Answer: No matter what your tip is made of (chrome, stainless steel), eventually, it might discolor. Why do they discolor?
During the final polishing process, the compound that is used to polish the metal (which is actually comprised of other metals ground into fine particulates) becomes embedded in the microscopic pores of the tip. Eventually, these fine particulates from the compound oxidize and change color, giving the tip a yellow/gold appearance. This is accelerated with heat and with exposure to harsh climates.
In some cases, the tip may turn blue. This is from heat. Some vehicles, especially modified vehicles, see increased exhaust temps as a result of their modifications. Even if the vehicle is not modified, some vehicles simply produce more heat than others and single walled tips are especially susceptible.
Discoloration is more prevalent in stainless tips, particularly single-walled tips like this:
Why? Because single walled tips lack a thermal barrier. As a result, the entire tip is directly exposed to a great deal of heat which accelerates oxidization.
Double walled tips feature a lined inner wall like this:
As a result, the outer shell of the tip is insulated from heat. This helps slow the discoloration process.
However, eventually, all tips can change color, even Stainless tips (note the name: StainLESS…not StainPROOF)
Which do you choose? Chrome? Stainless? Single walled? Double walled?
Whether you choose chrome or stainless, some polishing and maintenance will still be needed to keep the tips looking nice.
A single walled tip is cheaper than a double walled tip…this is why many manufacturers use these tips on their cat backs…it keeps costs down. MagnaFlow prefers to use double walled tips because they keep their appearance longer.
Does the tip affect performance or power?
No. There is virtually no affect on power, no matter what tip you use. There are some tips that feature “resonators” built in, which amount to little more than some additional louvers in the inside of the tip. This may help to reduce noise, but only slightly.
How do you fix discoloration?
Generally, ALL tips need to be cleaned like any other polished component of your vehicle. We’ve had great success with Eagle One Wire Wheel Cleaner. Others claim success with products like Mother’s Wheel and Mag Cleaner, Wenol, etc., but we’ve found the Eagle One product to work very well, primarily because it’s not putting more polishing compound onto the tip. A 26 oz bottle is about $5.00.
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