Do You Need A Tune For Long Tube Headers? Its Pros & Cons

Do you need a tune for long tube headers? This question normally pops up every time we are about to have this latest update for the system.

Let us help you to solve such a puzzle without any sweat on your forehead! Wait no longer but jump right in for further information!

Do You Need A Tune For Long Tube Headers?

do you need a tune for shorty headers
Long Tube Headers Without Tune

Do you need a tune for headers or long tube headers in particular? 

Yes. As long tube headers represent a significant modification to the exhaust aspiration of your car’s engine, an updated or new custom tune is indispensable to adjust the increased airflow and the oxygen sensors’ changed position.

What do car headers do? Let us put it simpler. These headers function by improving the flow of exhaust fuel/ gasses.

As a result, the smoother these flows, the more amounts of Oxygen appear in the combustion chamber.

This does nothing but has only a good effect on the engine’s performance.

Yet, you will need to make little tune adjustments to the ratio of the air-fuel mixture since the Oxygen becomes extra, but the fuel is still the same.

That’s where the ECU tune performs its job.

By tuning your car after you install long headers, not only will you re-balance the air/fuel ratio, but there are also several advantages you can make the most of.

As such, it will help boost the low-end torque and horsepower while perking up your mileage and engine’s overall health, not to mention other tuning benefits, such as preventing the check engine light and so on.

What Are the Cons Of Long Tube Headers Without Tune?

As we have mentioned, tuning your car brings tons of upsides. The common question here is: What if you install long tube headers with no tune? Which bad things possibly can happen?

When your installation is with no tune, you run the great danger of running lean or creating even leaner conditions, which occurs if your engine is ignited with an ignition chamber containing too little fuel or air.

This will almost certainly cause the check engine light (CEL) to come on.

Your vehicle will also not receive the intact horsepower that it should have in the beginning.

Guess what? It happens vastly infrequently for automobiles with bolt-on modifications that have got tuned to experience failures in operating.

That means you will minimize the chances of losing your journey due to the transportation breakdown.

Eventually, it’s your call to tune or not, but let’s face the truth: Is it worth it to postpone such a splendid upgrade with absolutely no harm to your pet vehicle?

Do You Need A Tune For Shorty Headers?

do you need a tune for long tube headers
Do You Need A Tune When Installing Shorty Headers

No, you will be fine without tuning your car when installing shorty headers. Why is there such a distinction between those long ones and short ones? Many may wonder.

This is because shorter headers do not modify sufficient aspiration to necessitate a tune.

Although these components can enhance the improvements in airflow of exhaust fuel/ gasses, those flows are not smooth enough to attract excessive oxygen for the system to handle.

As a result, there is no need for you to get an updated or new tune.

Yet, saying so doesn’t mean this element makes absolutely no sense with the short headers.

It is still advisable since the tune will bring out the headers’ latent potential, and even more, the advantages breed remains the same!

No harm in knowing that there is such a useful segment out there to advance your car’s performance, right?

What Differences Does It Make To Your Horsepower When Having A Tune?

Now, we must all have acknowledged the horsepower boost that tuning after headers installation would yield for your vehicle.

But what exactly is the joyful number that the automobile could gain? Or how much HP does headers and a tune add?

The answer would amaze you with up to a significant 50 extra horsepower.

This is due to the fact that tuning may change other factors, such as eliminating the rev limitation and changing your engine torque map, as well as providing you with the ideal fuel/air ratio for performance.

All you need is merely a little tune, and the new headers will perfectly sync with your transmission to offer enough horsepower for your car to conquer even the most winding roads.

Without you coming up with the tune after getting new headers, you can still gain a few more horsepower, but that’s just it – no additional efficiency or advantage will be generated.

Plus, not only shall the check engine light turn on right away when installing the headers, but you can also experience decreased gas mileage and generally weird automobile carrying.

Will Putting In Headers Without Tuning The Engines Hurt Them?

No, it won’t. Not to mention tuning yet, there is nothing wrong with equipping your car with aftermarket parts like performance headers.

So what do aftermarket headers do? As the name refers, they are merely headers in a better shape and built of superior materials to support the exhaust stream in your engine to flow more effectively.

It goes without saying that several car owners may get the sense of being ripped off due to the very abstract concept of efficiency and money-saving the marketing creates.

Let us tell you something: It is completely worth the hype to believe in the performance headers as one aftermarket component that can help your automobile reach its full potential.

Even if you do not pair its installation with tuning, the sure thing is your engine can not be as aggressive as when you do. Yet, your engine is still under no harm in any scenario.

What Is The Price Of Vehicle Tuning?

what do car headers do
The Cost Of Vehicle Tuning

You may expect to spend from $80 to $800 on a complete tune-up.

However, there will be differences in the price depending on which type of tuning you prefer and the cost of labor and parts where you reside.

ECU Flash

Many individuals have their bets on ECU flash as one of the preferable methods of tuning their vehicles.

The reason is that this approach does not require any special expertise or skill that could probably make the procedure go wrong as you accidentally choose an unreliable mechanic to count on.

Even you can comprehend such a process without paying any effort to dig further into the textbook. All to do is simply plug it into your car’s OBD port, hit tune, and you are good to go!

There may be only one concern that would bother you. Saying so means you might have to spare more expense if you prefer to execute ECU flash at a reputable mechanic performance shop.

It may sound a little unfair to pay huge pocket money for such a straightforward procedure as described. There is a fairly rational reason for that, anyway.

As such, a qualified mechanic will help you modify the ECU setting exactly to each parameter to meet your needs for optimal performance.

That is why many would still be willing to spare a few hundred dollars (approximately $350) or higher to get an ECU flash at the right place.

Performance Chips

Performance chips are a fantastic technique to modify your vehicle, but only if built with a turbocharger or supercharger.

Since if your car is intuitively deprived of Oxygen, there would be nothing you can gain from such a process. The story goes another way as you drive a turbocharged gasoline or diesel vehicle.

In such cases, these chips would work wonders to offer your engine up to 50 horsepower.

One way to explain this is that those detuned automobiles have better fuel efficiency and, thus, longer engine lives when they were published out there in the market.

They also cost more affordable as compared to ECU flash. With these chips, you can expect more regarding fresh settings and more forceful performance.

Better yet, there are several solutions available for every price range, some of them even under the price of $100.


Are Long Tube Headers Good For Your Engine?

Yes, they are. One valid advantage of long tube headers is the large reduction in backpressure brought on by the division of exhaust fuel into separate mid pipes.

Not just so they can also help safeguard the system from the custom exhaust crossflow from one cylinder to another by their length.

Do Long Tube Headers Make It Louder?

No, aftermarket parts like long tube headers would not cause your vehicle to have excessively annoying aggressive sounds. Yet, they do enhance the system’s overall volume feature.

Many claim that the exhaust notes would become more pronounced, smoother, and also bolder with exhaust manifold headers. Click here to get more details about headers and their noise.

Are Short Or Long Headers Better?

It is really a tie to decide between long and short headers, but there is one thing we can say for sure, which is they both have their own niche to benefit you the most.

Let’s say you are riding track terrors or a high-rev vehicle; then long tube headers with tons of power provided in the mid-to-high RPM range would definitely suit you more.

In case it’s in the idle to mid-RPM range that you need to perform the work, then short headers are indeed the call you have been longing for.


Do you need a tune for long tube headers? Again, to address this wonder, our answer is always a big old yes.

Yet, depending on each circumstance, tuning would perform the best, particularly if you and your vehicle are both ready for the modification.

Now that you know all about the tune-up task for long tube headers, it’s time to go down the line and decide whether or not this work suits your wish.

Hopefully, our article can be of great help to you. See you then!

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