Magnaflow and Flowmaster are two of the most popular exhaust systems on the market. Choosing between them depends on many factors, including how much output you want and the sound. In this article, I’ll compare Magnaflow vs Flowmaster exhaust systems so you can decide which is best for your vehicle.
The biggest difference between Flowmaster and Magnaflow is their construction. Magnaflow uses a straight-through design with acoustic packing material around a perforated pipe. On the other hand, Flowmaster uses baffles to muffle the engine sounds. If you like it loud, choose Magnaflow, but Flowmaster may be a much better choice if you like a tuned sound.
Read on to learn more about Flowmaster vs Magnaflow comparison, so you will know which of the two exhaust brands is a better choice.
Magnaflow Vs Flowmaster
Both brands are good, so saying that one is better than the other is purely subjective. However, there are certain aspects where one brand performs better than the other:
Magnaflow mufflers essentially have no restrictions, which means that exhaust gases can normally pass through the exhaust system. The faster the exhaust gases can move, the more power your engine can produce.
On the other hand, because Flowmaster exhausts have baffles inside the chamber, they can let your car create a deep and beautiful growl. But it does slow the movement of the exhaust quite a bit.
To counteract this, the Flowmaster engineers positioned the baffles so that they create a “scavenging effect.” This means that the exhaust system creates a vacuum that forces more exhaust fumes to pass through.
Magnaflow mufflers have straight-through designs. You will also notice them being tightly packed with acoustic material. These features cut the engine noise considerably but are still significantly louder than stock.
Flowmaster mufflers have a nice and tuned sound, thanks to their chambered design. However, note that it does get a bit louder after a couple of years once broken in.
All About Magnaflow
Since 1981, Magnaflow has always been one of the best options when it comes to exhaust systems. The company headquarters is in Rancho Santa Margarita in California. Ask any car enthusiast what their preferred exhaust pipes are, and a lot of them would tell you to go with Magnaflow.
Magnaflow headquarters houses a massive R&D environment. They always keep up to date with technology. With that, expect the Magnaflow HQ to be home to a couple of in-ground dynamometers, flow benches, and lots of sound testing equipment to make sure that every product passes stringent testing.
Magnaflow will only approve parts for manufacturing if they pass the company’s strict performance standards. If it does not produce power, they will not make it.
All About Flowmaster
Ever since Ray Flugger started the company in 1983, Flowmaster has always been one of the top exhaust system manufacturers in the world. This brand has built a solid reputation among the hotrod and street racing crowd, so much that they can easily identify the signature sound of Flowmaster exhausts.
Flowmaster exhaust pipes are different from those of other brands because they use a chamber-style design for their mufflers. These chambers act like baffles but not quite. Flowmaster mufflers use metal plates that separate the mufflers into several chambers.
They also separate the sound waves, thereby muffling them significantly. What you instead hear coming out of the tailpipe is a constant and tuned growling noise.
Flowmaster gained international acclaim by producing a large selection of mufflers that produce a symphony of sounds. You can show your personality through your choice of an exhaust pipe. If you think of buying a Flowmaster exhaust pipe, look for online videos of exhaust pipe sound tests. After that, choose the set of pipes with the sounds you like.
What Can a Performance Exhaust Do for Your Car?
1. An Aftermarket Performance Exhaust Can Increase Your Engine’s Horsepower
Even if the stock exhaust pipe in your car is still excellent, you can still get many benefits by replacing it with a performance exhaust pipe such as Magnaflow or Flowmaster. The biggest benefit is that an aftermarket performance exhaust can increase the amount of horsepower your engine can produce.
2. More Efficient Path for the Exhaust Gases from the Engine to Escape
This is because the performance exhausts give a more efficient path for the exhaust gases from the engine to escape. The faster the exhaust gases escape from the engine, the higher the fresh air can go into it. In other words, the engine can burn more fuel, thereby producing more power.
3. Gives Your Car an Aggressive Exhaust Sound
Another reason for changing to performance exhaust, although subjective, is that it gives your car an aggressive exhaust sound. Stock exhausts’ main objective is to make the engine sound as quietly as possible. It is the reason why you will not even notice when a stock factory car is coming.
4. Aftermarket Exhaust Pipes Last Longer
Stock exhaust systems are also not as durable as performance exhaust pipes. Stock pipes are made of mild steel, which tends to corrode and deteriorate over time. On the other hand, most aftermarket exhaust pipes, especially the cheaper ones, are aluminized steel. They tend to last significantly longer than mild steel pipes.
However, if you want to get the best, check out the stainless-steel exhaust pipes. Not only do these pipes perform better, but they also have a higher heat tolerance. Aside from that, they do not corrode and might even outlive the vehicle itself.
Choosing the Right Exhaust Pipe for Your Car
1. Vehicle’s Use
When you are shopping for a new exhaust, no matter if you have your eyes on one from Magnaflow or Flowmaster, you should think about how you will be using your vehicle.
2. Aggressive and Tuned Appearance
Many aftermarket exhaust pipes have tips with a large bore and highly polished mufflers. These pipes give your car a more aggressive and tuned appearance. However, if you want to keep your car looking like stock, in other words, a sleeper, then get the ones that look somewhat stock while still providing roughly the same performance.
As mentioned earlier, both Flowmaster and Magnaflow exhaust systems will provide a more tuned, aggressive sound. Flowmaster is better for a tuned sound. Magnaflow is louder.
3. Pipe’s Diameter
Also, consider the diameter of the pipes. It is true that the larger the diameter of the exhaust pipe, the smoother the exhaust gases can escape. However, going too big with the pipes can also hurt your car’s performance, so be extra cautious.
Now, on the other hand, if you are planning to add performance parts to your car’s engine, like a turbo or a supercharger, having a larger diameter exhaust pipe will be able to handle all that extra exhaust.
What Does the Exhaust System Do?
The exhaust system is an essential part of the vehicle. People who do not know much about cars think that the exhaust redirects the smoke and noise from the engine out the vehicle’s back, partly correct.
Provide the Engine’s Exhaust Gases Somewhere to Escape
The main function of the exhaust system is to provide the engine’s exhaust gases somewhere to escape. A series of pipes connect to the engine’s exhaust manifold and run underneath the vehicle and out the back.
Reduce Harmful Chemical Emission
Another function of a modern exhaust system is to reduce the harmful chemicals in the emissions. The exhaust system is not just all pipes. There is also a filter, called a catalytic converter, which turns potentially harmful gases, like carbon monoxide, into less harmful ones.
Gearheads love the raw sounds produced by the engine, but their neighbors surely don’t appreciate them. One part of the exhaust system is called the muffler, which muffles the sound coming from the engine’s exhaust. Performance exhaust systems lower the noise level just enough to make the vehicle street legal.
Speaking of performance exhaust systems, these are different from stock systems because they do not choke the engine too much to reduce the noise. Performance exhaust systems provide an efficient way for exhaust gases to escape without constricting the engine. They also allow more fresh air to get inside it. In other words, you will be getting more horsepower and improved fuel economy.
Magnaflow and Flowmaster are exhaust systems that will produce a better sound and provide your car or truck with more power.
Signs That You Might Have a Broken Exhaust
Having a broken exhaust pipe is you would not notice that it is broken until the damage is already serious. Because the entire system is underneath the car, you cannot easily inspect it as you would the tires and the oil.
However, there are a couple of signs that point towards a damaged exhaust pipe, including:
- Your engine sounds louder than usual – If it seems like your engine sounds louder and somewhat beefier than normal, it could either be that your muffler has a large gaping hole already, or there is a hole in the pipe before the muffler.
- Your car cannot accelerate as easily as before – A broken muffler does not provide enough back pressure to the engine, thus reducing its efficiency.
- Lower fuel efficiency – This sign indicates that you have a broken exhaust because the engine will need to work harder to produce the same amount of power when the exhaust pipe is perfect.
- A lingering smell of gasoline – Aside from exhaust fumes, the exhaust pipe also eliminates some of the unburned fuel coming out of the engine. If there are holes in the pipe, the gasoline fumes would escape and seep up the floorboard and into the cabin. If you smell gasoline fumes, you should get the exhaust repaired or have it replaced.
- Unusual sounds coming from underneath the car – This happens if you suddenly hear rattling noises coming from underneath the floor of your car, especially when you first start the engine. If the rattling noise is rather loud, it could be that either the hangers have rusted away or the entire exhaust pipe broke into two.
Again, Magnaflow vs Flowmaster – which is better? If you like it loud, then choose Magnaflow. If you like a tuned sound, then choose Flowmaster. The biggest difference between Flowmaster and Magnaflow is their construction. Magnaflow uses a straight-through design with acoustic material around a perforated pipe. Flowmaster uses baffles to muffle the engine sounds.
The Dangers of Driving Without an Exhaust Pipe
Now, you might think that you should get rid of the entire exhaust system. It would mean that your engine would be able to breathe better, won’t it?
Technically, yes. Not having an exhaust system in place will allow the engine to breathe better, but there are more dangers of not having one in place.
Here are some of the dangers of not having an exhaust system:
1. Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide Poisoning
Your vehicle has an exhaust system in the first place because it prevents the noxious fumes coming from the engine from getting inside the cabin. It is the main reason why most exhaust pipes go to the back of the car.
Not having an exhaust pipe will mean the exhaust collects in your engine bay, promoting ease in getting into the cabin. This can result in fatal carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide poisoning, which may kill you slowly. What makes it even scarier is that carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are odorless. You will not even notice that you are getting poisoned.
2. Fire and Engine Damage
As mentioned earlier, if you do not have an exhaust pipe, the exhaust gases would collect in the engine bay. Not only are the exhaust gases toxic, but they are also extremely hot. This will cause your engine to overheat constantly. If there is oil leaking in the engine, the exhaust gases can even set it on fire.
The excessive amount of heat can also seriously damage the engine over time. Like a severely cracked engine block, the damage could be so extensive that you would need a complete engine replacement.
3. Other Problems
You are not just putting your own life at risk when driving a car with a busted exhaust pipe or nothing at all. You are also putting the lives of other people in danger.
The biggest issue would be that your car is putting out many more emissions than it usually would. You contribute to the already diminishing ozone layer of the earth by not having a fully functioning exhaust pipe.
Now, if you do not care that much about the environment (but you should be), you would be concerned with how light your wallet is getting. Not having a proper exhaust system in place will also make your car’s fuel economy plummet.
Finally, there is the issue with the noise. A car with no exhaust pipe allows exhaust to exit the engine without going through a muffler. This means that you will be violating local noise ordinances wherever you go.
Conclusion – Flowmaster Vs Magnaflow
What is the difference between Magnaflow and Flowmaster exhaust systems? What makes Flowmaster exhaust pipes different from the ones made by Magnaflow is the mufflers’ construction.
Magnaflow uses a basic straight-through design and a perforated pipe surrounded by acoustic packing material. Meanwhile, Flowmaster exhausts have a chambered muffler. If you like it loud, go with Magnaflow. However, if you prefer a tuned growl, go with Flowmaster.
Regardless of what brand you chose, know that you will not only improve the performance of your vehicle. You will also make it a whole lot safer to use for yourself and your family.
Again, here are the signs that you should change your car’s exhaust system:
- Your engine sounds louder than usual
- Your car cannot accelerate as easily as before
- Lower fuel efficiency
- A lingering smell of gasoline
- Unusual sounds coming from underneath the car