Car Headers Get Red: Top Causes and How to Fix!

So, your car headers get red more often nowadays! Well, there could be certain reasons why that’s happening to your vehicle. But, to understand what causes that, it is important to understand what headers are, and how does it work.

Let’s explore more about car headers now! Keep certain maintenance tips handy for fixing small issues in your vehicle yourself.

What are Car Headers?

Headers are one of the simplest bolt-on accessories that you can utilize to enhance the performance of the engine. The headers simplify the task of the engine to throw the exhaust gases out of the car cylinders. In a normal engine, when the exhaust releases the gas, it ends up in the exhaust manifold.

Generally, a quality header will end up providing 10-20 horsepower. Moreover, if you can restrain with your right foot, you can even expect to see an upsurge in the fuel mileage. Besides, when you replace the headers with the free-flowing set of pipes, you allow your car’s engine to generate more power by enhancing how waste gases from the cylinder behaves.

Are Headers Bad for your Engine?

Headers are not bad for your engine. In case, there are any restrictions in the vehicle, you just need to remove it to enhance the longevity of the car.

Car headers glowing red
Generally, a quality header will end up providing 10-20 horsepower. (Source: Low Offset)


What Happens When you Run your Vehicle without a Header?

If you are running your vehicle without a header, there are chances that it will pull in the outside air, when the exhaust valve is shut.  Since the air outside is much cooler than the hot exhaust air flowing over the valves, it is possible that the exhaust might get fatigued, resulting in cracking the exhaust.

Now, What Makes your Car Headers Get Red?

So, when you see car headers glowing red, it is normal and abnormal in different conditions.

For instance, if the acceleration is hard, the headers glowing red is absolutely normal. But when it starts to glow red even when in the idle condition, it is pretty much abnormal.

There could be two main reasons behind what makes your car headers get red:

  1. Your vehicle is running real lean or in simpler words, your car doesn’t have enough fuel.
  2. Your timings are late or late timings.
  • A lean cylinder or when your car doesn’t have enough fuel leads to more heat, allowing the headers to heat up even beyond how much it should in the normal conditions and temperatures. This is the reason behind your car headers glowing red.
  • Late timing or when your timings are late, in such case, the header tubes will glow red when idling, or at part throttle. The reason is that the fire in the cylinder kindles too late, and burns even when the exhaust valve is open. This fire then transfers into the headers, giving that red glow to your vehicle. How do you fix that? Well, for that you will just have to advance the timing a few degrees. Working on the timing could possibly fix this issue, allowing the car headers not to glow red anymore.
Car headers get red
Low fuel in the car is the reason behind your car headers glowing red. (Source: The Sun)

The Takeaway Message

So, when the car headers get red, just focus on two things – add more fuel to your vehicle, so that the headers don’t heat up. Besides, fix the initial timing and you will not see the headers glowing up red anymore.