Unlike a more traditional-looking chrome or stainless steel exhaust tip, carbon fiber tips have a modern look. Carbon fiber is an extremely light and strong material that was originally developed for use in the aerospace industry and is now used widely in automotive applications. Because of carbon fiber's distinctive appearance, it may not look right on all cars, particularly classic cars, which generally look better with the more traditional chrome or stainless steel tip. Carbon fiber tips are available in a variety of shades, including black, silver and white. Generally speaking, carbon fiber tips are made with a carbon fiber body and aluminum trim rings on the both ends.
Unless it is a resonated tip, a carbon fiber tip will not alter the sound of a vehicle's exhaust system. However, if it is a resonated design with additional material built into the tip, the sound of the exhaust may be deepened or altered. An exhaust generally will not realize any noticeable performance gain with the addition of an aftermarket exhaust tip.
Where to Find Them
Carbon fiber exhaust tips can be purchased from many different sources and are available for a wide range of prices. If you want to see what you are buying, then visit your local auto parts stores like Checker or Napa. You can also check with muffler shops, which may have a selection of tips to choose from or may be able to order a tip for you. You can also check eBay or a large company like Summit (see Resources). Prices range widely for carbon fiber tips. At the cheaper end are offerings from companies like Pilot, which are around $30 and up. On the higher end are products from Borla and similar companies, who make extremely high-quality tips that can sell for as much $150 or more.
Installation and care
Carbon fiber tips can be installed in a variety of ways. Some are bolt on, in which case you simply slide the tip onto the exhaust pipe and then tighten the bolts onto the exhaust pipe or tighten a strap that holds them to the tip. Some tips need to be welded on by a professional exhaust shop. To keep carbon fiber tips in good shape, simply clean them regularly and polish any metal trim.
Adding an aftermarket exhaust tip to a car or truck's exhaust system is an easy, inexpensive way to upgrade its exterior appearance. Carbon fiber tips have become more popular in recent years and are widely available for most makes and models.