What’s Exhaust Heat Shield For Costs & Driving Without It

Exhaust Heat Shield

The idea behind a heat shield is to guard your car’s exhaust system from the intense heat of hot gases being blown out by the engine under hard acceleration. The tin or aluminized steel cover typically fits just after the catalytic converter(s) and before the muffler(s). Manufacturer research has found that certain types of driving can remove these covers. Driving continuously over long distances at sustained speeds of 50 mph (80 km/h) or more, for example, doesn’t cause enough engine heat buildup to risk damaging the shields. But it’s possible to warp them, resulting in gaps through which hot gases can enter.

If you notice reduced performance accompanied by black smoke on deceleration, it’s probably time to replace your heat shield. If you can’t find a replacement, it’s sometimes possible to straighten the original piece. A replacement part typically costs under $100. However, if you have an older car that doesn’t have a catalytic converter, your mechanic may recommend dropping in a set of headers to improve performance and get rid of the heat shields altogether. This can cost you anywhere from about $1,000 to several times that amount, depending on the type of car you have.

If replacing heat shields isn’t practical or necessary for your vehicle, eliminating them is another alternative. Cars without heat shields don’t perform as well as those with them because they reduce noise and emissions. But the performance loss is relatively small. For example, eliminating exhaust heat shields results in a 1-3% increase in horsepower compared to cars with them.

What is an exhaust heat shield?

An Exhaust Heat Shield is a metal covering, commonly made from aluminized steel or tin, that is placed around an exhaust system.

Heat shields are primarily used to reduce the potential for damage to the vehicle’s external components caused by exposure to high-temperature exhaust gases . Internal combustion engines can produce temperatures of up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit (1093 degrees Celsius).

What is Exhaust Heat Shield Good For?

A heat shield works by reflecting the radiant heat of the engine’s hot exhaust gases away from external parts such as side view mirrors, gas caps and plastic or rubber hoses and seals that can deteriorate over an extended period of exposure to high temperatures. However, normal levels of supplied air for radiator cooling and cabin ventilation are not impeded by the presence of a heat shield. Some aftermarket performance headers can be insulated with extra-thick fiberglass shielding to reduce underhood temperatures further still. This allows more efficient exhaust gas flow at higher speeds without harming any other vehicle components.

Where is your Exhaust located?

There are many different locations for our cars’ exhaust system. Generally, the exhaust system is made up of four main parts. These are the header, mid-pipe, muffler and tail-pipe. The function of each part will vary depending on its location in the overall system.

An Exhaust System normally begins with a large diameter pipe leading from the engine’s cylinder head(s) to a larger cross-over pipe known as the header. From there it splits into two piped called the mid-pipes, which lead to one or more mufflers. It is at this point that most components of an exhaust system come together; exceptions include catalytic converters, resonators and test pipes used for emissions testing purposes. The final section of an exhaust can be either a single or dual (or more) tail-pipe(s).

A common misconception is that an exhaust system begins with the catalytic converter and ends at the muffler. In many modern vehicles, this “cat” precedes a precat or test pipe. Some systems include a resonator (also called a “resonator box”) and/or an electronic tuning device known as an electronic feedback controller in lieu of a simple muffler; these components work to pass emissions tests and meet current noise regulations by producing pleasant sound characteristics.

How does heat shield affect your Exhaust System?

Exhaust Heat Shields are generally installed on mid-pipes, headers, aftermarket downpipes & front pipes & various other sections of the exhaust system to prevent heat damage & to reduce noise. It prevents the components of your exhaust system from getting too hot by reflecting radiant heat away from your exhaust system.

According to our research, there are few things that can happen if you don’t have a Heat Shield in place:

1) reduction in horsepower and torque;

2) reduction in fuel efficiency;

3) increase in “engine smell” when running the heater or A/C;

4) potential for increased wear on all engine parts that exist within close proximity to the Exhaust.

Why do I need one?

In order to avoid these problems, we recommend installing an Exhaust Heat Shield on any performance vehicle. Even if you’re not using aftermarket parts such as headers, front pipes & downpipes it is wise to have the Heat Shield installed. After all, your car’s Exhaust is very important and also functions as a safety measure for other people on the road. And if you are using aftermarket parts such as headers, front pipes & downpipes, installing a heat shield is a good idea to protect them from excessive heat.

Driving without it Exhaust Heat Shield

Driving without it Exhaust Heat Shield will be like driving your car without a muffler. You will experience:

1) reduction in horsepower and torque;

2) reduction in fuel efficiency;

3) increase in “engine smell” when running the heater or A/C;

4) potential for increased wear on all engine parts that exist within close proximity to the Exhaust.

If you don’t want any of these things happening, we recommend installing an Exhaust Heat Shield onto your car. If you’re not using aftermarket parts such as headers, front pipes & downpipes it is wise to have it installed since the car’s Exhaust plays a very important function by acting as a safety measure for other people on the road. And if you are using aftermarket parts such as headers, front pipes & downpipes, it’s a good idea to protect them from excessive heat.

How Much Does Heat Shield Cost To Replace?

The cost to install an Exhaust Heat Shield is around $10-$100. But you can always get it done by a professional for around $60-$120 depending on the make of your vehicle. Keep in mind that if you want to use aftermarket parts such as headers, front pipes & downpipes, installing a heat shield is a good idea to protect them from excessive heat. This will not only maintain performance but also increase the life of your exhaust system.

If you want to get rid of that frustrating road noise and prevent engine damage due to excessive heat, pick up an Exhaust Heat Shield today.

Final Thoughts

Cars have a wide variety of uses. Some are used for racing, while others are ideal for transporting goods from one place to the next. In some cases, they’re even used as family vehicles. Regardless of what your car is used for, it’s important that you take the time to maintain the health of its components.

In particular, your exhaust system can require special care in order to ensure that it doesn’t wear down over time and also functions at a high level during every drive you make. If yours is not running properly, consider getting an Exhaust Heat Shield installed upon it today! We recommend doing so because this prevents certain issues from occurring and ensures that your vehicle remains both safe and functional at all times.

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