8 Best Exhaust System For Toyota Tacoma in 2021
Toyota Tacoma is a heavy-duty truck known for its high performance. But the only disadvantage of this truck is that it has an inadequate in-built exhaust system that can ruin your smooth ride experience. Many users complained about the trembling sound from its exhaust system while pushing the accelerator and if you are also facing the same problem, then you must replace them with the best exhaust system for Toyota Tacoma. A high-quality cat back exhaust system not only improves the ride quality but enhances the horsepower and torque for exceptional handling.
But choosing the best Toyota Tacoma exhaust system is not an easy task as there are multiple variants available in the market, depending upon different driver habits and needs. So before buying the right one, it is necessary to inspect some crucial aspects like getting the best sound experience without compromising with other factors like mileage, vehicle’s performance etc. To help you find the best exhaust systems for Toyota Tacoma, we have curated this detailed buying guide that you can use for your reference to learn everything about the aftermarket exhaust systems. So, let’s begin with the basic working of the exhaust system for your understanding.
8 Best Exhaust System For Toyota Tacoma in 2021
|Doug Thorley Headers THY-517-C Short Block Exhaust Header for Toyota...||1 Reviews||$562.00||Check on Amazon|
|TED Direct-Fit Catalytic Converter Fits: 2005-2015 Toyota Tacoma 2.7L||51 Reviews||$135.00||Check on Amazon|
|Evan Fischer Aftermarket Front Catalytic Converter 2005-2006 Toyota...||20 Reviews||$467.34||Check on Amazon|
|DC Sports EX-1013 Performance Bolt-On Resonated Muffler Slant Exhaust...||2,504 Reviews||$22.39||Check on Amazon|
|DC Sports EX-1012B Performance Bolt-On Resonated Muffler Slant Tip...||2,995 Reviews||$21.99||Check on Amazon|
|MBRP S5338P 3" Cat Back, Single Side Exit for Toyota Tacoma, Aluminum||228 Reviews||$259.99||Check on Amazon|
|Flowmaster 817709 American Thunder Cat Back Exhaust System,Black...||31 Reviews||Check on Amazon|
|Borla 140140 Stainless Steel Cat-Back Exhaust System||5 Reviews||Check on Amazon|
How do exhaust systems work?
Before buying the best exhaust system for Toyota Tacoma, it is crucial to understand how the exhaust systems work and what is their significance. Let’s understand this in simple words:
The main function of any exhaust system installed in the vehicle is to get rid of the waste gases (generated by the fuel combustion) as quickly and efficiently as possible to protect the engine system of the vehicle and maximize its performance. Along with cleaning the emission process, the exhaust system of the vehicle is responsible for noise reduction as well. There are three harmful gases released during the fuel combustion process when the fuel gets burned by the spark plug of the vehicle and these gases are carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and nitrogen monoxide. To get rid of these three gases, there are some crucial components available in the exhaust system about which we have explained below.
Components of the Exhaust System
There are five major components of any exhaust system responsible for getting rid of the waste gases to improve the performance of the vehicle & engine system. Depending upon the model type and version, the layout of the modern exhaust systems may vary slightly but the overall functioning and process remains the same and is explained below:
1. Exhaust Manifolds/Header
The waste gases released after exhaust gets emitted from the cylinder head by the engine’s piston and collected by Exhaust Manifold, available onto your engine’s tip. The exhaust manifolds are connected to each cylinder via a piece of pipe. These pipes collect the waste gases from all the cylinders and then send it to a single exit pipe called collector/front pipe.
Although the stock header in the vehicles is designed to reduce the cost and space, they don’t as efficiently expel harmful gases as high-quality exhaust systems available in the market. Exhaust manifolds are generally made from the cast iron to prevent damage but you can also go for the advanced material options available in the market by brands like Doug Thorley or Gibson to choose the best from the nickel-chrome plated mild steel or stainless steel options.
2. Catalytic Converters
Also known as Catcon or Cat Converter, Catalytic Converters are the most useful component of the exhaust systems as they help in cleaning the waste gases coming to the exhaust system by initiating a series of chemical reactions. The catalytic converter has platinum and palladium-coated ceramic beads, referring as Catalyst or Honeycomb. When harmful gases like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and nitrogen monoxide pass-through this catalyst, the series of chemical reactions convert the harmful oxides and hydrocarbons into water vapour, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide to make exhaust gases and the environment clean and safer.
If you only want to replace the catalytic converter instead of the whole aftermarket exhaust system of your Toyota Tacoma, there are two famous brands you can rely on: TED and Evan Fischer. If you want Cat converter for Toyota Tacoma 2005-2015 model, go for TED Direct Fit Cat Converters . For old models like Toyota Tacoma 2005-2008 Front catalytic Converter, go for Evan Fischer Aftermarket Front Cat Converter set .
3. Cat-Back Exhaust System
The Cat-back Exhaust System is a kind of individual exhaust system that comes into play once the exhaust gasses are released from the Cat Converter after the chemical reaction. The “Cat-Back” term refers to the exhaust system part after the catalyst. Although Muffler and Tailpipes are the major components of the exhaust system, they come under the Cat-Back Exhaust System that works in sync to decide the efficiency of expelling the exhaust gases from the engine. So, to understand how Cat-Back Exhaust System works, we have to understand the role & working of its two main components, i.e:
As the name indicates, the main function of the muffler or silencer is to reflect the sound waves within the thin tubes to reduce the noise level produced by the engine. The silencer is designed with a high-resonating chamber finely tuned to reflect the sound waves through it to cancel out each other. It is because of the muffler or silencer that you won’t feel the heavy trembling sound of your engine. But the silencer can corrode over time and even the slightest hole in it can produce lots of unwanted noise. So it is crucial to check the material of the silencer while buying the exhaust system for Toyota Tacoma to prevent noise production.
2) Tail Pipes & Exhaust Tips
The tail pipe is the last part of the exhaust system but is the relevant one as the diameter and bending of the pipe decide the efficiency of the exhaust system works. Most of the high-quality aluminized steel tail pipes come with chrome-finished exhaust tips. The wider will be the exhaust tips, the less pressure and effort will require to expel the exhaust gases out of the vehicle with more efficiency.
One of the performance exhaust tips brands available online is DC Sports, which comes with Universal Fitment. There are two models of DC Sports brand which you can consider for high-quality exhaust tips for Toyota Tacoma, i.e DC Sports EX-1013 Resonated Muffler and DC Sports EX-1012B Resonated Muffler . Depending upon the material quality you like, you can choose one out of these two.
Benefits of Exhaust System for Toyota Tacoma
Now when we know how the exhaust system works and its essential components, the other crucial thing to understand is the benefits of an aftermarket exhaust system. Here are the most remarkable benefits of aftermarket exhaust system for Toyota Tacoma that you must be aware of:
1. Enhanced Power Output
One of the biggest advantages of an aftermarket exhaust system over the stock exhaust system is that it enhances the power output of your heavy-duty truck or car. This is because the aftermarket exhaust system comes with better bend quality and a larger diameter that enhances the efficiency and laminar flow of the exhaust system.
Since the large diameter and better bend quality increases torque and power output of the vehicle, it eventually helps your vehicle’s engine breathe better and conveniently.
2. Better Growly Sound
If you are a true car enthusiast, you might be aware of the feeling of the growly sound you hear every time you shift gears. The high-quality exhaust system provides you with a better growly sound due to its exceptional combination of tube bending and pipework, without impacting the performance of the vehicle.
3. Better Mileage
Do you know that the best exhaust system for Toyota Tacoma can increase your vehicle’s mileage as well? Yes, that is another benefit of a high-quality exhaust system. The high-grade quality of the exhaust system helps your engine gets better and clean air, eliminating the extra fuel consumption to tackle the dirty air level and thus provides better mileage in the same fuel quantity.
Also, the high-quality exhaust system enhances the torque power of the vehicle that helps you to maintain any speed at low fuel and provides around 2-4% better fuel economy with high performance.
4. Enhance Vehicle’s appearance
That is another benefit of exhaust systems for car enthusiasts. When you use top-quality exhaust system parts having a premium finish and look, the overall appearance of the vehicle enhances.
5. Improves Performance & Durability
The high-quality exhaust systems for Toyota Tacoma are designed to lasts for long even in harsh ambient or road conditions. To increase the durability of the exhaust systems, they are generally made of high-quality stainless steel or aluminized steel.
There are multiple reliable brands available in the market that are known for their performance and durability like Borla Cat-back Exhaust System or TRD exhaust system, etc. So check the brand reputation online along with its reviews and ratings to get the best durable exhaust system for your Toyota Tacoma model.
Types of Aftermarket Exhaust System
Many times, people don’t replace the entire exhaust system but its several parts. Depending upon how many parts of the exhaust system you are replacing, there are three types of exhaust systems available in the market and these are:
1. Axle-Back Exhaust System
As the name indicates, in this type of exhaust system only the rear axle part extending to the muffler, exhaust tips, and tailpipe gets replaced. The axle-back exhaust system is typically for those people who want better sound quality with less noise reduction that they don’t get with the stock exhaust system of the vehicle. Since the rear axle components of the exhaust system are less expensive, this type of exhaust system is more affordable than other types and has the least effect on fuel economy and the performance of the vehicle.
In an axle-back exhaust system, there are two variants available online: Single side exhaust system and dual side exhaust system. If you want a single-side exhaust system for Toyota Tacoma, you can consider MBRP S53389 3 Cat System . It has mandrel bent 3″ tubing with easy bolt-on installation that comes at an affordable price online.
2. Header-Back Exhaust System
In a header-back exhaust system, everything from Exhaust Manifolds to the exhaust tips of your stock exhaust system gets replaced with high-quality aftermarket ones. It is known as the high-performance exhaust system as every component of the exhaust system gets better whether it is the diameter of the tube or the muffler quality. Since all the components get replaced with high-performing components, header-back exhaust systems are the most expensive ones but they have the most impact on a vehicle’s performance and fuel economy.
One of the high-performing header-back exhaust systems for Toyota Tacoma available online is Flowmaster 817709 American Thunder Exhaust System . The American Thunder exhaust system comes with stainless steel construction with a dyno tuned for high-quality performance with excellent horsepower and torque.
3. Cat-Back Exhaust System
As we explained earlier, the cat-back exhaust system is one that includes a Catalytic Converter, Muffler, exhaust tips and tail pipes. Since it involves a catalytic converter and muffler both, it has a moderate effect on noise reduction, enhanced fuel economy and engine’s performance.
One of the best exhaust systems for Toyota Tacoma that everyone recommends is Borla 140140 Cat Back Exhaust System . Borla Exhaust System is known for its high-quality stainless steel material and dynamic performance. Borla cat-back exhaust system comes with excellent fuel economy and horsepower due to its multi-core technology. On top of that, the Borla cat back comes with an easy installation at an affordable price.
Things to Consider while buying the best exhaust system for Toyota Tacoma – Ultimate Buying Guide
There are several things to consider while buying the best exhaust system for Toyota Tacoma apart from the exhaust system type, like:
The most important thing to determine first to buy the best exhaust system for Toyota Tacoma is the purpose you want to achieve with that. Every car enthusiast has their own priorities and preferences. Some want better noise reduction while others want better fuel economy. Depending upon your purpose, we have explained three types of exhaust systems available in the market to replace the stock ones.
If your main purpose is to enhance fuel economy and engine performance, then the Header-back exhaust system is the right choice for you. On the other hand, if your main concern is noise cancellation, torque and power, you can go for the Cat-back exhaust system or the axle-back one depending upon your requirements. So, determine your purpose first and then consider the best options under that type.
Another crucial factor to consider after the purpose is the type of performance you want with the aftermarket exhaust. As we explained earlier, the header-back exhaust system provides the highest engine performance while the axle back provides the least. So depending upon the level of performance you want to achieve with your exhaust system replacement, you can suit the right type for your Toyota Tacoma.
Price is definitely a deciding factor while buying the best Toyota Tacoma exhaust system. Depending upon the level of upgradation you want, like either you want to replace or upgrade all the components of your stock exhaust system or only some of them, the cost varies. If you go for the complete upgradation from Header to exhaust tips, it will cost you more expensive than that of individual cat converter or tubing up-gradation.
4. Ease of Installation
Not every exhaust system comes with easy to install kit or guide and if you are a newbie to replace the exhaust system accessories, the process could be challenging for you to perform by yourself. So always go for the one that comes with an easy installation guide, otherwise, you have to spend some additional bucks on the professional’s assistance.
There are several best exhaust system available in the market that comes with easy to install feature. It is advisable to choose the right one amongst them to save both your time and effort.
5. Material Quality
The durability and performance of an aftermarket exhaust depend upon its material quality. To prevent the exhaust system from rust and external damage, the performance exhaust system is designed with high-quality stainless steel material. There are three grades of stainless steel material used in high-performing exhaust systems and these are:
If you want an affordable yet safe stainless steel material quality for your exhaust system, then Aluminized steel is the most common material type used in aftermarket exhaust available in the market. In aluminized steel, the heavy-duty pipes of steel are coated with high-quality aluminum-silicon alloy to prevent the tubes/pipes from rusting or chemical damage.
409 Stainless Steel
409 stainless steel pipes are another cost-effective option available in the market that provides excellent durability, high-strength performance, and corrosion resistance for the hassle-free performance of the vehicle.
304 Stainless Steel
304 Stainless Steel material is not commonly found in exhaust systems as only the top brands use it due to its expensive price. It is considered the topmost quality stainless steel material for exhaust systems due to its high concentration of nickel and chromium. Borla exhaust system comes with 304 stainless steel material to give you the best protection against rust, damage and corrosion.
6. Climate Conditions
Climate conditions can affect the performance and the durability of your exhaust system up to some extent and thus it is crucial to keep that in mind while buying the best exhaust system for Toyota Tacoma. If you live in a dry area, there are fewer chances of rusting and corrosion & thus you can go for aluminium exhaust as well. But if you live in an area with extreme moisture conditions, rusting and corrosion are the common things that can damage your exhaust system and thus you need high-quality stainless steel anti-rust coated material for the same.
7. Pipe Design
The pipe design of the exhaust really matters as it affects the performance and the efficiency of the engine. You can understand it as follows:
In case of reduced diameter or more bending or any blockage in the exhaust pipe, exhaust gas won’t be able to release from the pipe effectively, resulting in the backpressure build-up that will send the exhaust gases back to the engine’s piston and will affect the engine’s performance. That is why it is essential to have less bending or a wider diameter to ensure the right laminar flow of the exhaust gases.
In the performance exhausts available in the market, you can find the high-tech mandrel bending technology in the exhaust pipes, where a flexible steel rod is inserted in the steel pipe to prevent it from crushing or damaging at high pressure. This high-tech mandrel-bent tubing reduces the backpressure and enhances the power and torque of the vehicle.
8. CARB Legal
If you are in California, it is advisable to go for CARB legal catalytic converters or exhaust systems. CARB stands for California Air Resources Board, ensuring the quality and performance of all the parts used in the exhaust system.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How long does Exhaust System lasts?
The life span of any exhaust system depends upon several factors like its material quality, climate conditions, driving style and vehicle & exhaust system type. Depending upon those factors, some exhaust system lasts longer than the others, but on an average, if we talk about the expected life span of a premium exhaust system available in the market, it would be around two-three years with regular maintenance and care.
2) What are the signs of a defective or damaged exhaust system?
There can be some potential signs that indicate the defective or damaged exhaust system, like:
- Loud Acceleration Noise if there is damage in the muffler.
- An unusually strong odour of exhaust gases
- Poor Fuel Efficiency or Low Mileage
- Engine Lights get ON automatically due to defective exhaust system
- Loud Rattling Noise or heavy Vibration (when the Catalytic converter is damaged)
- Reduced Vehicle Power and Torque
3) Is there any need to tune the vehicle after installing the exhaust system?
Tuning the vehicle after installing the exhaust system entirely depends upon the type of exhaust system you are opting for. In the case of the Cat-back exhaust system, there is no need to tune the vehicle after the installation as the new parts won’t harm or impact the torque and horsepower of the vehicle. While in other types, you might need to tune the vehicle after installation depending upon your vehicle and exhaust system type.
Choosing the best exhaust system for Toyota Tacoma is not an easy task as you need to consider many factors before buying the right type. But with the help of our detailed buying guide, you will be able to make the right decision after considering all the crucial aspects we have mentioned in it. Always check the brand’s reviews, ratings, and lifetime warranty before making a purchase to get the best value on your money. If you have any queries related to this topic that we forgot to cover in this guide, you can ask us in the comments. Choose wisely and smartly!