Exhaust Pipe Replacement: Can You Use EMT Conduit?

EMT conduit can be used for the exhaust system but not recommended. Though, you indeed to note that the EMT conduit has a galvanized coating that doesn’t stay on under high temperatures. Under 600-700 degrees celsius galvanized coating will start coming off.

That said, the exhaust temperature never reaches that high except for the headers. In my personal experience, I would not recommend an EMT conduit for the exhaust cause working with an EMT conduit is a pain and comes with high risk. EMT conduit produces dangerous fumes while welding which makes it harder to work with.

Can You Weld EMT Conduit? (Is It Safe)

EMT Conduit

You can indeed weld EMT conduit but if not done properly, it’s not safe and I don’t recommend it. EMT (Electrical Metallic Tubing) Conduit has galvanized coating on the surface, under high temperatures this coating makes extremely dangerous fumes while welding.

If you want to weld EMT Conduit makes sure that you follow these steps:

  1. Outdoor space is required
  2. Make sure to sand off the galvanized coating from the area you want to weld
  3. Use a chemical respirator during welding
  4. Avoid welding EMT Conduit inside an indoor space with less ventilation

What Kind of Pipe Do You Use for Exhaust?

Mild steel as exhaust pipe


Pipe material pros cons Life span cost
Mild Steel Lightweight, easy to work with, inexpensive, easily available. Corrosion resistance is almost none, can be rusted easily, and has a short life. 2-3 years $
Aluminized steel has a Longer lifespan than mild steel, good corrosion resistance, and low price. Same properties as mild steel, the aluminized coating doesn’t last long, no complete corrosion resistance. 3-5 years $$
409 stainless steel Durable and stronger than any mild steel, has better corrosion resistance, chromium, and nickel elements, used in most modern cars’ exhaust systems. Hard to weld, can be cracked during welding, higher cost than mild and aluminized steel. Surface corrosion. 8-10 years $$$
304 stainless steel is Completely corrosion resistant, less iron, rust free, durability higher than 409 ss, same properties as 304 but has higher chromium and nickel. Hard to weld, can be cracked during welding, higher cost than mild and aluminized steel. 10+ years $$$$

Although stainless steel exhaust pipes are expensive If you are thinking about changing your exhaust pipes then I would still highly suggest you go with Stainless Steel pipes. They are the best value for money, corrosion-free, maintenance-free, and long life span.

409 and 304 both are good for exhaust but 304 gives extra benefits such as no corrosion at all. Even the 409 will suffer surface corrosion after heating cycles. 304 on the other hand comes expensive but has phenomenal durability. Both materials are almost the same except for a few things.

  409 Stainless Steel 304 Stainless Steel
Chromium 10.5% – 11.75% 18% – 20%
Nickel 0.5% 8% – 10%

Chromium and nickel element ratio is different on each stainless steel material. 304 also has fewer iron contaminants which make it better than 409 stainless steel.

If you are a little low on money then you can also go for aluminized steel, which saves you a couple of hundred bucks and gives a moderate performance. Durability will be compromised with aluminized steel.

What Gauge Metal Is Exhaust Pipe?

16 gauge is very common among exhaust pipes. The exhaust pipe gauge changes from exhaust to exhaust and vehicle to vehicle.

Not every exhaust is made with the exact same gauge pipes. However, if we talk about the most common gauge then 16 gauge is widely used all over the world. The exhaust pipe can be 14 gauge or up to 20 gauge as well depending upon the type of vehicle and exhaust.

Also Read: Are Bigger Exhaust Pipes Louder?


Q: What Thickness Is Exhaust Pipe

The most common exhaust pipe size is 3” inches (outside diameter). However the exhaust pipe also comes in 3 1/2” and 4” inches as well. The exhaust pipes are measured in OD which stands for outside diameter. The 3” inch exhaust pipe is mainly used all over the world. It can easily slide into other exhaust system parts such as mufflers which makes it easier to fit and weld.

Q: How Can I Temporarily Fix My Exhaust Pipe?

There is a method that you can use to temporarily fix your leaking exhaust. It’s called the tin can and clamp method. It requires a can and 2 exhaust clamps.

First of all cut and remove the top and bottom of the tin can, and slice the middle part of the tin can in half. Jack up your car and get under it. Cover the exhaust leaking area with the tin can, and wrap it around the leaking area. To hold the tin can in place use exhaust clamps. Fasten the bolts carefully and make sure they are fixed properly. Now your car is ready for temporary use.

Q: Can a Car Run Without an Exhaust Pipe?

Technically a car can run without the exhaust but it’s completely risky and against the law. Thus, I don’t recommend it at all.

Running a car without the exhaust is simply putting yourself at a heavy risk of life. Cars produce a ton of carbon monoxide and emissions which are toxic to human life. Exhaust prevents those gasses from entering inside the car and also controls the emission level produced by a car. Without the exhaust, the car will produce unbearable loud noise and emissions, which is completely against the law.

No exhaust will damage your engine as well. The exhaust flow is very important when it comes to engine combustion cycles. Your car is engineered to run with the exhaust and all the settings that are inside the car computer require the exhaust to run properly.

Ifandi L.

Ifandi L.

Passionate about everything mechanical. Ifandi has been involved with motorcycles and cars since the old days - in his family's auto parts shop. Want to keep in touch? Scream "STRAIGHT PIPEEEEE" at the top of your lungs and Ifandi will show up.

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