You might be wondering if you should fit your vehicle with a header or not. One reason why new car owners feel reluctant to install headers in their exhaust system is that they do not fully understand their importance. One crucial reason why headers are an essential accessory for a sports car is that they help to optimize engine performance by ensuring that exhaust fumes exit the combustion chamber efficiently. As a result, headers come in different shapes and sizes, and what you choose will dictate how your car engine performs regarding backpressure buildup. This article examines various types of headers available on the market to assist you to make an informed decision during purchase.

4 into 1-- Most sports car owners are familiar with this type of header, since it is a classic. As the name suggests, 4 into 1 headers merge four tubes into a single long one. The design also means that the header has four main exits, which gives it its main advantage of reducing backpressure significantly. Notably, the exhaust gases are separated into their pipes before being pushed out. The length of the separate tubes prevents crossing over of exhaust fumes from one cylinder to the next. If you are looking for a versatile header that will allow easy fine-tuning for different horsepower ranges, then the 4 into 1 type is the right choice for you.

Shorty and Block Hugger -- The emergence of emission systems that require positioning of catalytic converters and oxygen sensors near exhaust ports led to the need for shorty headers. The short runners ensure that exhaust gases do not mix once they leave the combustion chamber. Due to their reduced length and runner, shorty headers do not maximize the gains made by their short runners, for example, the 4 into 1 header. You can still get the most out of a shorty header provided the sensors and converters near the exhaust exits are functioning as required.  

Mid-length Headers -- These might be considered alternatives to shorty headers. Typically, you will find shorty headers that do not allow for ground clearance; therefore, if you live in an area with uneven ground, then mid-length headers are the right choice. They are designed in such a way that they keep the tubes as well as the collector above the chassis to avoid probable damage by ground objects. While positioning the tubes high might compromise on the length of runners, it does not affect optimal performance significantly. If you want a durable header especially on uneven roads, then go for the mid-length header.