Single vs. Dual Exhaust

When selecting an aftermarket exhaust system, it's important to decide between single and dual exhaust. In this guide, we'll talk about the differences between them and why you'd want one over the other.


A common misconception is that the difference between single and dual exhaust is equal to the number of exhaust exit points on the vehicle: one or two. However, some vehicles may have dual exhaust tips while the overall system is still single, or may split at the muffler, which results in a dual exit on what is technically still a single exhaust system. In a true dual exhaust system, each exhaust manifold is attached to its own, independent exhaust system.

The availability of single and dual exhaust systems depends on the number of exhaust manifolds your vehicle has. While four-cylinder and five cylinder engines have one exhaust manifold with one pipe going to the catalytic converter or DPFE, a V6 or larger engine will have two manifolds. On a single exhaust system, the manifolds flow gases into a Y pipe, which joins the remainder of the system. On a dual exhaust system, each manifold gets its own series of exhaust pipes.

Benefits Of Single Exhaust Systems

Most OEM exhaust systems use a single exhaust design since it is less expensive to produce and provides a good balance of power and economy. These systems can be replaced with aftermarket upgrades without going to dual exhaust. Aftermarket single exhaust systems include wider pipes that will help the system breathe better as well as upgraded mufflers that will give you the sound you want, all with being able to work within the existing Y-pipe and converter (or DPFE).

Benefits Of Dual Exhaust Systems

Upgrading from a single exhaust to a dual exhaust system can have a significant impact. The second pipe will allow for increased air flow through the system, which can reduce back pressure at various points such as the manifolds and in the muffler. This reduction of back pressure will allow for increased horsepower. You'll also be able to select your new mufflers, giving you control over the type of flow (straight-through, glasspack, Flowmaster Laminar Flow) and sound output.

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AFE Large Bore-HD Exhaust System

A wide pipe single exhaust for diesel engines, the aFe Large Bore-HD Exhaust System is mandrel bent to allow for unrestricted exhaust flow. The wider pipes also provide greater tone. All in all, this aFe system gives you the power you need and the sound to back it up.

MBRP XP Series Exhaust System

The MBRP XP Series exhaust system is tuned for your specific make and model and is proven to give you more horsepower and torque as well as perfect tone. The XP Series uses existing mounting locations for installation, making it an excellent all-around upgrade.

Gibson Exhaust System

Available in several different styles, including single exhaust and single inlet/dual exit, the Gibson Exhaust System is designed and tuned to get the most from your specific make and model. Mandrel bent pipes decrease back pressure, and bolt-on installation is easy. 50-state legal, a Gibson system provides deeper and more aggressive sound for the exhaust enthusiast.

Flowmaster Outlaw Exhaust System

The most aggressive sound offering, the Flowmaster Outlaw Exhaust System is available in several different dual-exit configurations, including a true dual exhaust. Mounting hardware is included, though some kits do require drilling and some welding.