise. The main component of this system is the tail pipe, which is the metal tube that runs from the exhaust manifold toward the rear of the car. The exhaust tail pipe or exhaust pipe is the tubing that directs the exhaust gas to the exhaust tip.
Tail pipe application based on exhaust system types
There are different shapes and layouts of tail pipe for varying applications. To get in-depth knowledge about tail pipe applications, or if you’re wondering how to fix a broken tail pipe, you have to know the different types of exhaust systems first:
Single exit pipe
This is the most common type of exhaust system that’s installed by default on entry-level vehicles. The simple reason behind its wide application is due to its cheap cost. Single exit pipe exhaust has one tail pipe protruding from the rear and is conventionally found on the passenger side. Single exit pipes are simple and easy to install.
Dual rear exit
Dual rear exits, like single exit pipes, are found on one side of the rear bumper. The only difference is that there are two small pipes on the same side instead of a big tube. This setup can change the pitch of the engine sound. The smaller the diameter of each pipe, the deeper the engine sound pitch is. Performance and efficiency-wise, there is minimal to no change as you’re only replacing a big tube with two smaller ones.
Opposite dual exhaust
Originally applied on sportier vehicles, opposite dual exhausts are favored by many due to its efficiency in expelling exhaust gas. A lot of modern entry-level cars nowadays are equipped with standard opposite dual exhausts. This type of exhaust system has two tail pipes sticking out from the opposite sides of the rear bumper—one on the driver and one on the passenger side. Exhausts in this category are said to give the car a deeper exhaust tone.
Dual side exhaust
Dual side exhaust is similar to opposite dual, but instead of two big pipes on each side, there are four—two on the driver and two on the passenger side. Like the dual rear exit, the dual side exhaust is similar to opposite dual with little to no performance and efficiency advantage. However, the sound is much better and more aggressive with dual side exhaust.
Perhaps the most expensive exhaust system there is, the high-performance type tops the chart as it’s more efficient both in expelling gas and filtering out harmful chemicals. High-performance exhausts are usually an aftermarket upgrade and are only seen on more powerful vehicles. This type of exhaust features a wider tail pipe that increases engine performance.
How to measure a tail pipe’s diameter
When replacing or upgrading the tail pipe, one of the most important factors to remember is measuring its diameter. In measuring the tail pipe’s diameter, you’ll need to understand two things: the outside and internal diameters. Here’s the difference between the two:
Outside diameter (OD)
OD is the edge-to-edge distance of the pipe tubing, which means it includes the thickness of the pipe wall. Exhaust pipes normally use ODs as they fit inside a muffler or exhaust tip.
Internal diameter (ID)
ID is the distance between two opposite points of the pipe’s inner wall, excluding the thickness of the metal piping. The application of ID measurement usually applies to exhaust tips and mufflers as they slip over the exhaust pipe.
Can you drive with a bad tail pipe?
You can face multiple problems if you choose to drive with a bad tail pipe. The consequences depend on the severity of the damage but keep in mind that shrugging your shoulders over a damaged tail pipe can make matters worst for your car. For one, you can easily fail emission tests that may result in more expenses. You’ll also likely need to allot more budget for fuel as your car will not be as efficient as having a proper exhaust pipe.
The worst thing you can face for driving with a deteriorating pipe is legal charges that may be filed against you. Driving with a broken or non-working exhaust pipe may lead to environmental concerns that can get you in trouble, such as smoke-belching. If you can, avoid driving your car if it has a broken exhaust pipe.
How much is an OE tail pipe replacement?
CarParts.com offers quality, do-it-yourself replacement tail pipes that you can get for $14 to $1,150. You may choose from the different color finishes available that consist of natural, polished, or chrome tail pipes. You may also select which material works best for your taste as there are aluminized steel, steel, and stainless steel exhaust pipes in our catalog.
To find the perfect tail pipe for your vehicle, indicate the year, make, and model in the filter bar under the search menu. Lastly, looking for a specific attachment style or inlet diameter is made easy as you can choose the part according to your liking using our filter tool.