Well, it’s not important, so to speak, but if you want to get peak performance from the vehicle you are driving, it can be. Not that there is anything wrong with driving a car with a stock exhaust system, but each and every time you pull up to the gas pump, you may as well throw some of the money you are spending right out the window. That’s wasted fuel, because your engine isn’t able to make use of every single drop of gas. You may think that as long as you do regular maintenance on your vehicle, you are doing all that is necessary to keep it running in top condition. You change the oil, the spark plugs, and get periodic tune-ups, so what more can be done?
Have a mechanic check your exhaust system after a few years of driving. Chances are he is going to find weak spots where the pipes have been bent at various angles to make the system fit. Yes, this is the way it came from the factory, and these bends get weaker and weaker as time goes by. Why? The pipes have actually been pressed (or crushed) to make that turn possible, and when they are bent, it creates a weak spot in that area. Not only that, but the pipe is not able to vent exhaust gases as well as it should, nor can it get all the air in that the engine needs. The wider the area, the better the engine is able to breathe. What you need is a system where the pipes are all the same diameter, even around all the twists and turns.
Not possible? Yes, it is. Mandrel bending is a method of ensuring the pipes are the same size from beginning to end, no matter how may turns are needed. An exhaust system with mandrel bends makes it possible for that engine to run at top performance levels because there are no air flow restrictions like you normally have with stock systems. Not only that, but you are going to get every mile possible from the gas you are using. Fuel efficiency is increased dramatically, and your vehicle will run better than it ever did. You may think that because you only have one bend in your exhaust that it really doesn’t make a difference, but one bend or five, it’s all the same when it come to losing power.
Each time you step on the gas, air flow is restricted because the engine is struggling to breathe because of the constrictions in the exhaust pipes. It’s kind of like trying to suck liquid through a straw that has collapsed in the middle. You know how hard that is! Think of your exhaust system as one big straw that has several areas that are restricted, and this might give you an idea of how hard your engine is working to get air. The same concept applies when the motor tries to expel the gases it needs to get rid of. When you hit the gas, the response you expect to get is just not going to be there-you have a definite power loss.
Well, okay-if this is so important, why aren’t mandrel bent exhaust systems installed right at the factory, you may be wondering. Cost efficiency. A system like this costs more to make and install than the company cares to spend. The equipment is expensive, and the time needed to mandrel bend each pipe isn’t worth it to them. To do this they would have to charge more for the vehicle to recoup their investment, and they would probably find that the result would be less sales, and they don’t want that. Better to install the stock system, ship the vehicle to the dealer, who in turn sells it to you, the consumer. What you do after that is up to you. If you know anything at all about engines, exhaust systems, power loss and performance, you may find that it is well worth your money to have the entire system replaced with one that is mandrel bent. It will improve your vehicle performance, enhance the gas mileage, and last a lot longer because there are absolutely no weak spots caused by bending or crushing the pipes.