How to Install an Exhaust Tip

double-pipe exhaust on back of silver car
What You'll Need
Penetrating oil
Automotive grease
Rubber mallet
Shop rags
Socket wrench

An exhaust tip is an automotive accessory that adds flair to your vehicle and also helps vent engine fumes. There are several styles of exhaust tips available for your vehicle, and they come in round, oval, or square shapes made of chrome or stainless steel.

You can attach them to your car’s tailpipe by screws, clamps, or welded joints. If you have dual-exhaust pipes, you can install a tip on both. Choose the tip that meets your tastes and needs, and then follow the directions below.

Step 1 – Measure for the Tip

Consider three dimensions when choosing an exhaust tip.

The First Dimension

The first dimension to consider is the inside diameter of the exhaust tip. The inlet diameter must match the diameter of the car’s tailpipe. This is where the two pieces connect.

The Second Dimension

The second dimension to consider is the outlet diameter. This diameter becomes the next exhaust-vent opening for the vehicle. The width of the bumper cut-out limits the maximum outlet diameter. If you choose a tip that is too large, you will have to cut out part of the bumper. Try to avoid making this cut because it is difficult and expensive.

The Third Dimension

The last dimension to consider is the length of the exhaust tip. Ideally, the exhaust tip should be prominently visible, but not long enough to create a safety hazard.

Step 2 – Select a Tip

Next, choose the style and shape of exhaust tip that you want to install. You can choose round, oval, or square tips, depending on the shape of the bumper cut-out and your taste.

Chrome tips are cheaper and lighter than stainless-steel tips, but they are more susceptible to corrosion. Clamp-on tips are easier to install, and you can change them out at whim. However, these tips loosen easily and can be stolen. On the other hand, weld-on tips are theft-proof and secure. Of course, they also are more difficult to install

If possible, obtain exhaust tips from the manufacturer of your vehicle. They may have tips fitted to the exact year, model, and make.

Step 3 – Install the Tip

Finally, you can install the tip according to these general rules and the manufacturer's instructions.

Cleaning the Tailpipe

Install the exhaust tip on a cold vehicle to avoid burning yourself. Clean off the tailpipe and exhaust tip with penetrating oil, like WD-40, and a shop rag.

Sliding the Tip On

Try to slide the tip onto the exhaust pipe. You will probably meet some resistance, so use automotive grease to lubricate the pieces if necessary. Cover the end of the exhaust tip with a towel and tap it into a place with a rubber mallet.

Fastening the Tip

Finish the installation according to the specific fastener style you chose. With some models, you will tighten screws and clamps to secure the exhaust tips. For other models, you will weld a joint between the edges of the tailpipe and the exhaust tip.

Step 4 – Maintain the Tip

For a long-lasting exhaust tip, you should clean and maintain it according to your manufacturer's directions. If you've installed a metal tip, remove rust that accumulates on it with steel wool and chrome polish.