We probably all know that it's real hot under the hood. But do you have any idea how much heat the engine can be exposed to? Combustion gases alone can tip the heat scale at over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. And this doesn't even include heat from friction between moving engine parts. It also doesn't help that exhaust headers generate a lot of heat, keeping the temperature rising. Excess heat makes it hard for the engine to churn out much-needed power. It can actually rob the vehicle of optimum performance on the road and may even cause mechanical failure along the way. Engine parts may break or the engine itself may seize up. To minimize or control heat buildup, one thing you can do is insulate the exhaust header with a header wrap.
Benefits of using a header wrap
- The header wrap can help reduce air temperature around the engine compartment. The air intake is able to suck in cooler air into the engine by keeping the air filter box and intake tube from being exposed to too much heat. This can contribute to improved engine efficiency through increased power and torque.
- Insulated exhaust components help in minimizing heat transfer to the engine. By keeping the temperature around the engine in a cooler range, the engine not only gets to run more smoothly and efficiently. Engine parts are also able to work under a more favorable condition and environment. This can extend engine life.
- Wrapping exhaust components like headers can lead to high-temperature exhaust gases being expelled out of the system much faster. High temperature gases have a much lower density, which helps them to flow through the pipes and out into the rear of the car with greater speed.
- Heat circulating inside the hood not only adversely affects the engine. It can also ruin the hood and its paintjob. This is especially true for turbo-charged engines. By keeping engine temperature on the cooler side, hood damage can be prevented.
How to use a header wrap
Step 1: Safely disconnect the header from the vehicle's exhaust system. Use an instructional manual that's specific to the year, make, and model of your vehicle as a guide for uninstalling this exhaust component.
Step 2: Apply some degreaser on the header to get rid of stuck dirt and oil. Wipe the header dry after cleaning it.
Step 3: Insulate the header with the wrap, starting from the end that's nearest to the engine and exhaust port up to the tip. (Note: Strictly follow manufacturer instructions on how to use the header wrap to get things right.)
Step 4: Use a specially made tie for the wrap or a hose clamp to hold the wrap in place. Do this after you're done wrapping around the pipe.
Step 5: Wrap the header tightly. Maintain a 1/4-inch overlap with every pass on the header pipe and make sure that you keep enough tension by pulling on the wrap.
Step 6: Put back the newly wrapped header. Reconnect it to the vehicle's exhaust system.