Exhaust tips are an inexpensive and easy way to enhance the exterior look of the BMW E46. Depending on the size and material, prices for exhaust tips for the E46 range between about £32 to over £195 as of late 2010. Many tips are easy to install at home and attach to the tailpipe of the car with a bolt and clamp. The clamp goes around the tailpipe and grips to keep the tip on. Other tips must be welded onto the pipe.
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Every exhaust tip has an inlet size. This is the size of the front of the tip, the part that will be under the car. The inlet size should be the same size as the tailpipe of the E46. The best way to determine this is to use a ruler to measure the diameter of the tailpipe. Most tailpipes for the E46 are 2, 2.25, or 2.5 inches, but you should measure just to be sure. The outlet size of the exhaust tip is usually bigger than the inlet size and can be as wide as 3 inches.
Choosing the right outlet style for the exhaust tip is also important for the look of the E46. The outlet can be rounded, square, dual or slash cut. Rounded and square outlets have either circular or rectangular outlet pipes. The dual-exhaust tips split the single line of the tailpipe into two outlets. This is a good way to give the car the look of a custom exhaust system. Slash cut or angle cut exhaust tips have an outlet that is cut at a 45-degree, or greater, angle. If you elect to use a slash cut tip, you usually want to choose a tip that is a few inches longer than you would for a rounded or square tip to adjust for the slash.
Polished stainless steel tips are the most common tip for the BMW E46. Stainless steel tips will typically last for the lifetime of the car and are relatively inexpensive. The outside of the tips are polished to a bright, shiny finish. Another option is to use steel tips that are chrome plated. These tips have a brilliant, mirror-like finish. However, chrome is less durable than polished stainless steel. Many models of each type are available for the E46.
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