How Much HP Do Headers Add: Do They Make Your Car Faster?

The question “How much HP do headers add?” is one we hear very often nowadays. The obvious reason is the horsepower craze among many car owners.

How Much HP Do Headers Add

Many people want their cars to go faster and maximize their driving performance, and headers have been identified as a potential HP source.

This article examines just how much horsepower you can expect from adding these to your car.

How Much Horsepower Do Car Headers Add?

Car headers add between 3 to 9 horsepower to a stock engine, depending on the type of header. For short tube headers, the horsepower boost is typically between 3 to 6 HP. However, long tube headers can add between 6 to 9 HP to the engine. Check out what the average horsepower of a car is and figure out if it makes sense to add a header to yours.

Headers add horsepower to a car and make it go even faster. It is important to establish this fact, considering the many approaches people consider in the quest to add HP to their cars. Using the right approach, as with headers, you can give your car an HP boost.

Horsepower (HP) is a measure of the power the car engine produces per unit of time. This power directly correlates to the speed of the car. In other words, the more power a car produces, denoted by HP, the faster it will go.

There are many techniques that can be employed in adding horsepower to a car, and using a suitable header is one of them. Exhaust headers themselves are components that help carry exhaust gasses that the engine generates away from the engine and out of the car. This increases the efficiency of the engine and provides an HP boost.

Let’s see more information about these header types.

– Short Tube Headers

This type of header has a shorter tube run than the long tube headers. There are also called shorty headers. The scavenging potential of the short tube headers is also not as high as their long counterparts. This means the short tube headers don’t have the ability to extract gasses from the engine as much as long tube headers. 

Short Tube Car Headers

Considering their reduced capability in scavenging gasses, short tube headers do not give as much HP boost as long tube headers. Generally, you should expect between 3 and 6 additional horsepower if you use this type of header. Despite this, short tube headers are the more common header type in vehicles. 

Their prevalent use is due to their ability to fit in most vehicles quite easily, as they are not as bulky. Moreover, short tube headers are not as difficult to install as long tube headers. Also, they are less expensive than long tube headers due to their reduced efficiency. For most owners, the short tube header supplies more than enough horsepower to meet their driving needs.

– Long Tube Headers

This header type has long tube runs and a significantly higher scavenging potential than short tube headers. This correlates to efficiency and effectiveness, and the long tube headers are the best you can get for your car in terms of horsepower boost. 

While the short tube header cannot give beyond 6 horsepower, the long tube headers can give up to 9 horsepower to the engine. This means your vehicle will run faster with the long tube header than with the short tube header. 

However, long tube headers are bulky and will not fit most cars, as well as being more difficult to install than short tube headers. Additionally, they are more expensive than short tube headers. Because of these, despite being the better header performance-wise, many owners do not get the long tube header. If price and car space are not a problem for you, though, the long tube headers should be your preferred option. 

What Factors Determine the Horsepower of a Car With Headers?

Factors that determine the horsepower of a car with headers include the type of the header itself, the type and size of the engine, and the construction type of the exhaust. While headers will give a horsepower boost, these other factors determine the total horsepower production of the vehicle. 

Below, we take a look at the relevant factors in determining the power output of an engine with headers.

– Engine Specifications

The engine specifications refer to the type and size of the engine. Starting with type, some engines are better designed than others in terms of ridding exhaust gasses. Here, the two main categories are forced induction and natural aspiration. The latter ensures there is better airflow in the engines and this corresponds to more horsepower. 

Car Engine Specifications

The other main part of engine specifications is its size. Bigger engines usually mean that more power is generated. This also affects the type of headers that can be used in the car. 

– Header Type

Whether the header is a short tube type or a long tube type undoubtedly contributes to the horsepower that will be additionally generated in the engine. However, another important factor is the design of the header itself.

Parameters like the diameter of the primary pipe, the size of the collecting tubes, and the angle at which they merge also come into play in determining the additional horsepower that the engine produces.

– Exhaust Design

Additional horsepower generation very much depends on the efficiency at which gasses can be ejected from the car. Along that line, cars that have a dual-exhaust setup will be better at ejecting exhaust gases than those that have a single-exhaust setup. Therefore, the dual-exit design will allow more horsepower generation in the engine. 

Car Exhaust Design

Do Headers Add More Horsepower Than Exhaust Manifolds?

Yes, headers add more horsepower than exhaust manifolds because they are more efficient at ridding the engine of unwanted gasses. Furthermore, headers will provide a more straightforward path for the exhaust gasses, as well as take into consideration the differences in exhaust gas production from the different engine cylinders. 

While exhaust headers have tubes that connect to cylinders individually, the manifold is a single tube that all cylinders connect to. In simpler terms, the headers allow different cylinders to single pipes before eventually connecting them as one, while the manifold connects all the individual pipes together from scratch. Since the cylinders fire at different rates, the way the header is constructed is more suited to efficient exhaust gas collection compared to the manifold.

By implication, headers will always add more horsepower to the engine than manifolds. The fact that headers can also help rid the unwanted backpressure from the manifold also contributes to their higher HP boost. However, manifolds are less bulky and easier to fix into the car than headers. 

Is the Additional Header Horsepower Worth Paying For?

The additional header horsepower is worth paying for depending on what you expect from your car. If you need the extra speed, by all means, get headers, but there’s no point in buying the headers for the sake of it. Most people find that their car is fast enough.

Additional Header Horsepower Worth Paying For

Your requirements for the car should be gauged with the price of installing the headers as well. You can expect to spend at least $500 on a header. The actual cost, of course, will depend on the type of header you are getting and the vehicle itself. If you don’t really need more speed, then you don’t need to splash the cash.

However, for people with extra speed demands, like for competitions, races, and even everyday use, the header is a good addition to your vehicle. Just be sure the installation is done with trusted professionals. Also, be mindful of the labor costs of installing short and long tube headers, as the former should not cost as much as the latter. 

Do Headers Increase Horsepower and Improve Car Performance?

Headers are aftermarket car modifications that can potentially increase horsepower and enhance overall performance. However, it is crucial to note that the keyword “r134a in r12 system: results and consequences” is not directly related to headers. These keywords pertain to a distinct topic involving the use of a specific refrigerant in vehicle air conditioning systems.


You can gain additional horsepower and speed by using horsepower for your car, and that bit is clear to many.

This article also addresses the topic of the exact horsepower boost headers supply, and here are some takeaways:

  • The additional horsepower supplied by the use of headers depends majorly on the type of header used, whether short tube or long tube.
  • Short tube headers will give a 3 to 6 HP boost, while long tube headers will give a 6 to 9 HP boost.
  • While the long tube headers give more horsepower, they are also bulkier, more expensive, and harder to install.
  • Headers are more efficient and effective at generating horsepower than manifolds.
  • If you need additional speed in your cars, then headers are worth paying for.

The headers will give you additional speed quite alright, but factors like engine specifications and exhaust system also come into play. You can check out the MagnaFlow and Flowmaster exhaust systems and find out which option is the best for you. Make sure you consider all necessary parameters before making the decision to get headers. 

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