When it comes to upgrading your vehicle, aesthetic and performance improvements are usually two separate categories. However, some parts, like ceramic coated headers, offer both elements in one package.
While they can be easy to dismiss, your headers are in large part responsible for the power output of your vehicle. Of all the horsepower killers, heat dissipation is among the biggest. Although stainless steel headers do a decent job, upgrading to ceramic headers can seriously help keep the heat in and the horsepower up.
Formed by bonding a ceramic coating onto the header assembly, these headers can seriously reduce the heat being let out. This means that as the exhaust gasses move through the exhaust system, the gasses stay hotter longer. This results in higher velocity of the gasses, which ultimately means greater horsepower. Better yet, since the heat is kept in, the other components in your engine bay can operate at cooler temperatures Net result: longer lifetimes and more efficient performance from many components in your engine bay.
For an example of what kind of performance increases you can expect, see the chart to the right.
Besides performance improvements, ceramic coated headers also offer practical benefits. While stainless steel headers need to be polished to look their best, the ceramic coating means that soap and water are all that’s needed. Ceramic coated headers also make it easier to check for cracks and exhaust leaks.
If looks are a priority, then you’ll certainly be happier with ceramic coated headers rather than stainless steel. Thanks to easy cleaning, resistance to rust and generally polished look, these are the headers to get if you want a clean looking engine compartment.
Are ceramic coated headers for you? That depends on two main things: budget and performance plans. Although ceramic units can cost more than standard, if your budget allows it, you won’t be disappointed.
For more information, check out the eHow Auto Center to see Chris provide a full overview.