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Does Headers Increase Mpg / Gas Mileage? [ Answered ]

Does Headers Increase Mpg / Gas Mileage? [ Answered ]

As an automobile owner, you might be looking for viable means to enhance your vehicle’s fuel economy. During your search, it’s common to run into exhaust headers.

These accessories go a long way in boosting your vehicle’s fuel efficiency or gas mileage. Exhaust headers significantly reduce backpressure. This delivers a larger quantity of oxygen on the vehicle’s combustion chamber. As a result, the car can make the best use of the injected fuel, utilizing it completely.

Using exhaust headers can significantly improve fuel consumption. Over time, this can help you make a good saving in terms of better fuel economy.

Do headers increase mpg?

Several users have reported that aftermarket exhaust headers can boost their fuel economy. For instance, one of the Camaro owners stated that his fuel economy improved to 20 mpg from 18 mpg after using these accessories.

Although the improvement range per gallon seems insignificant, have you calculated the additional miles you would be traveling in a year with an aftermarket exhaust header installed in your car? If you want to capitalize on the small savings in terms of fuel economy, it would be a logical decision to get one of these components for your car.

What are the Ways to Increase MPG on Headers?

Now that you know that using an aftermarket exhaust header can significantly boost your fuel economy, you would like to know how these accessories work. Practically, there are two ways in which you can boost the fuel economy of your car using these headers.

1. Reducing backpressure

In the first place, you must note that using exhaust headers reduces the backpressure in your car. When you install the accessory in your car, the exhaust gasses would be able to flow more easily.

This implies that the vehicle would have a greater amount of air in its combustion chamber. As a result, it would fully utilize every bit of fuel that you inject into the system. By preventing wastage, it would boost the engine efficiency of your vehicle significantly.

2. Lightweight accessories

Reputed manufacturers use stainless steel to make these headers. This ensures that the accessories wouldn’t rust easily, and would be lighter. Therefore, the engine need not take additional stress when installing the car’s new component.

Some manufacturers have come up with exhaust headers which remain tuned for better fuel economy. This can boost the fuel mileage of your car slightly. Depending on whether you are driving in the city or highway, you would notice an improvement of 2 to 3 miles per gallon.

3. More horsepower

Considering the slight improvement in fuel economy that you notice, you might think it doesn’t make sense to purchase an aftermarket exhaust header.

However, car enthusiasts seldom get these exhaust headers to boost fuel efficiency. Rather, they aim to get more horsepower in their cars. With proper tuning, the headers can give you around extra horsepower by 20 to 30 hp. Of course, this would be a significant boost for your car.

Therefore, you might not get an aftermarket exhaust header purely to improve the fuel economy of your car. Rather, these accessories deliver more horsepower to your car, which itself turns out to be the reason why car owners vouch for these accessories.

Do you have to tune your system to improve fuel economy with headers?

Once you install the exhaust headers, you need to get your car tuned. Remember, the manufacturers do not build the vehicles to make room for aftermarket headers.

This explains why you need to tune the system, ensuring that the engine would inject more fuel into it. This would restore the right proportion of air and fuel in the vehicle’s engine.

With exhaust headers integrated into your car, there would be more oxygen flow into the combustion chamber. This is why you have to tune the system so that you can inject a greater amount of fuel. The car would overheat and run lean unless you get it tuned properly.

Can you Increase MPG using Performance Exhausts?

There’s not much of a difference between a performance exhaust and other types of exhaust systems. Installing a performance exhaust can bring about a slight improvement in your car’s fuel mileage.

In terms of size, performance exhausts tend to be larger than the normal ones. In these exhausts, the catalytic converter section comes with a redesign.

These exhausts are responsible for de-restricting air flow into the exhaust system. In the process, it gives a boost to the engine output. You can also achieve this by using headers or cold-air intakes. Now let’s focus on how a performance exhaust can boost the mileage of your car.

Using bigger exhausts for the car’s engine has nothing wrong with it. The aftermarket fuel systems can enhance the fuel consumption and performance of your car’s engine.

The velocity at which the gasses exit the pipe from the engine largely determines the exhaust system’s performance. The amount of exhaust gasses would be lower when your car’s engine operates at a lower RPM. Since the velocity remains low, your car would be fine with a smaller exhaust pipe.

However, when your engine’s RPM keeps increasing, the airflow would become restricted if the pipes are small. This is where you need bigger exhaust pipes. This ensures better exhaust efficiency and performance. At the same time, the car wouldn’t produce much of a noise.

Now, we come to the point of enhanced horsepower and fuel mileage. Performance exhausts have nothing extra to offer to your car. They only ensure lower restriction through larger pipes when the engine exhales.

This makes the exhalation process slightly easier, delivering better performance. Therefore, you can consider that the aftermarket exhaust header ‘unlocks’ the exhalation power of your engine.

Therefore, when you install an aftermarket performance exhaust system, the component would improve the flow of air to the engine, besides helping it release the exhaust fumes. This can boost the engine’s performance, and possibly your car’s gas mileage.


Exhaust headers are one of the best tools to improve your car’s fuel economy. It would also add to your car’s horsepower while helping you save costs slightly on your fuel.

However, you must note that the exhaust sound doesn’t imply more or less fuel consumption. Many drivers preconception that it consumes more fuel if the exhaust sounds loud. If you notice a drop in your car’s fuel efficiency, simply check the engine.