How Does an Exhaust Valve Work?

How Does an Exhaust Valve Work?

Posted by Sean@topspeed on 9th Mar 2023

An exhaust valve is designed to release burned gases from a cylinder. The exhaust valve will open or close depending on if it is an electronic valve or a remote-controlled valve and also depending on the engine size and manufacturer. The opening of the valve will allow for more exhaust flow through a secondary exhaust pipe allowing the engine to breathe more, producing more overall flow as well as sound and performance. The exhaust valve is not a required component of the exhaust system but is very helpful in allowing you to control the amount of exhaust flow as well as the sound and performance.

Many performance vehicles come from the factory with a valve exhaust system as these high-performance engines benefit from the ability to control the exhaust flow. Often, the vehicle will have an electronic system which automatically opens and closes the valves depending on the RPM or speed of the engine. This is to allow for maximum performance of the engine when the engine is in sport mode or track mode. For example, on the Ferrari 458 Italia, the flap valves are activated by the pressure difference between atmosphere and engine intake vacuum working on the opposite sides of the actuator; the pressure gap between the actuator surfaces becomes an actuating force that moves the flap valve rod. This may sound complicated, but in simpler terms, the system opens and closes the valves depending on atmospheric conditions, RPM and engine speed. This system can also be modified to always keep the valves open if you prefer.

The Top Speed Pro 1 Adaptive Valvetronic Titanium Exhaust for the Ferrari 458 Italia 2009-2015

comes equipped with electronic valve controllers that connect directly to the factory wiring harnesses to allow you to use the same OEM exhaust valve functionality on our aftermarket exhaust upgrade.

If your performance vehicle does not come with exhaust valves, do not worry! There are several aftermarket universal remote valve controllers you can purchase to add this function to your exhaust system. There are also many aftermarket exhaust systems on the market that come with remote valve controllers included. For example, Top Speed Pro 1 Performance has just released a new series of exhaust systems for the Porsche 997.1, the 997.2 and the Macan that come with valves and remote valve controllers. Now you can upgrade your exhaust system and control the sound and flow of your exhaust with the touch of a remote control button!

It is also important to maintain your exhaust valves as they may become corroded from driving over time and may need minor maintenance to keep them in top working condition. If your valves become squeaky or do not fully open or close, you can follow this simple quick fix.

  • 1.Spray electro wash into the valve stem to clean and lubricate the mechanism.
  • 2.Spray lithium grease into the valve stem to fully lubricate the mechanism.
  • 3.Push the valve stem back and forth until it moves freely and smoothly.

Check out this video for more instructions on how to maintain your exhaust valves. 

We hope this explains the function of exhaust valves and how they affect your vehicle’s sound and exhaust flow overall. For more blog content and to see all our performance exhaust products, please check us out