8 Ways To Make Your Car's Exhaust Sound Louder (2024)

If you want to make your car louder, there are some expensive upgrades you can apply that will alter the car’s sound dramatically. However, not everyone has the money to add all of these parts. Instead, you might need to stick to a budget.

Thankfully, all hope is not lost. There are ways to make your exhaust louder, no matter what your budget is. But how can you make your car exhaust louder?

In this guide, we cover some practical tips for increasing the exhaust sound. Our guide outlines the average price of each option, so you know how much money needs to be saved.

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How is Exhaust Sound Generated?

What makes the sound that’s coming out of the exhaust? Power is generated when a mixture of fuel and air combusts in the engine. In other words, your engine is creating a constant series of controlled explosions. As this power is created, sound waves travel out of the vehicle through the exhaust system.

On the way out of the car, the sound waves and exhaust gases move through several parts, including the catalytic converter, muffler and resonator. Each of these parts changes the sound that is coming out of the vehicle. If you want a more aggressive sound, you must alter the parts in some way.

How to Make Your Car’s Exhaust Louder (Ranked by Price)

To make your car’s exhaust louder, you can increase the exhaust sound by taking off the muffler. You can also remove the catalytic converter or install a cat-back exhaust. Consider putting on a performance muffler, cold air intake, turbocharger, straight pipe exhaust, or aftermarket exhaust if you have the money.

Here is a more detailed list of the different ways to make your car’s exhaust louder by budget.

1. Drill Holes in Exhaust ($0-$25)

This is the least recommended option, but the cheapest way to create a louder exhaust sound is to drill small holes in the exhaust. This will cause an exhaust leak, creating a louder sound. With your power drill and 3/8” bit, simply put four to six holes in the exhaust pipe.

These holes should be drilled before the muffler but after the catalytic converter. If you put it before the cat, you could allow dangerous gases to enter the atmosphere. As the engine releases sound, the waves will make their way through the system, but a few will escape through the holes before they can be quieted through the muffler.

However, this method is definitely not recommended over the others, as it can lead to more exhaust fumes in the cabin, which is bad for your health. It can also lead to your car failing a smog test. If you have an annual inspection of the car in your country, that’s going to be a problem

2. Take Off Muffler ($20-$45)

By taking the muffler off of the exhaust, you remove the part that creates the silencing action. You will need to replace the muffler with a pipe welded into the system.If you find some suitable pipes, you can also use exhaust clamps, although welding is often the best way. You may need to weld mounts for the rubber hangers though.

Removing the muffler from the equation substantially changes the way the car sounds, making it louder. This will often also cause a much more aggressive exhaust sound. However, it’s not legal to perform in all US states.


3. Install Exhaust Tip ($35-$65)

The resonator has the opposite effect of the muffler. Instead of bouncing the sound waves around to silence them, the resonator tip is going to vibrate the waves, leading to a slightly different sound, not necessarily much louder. However, not all car models use a resonator, so in this case, it is just called an exhaust tip.

It isn’t difficult to install the resonator or exhaust tip. You will clip it to the exhaust system’s tail. You also don’t need a lot of money to get this job done.Unfortunately, this will often not make a big difference to the car’s exhaust sound, but it can make a small difference, it’s easy to install and it will give a better appearance to your car’s look.


4. Remove Catalytic Converter ($50-$350)

The catalytic converter is used to reduce the hazardous byproduct of the emissions. It also reduces the sound coming from your car.

You can bypass this system with the help of a downpipe or a fitting pipe instead of the converter. You will instantly notice a boost in the sound level. However, it’s also normally against the law to do this procedure, so your vehicle might only be good off-road once it is done. It also isn’t going to pass the emissions inspection without the cat.

The engine control module also uses O2 sensors to measure catalyst efficiency, and by simply removing the cat, you can get a check engine light on your dashboard and a P0420 code on your scanner. You need to reprogram the ECU to bypass this issue if you choose to remove it.

5. Put on Performance Muffler ($65-$150)

The performance muffler is going to change the way the sound comes out of the exhaust. While it may still suppress some of the sound waves, it can also increase the overall tone.

The performance muffler has fewer plates in the construction and it features a hollow design. With the easy gas exit, not only will the sound be increased, but performance can be boosted. Not all performance mufflers are legal, so check your local laws before installing one.However, it’s often a better choice than removing the muffler completely.

5. Install Cold Air Intake ($150-$300)

If you want more performance and a slightly tweaked sound, the cold air intake is right for you. With the cold air intake, the engine sucks in cooler air, giving it a better performance because of the added oxygen levels.

While nothing changes with the exhaust itself, the sound coming from the engine is louder and more aggressive, which creates a different tone when it exits the exhaust.If your car has a turbocharger, it will also make this cool turbo chirping sound more noticeable when you let off the gas pedal and change gears.

6. Install Turbocharger ($400-$3,000)

The turbocharger itself does not make your car’s exhaust sound higher, it will actually do the opposite most of the time – but it will definitely make your car engine sound better. The turbocharger also adds more air to the combustion chamber to boost horsepower and torque.

The upgrade won’t change any of the exhaust parts, but the increased performance will create a different overall sound for the vehicle.

However, this is a costly upgrade that isn’t worth the expense unless you are looking for a major boost.After you have added the turbocharger, you may also need to replace other parts such as the fuel injectors, and also change the map of the engine control module to work with the higher fuel requirement.


7. Install Straight Pipe Exhaust ($450-$1,250)

If you are really looking to make your exhaust sound louder – a lot louder – a straight pipe exhaust is your best choice. Changing the exhaust to a straight pipe design means you must get rid of multiple exhaust components. You will remove the catalytic converter, resonator and muffler while adding in a straight pipe instead.

To make the straight pipe operate correctly, there might be some tuning involved, which can dramatically increase the price. However, by eliminating most of the restriction, you are going to give a whole new sound to the exhaust.


8. Install Aftermarket Exhaust ($250-$1,500)

If you are ready to make some big changes and you have the money to invest, it’s best to install a complete aftermarket exhaust system. It’s the perfect way to maximize how much airflow is permitted, allowing for a super loud sound.

The standard stock exhaust from the manufacturer is very restrictive, looking to quiet the sound as much as possible. By removing these restrictions, the aftermarket exhaust perfects the way the airflow should be. However, you want to choose something that’s specifically meant for your goals and is designed to work with your vehicle. If you aren’t sure what’s best, you should talk with a professional.

You can either choose to replace the entire exhaust pipe from the exhaust manifold with an aftermarket exhaust system, or choose a cat-back exhaust system. Catback exhaust pipes are the most popular choice, and this means that you replace everything from the catalytic converter and back. You can find many cat-back exhausts on the market. They will give your car a louder and deeper sound while still having a functioning cat.

The aftermarket exhaust offers another benefit you might not have thought about. Because there are fewer airflow restrictions, the engine performance will also be increased. The engine breathes better, there are fewer blockages, and you will notice a profound difference after the installation.

Is It Illegal to Make the Exhaust Louder?

There are plenty of ways to make the exhaust louder that are legal to perform. However, keep in mind that not all of the options I’ve listed above are legal, and performing some of them could land you in hot water depending on what jurisdiction you live in. In particular, if you eliminate any exhaust parts, such as the muffler or catalytic converter, you could end up in trouble. Emission restrictions are very strict, with some states requiring regular inspections.

That’s why it’s important to check your local laws and regulations before you make any exhaust modifications. Additionally, if you aren’t sure how to make the modifications, it’s best to have a professional do the job. You don’t want any exhaust gas infiltrating the cabin, which could be dangerous for you and your occupants.

Categories:Exhaust, Guides

8 Ways To Make Your Car's Exhaust Sound Louder (2024)


8 Ways To Make Your Car's Exhaust Sound Louder? ›

A cold air intake is one of the best options for getting a resonant, deep-sounding exhaust note from your vehicle. When you rev your engine and finally release the throttle, you'll hear the sound of air flowing through your intake and changing the notes of your engine to a louder, more aggressive sound.

How can I make my car exhaust louder? ›

A cold air intake is one of the best options for getting a resonant, deep-sounding exhaust note from your vehicle. When you rev your engine and finally release the throttle, you'll hear the sound of air flowing through your intake and changing the notes of your engine to a louder, more aggressive sound.

How can I make my exhaust louder for free? ›

How do you make car exhaust louder for free?
  1. Remove the muffler. The muffler makes your car much quieter than it would otherwise be. ...
  2. Putting a hole in your exhaust system. Drilling a hole in the right pipe can let the exhaust make some noise before it reaches the muffler.
  3. Unclog exhaust tubing.
Nov 24, 2021

What mods make exhaust louder? ›

A cat-back exhaust will typically make a louder exhaust sound and the car sound better but, like the axle-back, will do little to add power gains. This is especially true with factory turbocharged vehicles that tend to have a well flowing cat-back exhaust already from the factory.

What increases exhaust sound? ›

The most common ways to enhance the sound of your exhaust include: Replacing the muffler with a straight muffler that will make the exhaust come out directly. Aftermarket exhaust will maximize airflow and increase sound. An exhaust tip is a cost-effective method that will amplify the sound of your vehicle.

Do exhaust tips make it louder? ›

Installing a new set of exhaust tips will make your car produce a stronger, more powerful sound. It's that deep, throaty roar from an engine which petrolheads often appreciate, and installing some exhaust tips will allow you to replicate this sound.

What makes a car loud on purpose? ›

The excruciating sound comes from the car's exhaust system. Certain types of mufflers and exhaust tips amplify the sound of an engine but also make the car more powerful. Sound isn't just a byproduct for everyone.

What do exhaust tips do? ›

Exhaust tips, since they are literally at the tailend of the exhaust system, will make a car have a more powerful sound. But a normal tip typically will have a small effect on the exhaust sound. A larger tip will give the engine a stronger, hearty sound, while a small tip will produce a raspy sound.

What makes exhaust sound deeper? ›

One part that deepens the exhaust sound the most is the muffler. A free-flowing performance muffler which incorporates hair or fiber-like material for absorbing sound from companies like Borla or Magnaflow will provide a deeper tone than the stock muffler or a muffler that uses chambers or baffles.

What exhaust is the loudest? ›

That's why we picked five of their models as the best of the loud exhaust kits.
  • Magnaflow xMOD Series. ...
  • Magnaflow NEO Series. ...
  • Flowmaster Outlaw Exhaust System. ...
  • Flowmaster American Thunder Series.

What makes a car pop and crackle? ›

Pop & Bang, burble or crackle tunes achieve these sounds through delaying the retarding of fuel injection after TDC (Top Dead Centre) into the engine. This essentially means that excess fuel is injected into the combustion chamber for a short period of time after letting off the throttle.

What makes an engine louder? ›

Loud Idling

If there is an uneven air-fuel ration in the cylinder, combustion can occur at higher or lower rates than normal. Higher pressure in the cylinder can cause the engine to sound louder than usual or even produce a knocking sound.

Can you make a car run rich? ›

Running rich only occurs if there is an issue with your engine's combustion process. The cause of this is your engine receiving too much fuel. Conversely, “running lean” refers to your car receiving too much air and not enough fuel.

Is Pop crackle bad for engine? ›

Pop and bang tuning has certainly gained a poor reputation. But social acceptance aside, is it true pops and bangs tuning can damage your engine? The short answer is yes! The excess fuel added to cause the anti-lag and pops is not at all good for the longevity of an engine.

Is it good or bad to pop your exhaust? ›

Are These Sounds Serious? Most of the time, car popping sounds are nothing to worry about. However, if you think you may have an engine knock, it's important to have your car checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible. Engine knock can damage your engine if left unchecked.

What makes a car sound like a hot rod? ›

Most of the time, the symptoms you are describing are caused by the battery failing (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/battery-replacement). If there is a bad connection at the battery or if the voltage in the battery is low, then this will occur.

Does a cold air intake make your car louder? ›

While a cold air intake also gives you a boost in sound, it's nothing compared to what an exhaust system can do. Your exhaust notes will be loud, aggressive and powerful enough to catch anyone's attention while cruising the streets.

Do longer exhaust tips change sound? ›

In contrast, larger exhaust tips are less restrictive, allowing more gases and sound waves to pass through, creating a deeper, louder sound from your engine. This goes double for flared exhaust tips that widen at the end, as these act as a megaphone, amplifying sound waves as they exit your car.

What does a bigger exhaust pipe do? ›

A larger size of exhaust pipe reduces exhaust restrictions. With more size and less restrictions, gasses exit quickly and decrease the pressure build-up. A larger exhaust system, including improved exhaust headers, can increase scavenging: replacing spent gasses in the engine cylinder with fresh air and fuel.

Why do guys like loud engines? ›

A Thrilling Drive

For some, the sound of an engine equates to sportiness and power. The louder the sound, the greater the thrill. They know their vehicle is standing out. The engine noise also gives them something to play with and feel sporty even if they're just driving through traffic.

Which car has the loudest exhaust? ›

Some of The Loudest Cars in the World
  • Mercedes-AMG E63.
  • Jaguar F-Type R.
  • Lexus LC.
  • Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R.
  • Porsche 718 Cayman GT4.
  • Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.
  • Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
  • Lamborghini Huracán Performante.

What would make a car sound louder? ›

A worn-out or damaged muffler will definitely make your car run louder (although the sound won't be coming specifically from the engine). Besides the noise volume, other potential side effects of muffler trouble could be poorer gas mileage and increased fumes.

What does black exhaust tips mean? ›

Black exhaust is a typically an indication of excessively burning fuel. This is often caused by an issue with your fuel injectors. If the injectors are clogged, it's likely that the amount of air is insufficient for the combustion of fuel.

How much HP does exhaust tips add? ›

Depending on your car, an aftermarket performance exhaust system could give you as much as 50 extra horsepower or as little as 2-3 HP. To learn more about the benefits of upgrading your exhaust system or get an estimate of the horsepower benefits one might give you, try asking an expert.

Do exhaust tips add HP? ›

Exhaust headers absolutely yes. 20-30 hp. These figures are for an engine making 300-450 hp.

Is a 4 inch or 5 inch exhaust louder? ›

The 5” exhaust is an aftermarket addition that increases the flow of exhaust coming from the engine. It is generally much louder and more powerful than the 4” exhaust, but not all trucks can be equipped with such a wide exhaust.

Which is louder single or dual exhaust? ›

Dual exhaust systems never produce more noise than single ones. But they do change the sound quality of your vehicle in various ways: Pipe length and diameter. The longer and broader an exhaust pipe is, the louder and deeper the sound it can produce.

Does straight piping make it louder? ›

Straight pipes are usually loud, and often obnoxious. Loudness can be a pro or a con depending on your taste and application. Sometimes you just need or want exhaust that is loud. Straight pipes can usually deliver loudness, but at the price of good sound quality.

How much does a pop tune cost? ›

Each setup is different, and also depending on what type of system is being used (piggy back, chip, stand-alone, supercharged, naturally aspirated, street or race only, etc) tune costs can range from $250 to $1500.

What is Stage 2 car tuning? ›

Stage 2. A stage 2 tune involves fitting a turbo-back exhaust on turbocharged vehicles or a cat-back exhaust system on non-turbocharged vehicles. In either case, these systems are designed to improve airflow from the engine. They are also well-known for improving the sound of a car.

Why do performance cars pop? ›

When an engine is running rich, it has too much fuel and too little air, which slows down the combustion process. When combustion doesn't happen in a timely manner, the exhaust valve opens while the air-fuel mixture is still igniting, causing this explosion to “spill” out of the cylinder, making a loud popping noise.

Is a 2 step bad for your car? ›

Updated April 2022: A two-step is a secondary rev limiter that holds a certain RPM for optimum power delivery, which is now popularly known as launch control. Unless the setup is wired to increase pressure inside the exhaust manifold, two-step rev limiters are generally not bad for your engine.

Is backfire bad? ›

An engine backfire occurs whenever the air-fuel mixture in your car combusts somewhere outside the engine's cylinders. This can cause damage to your car's exhaust or intake if left unchecked -- and it also means that your car's engine isn't making as much power as it should, and is wasting lots of fuel.

Why do turbo cars pop? ›

This is accomplished by adding fuel, retarding the timing, and sometimes electronically interrupting the spark to certain cylinders. These last efforts of adding fuel and dropping spark will place unburned fuel in the exhaust which will ignite in the pipes causing the violent popping sounds.

What makes a V8 sound deep? ›

The cross-plane crank has an irregular firing order, sometimes producing two exhaust pulses on the same side, as opposed to alternating. This irregular firing sequence is what causes the deep rumble of an American V8 (cross-plane) as opposed to the rhythmic, even pulse rate of a Ferrari or Lamborghini V8 (flat-plane).

What gas makes car louder? ›

If you have any of these upgrades, you'll likely hear a louder and throatier sound with E85 than gasoline. Your car will also run better because the ethanol in E85 is a solvent that can clean the carbon deposits throughout your engine and fuel system, and the high octanes enable the engine to produce more power.

What makes a car faster and louder? ›

A full exhaust system, from the headers to the tailpipe, will provide the biggest performance gains. A cat-back system is a bare minimum for any performance gains, anything less will just make the car louder without any significant power increase.

What makes a turbo scream? ›

What causes turbo whistle? Turbo whistle is the sound of the compressor inside the turbocharger speeding up (also known as 'spooling up', which is why it kicks in at the boost threshold (when the turbo starts to kick in) as you accelerate up the rev range.

Are whistle tips illegal? ›

While violators will be subject to fines of $250 and businesses that install them can be fined up to $1,000, surcharges and enforcement fees will bring it up to $850 and $3,400, respectively.

What does a dirty turbo sound like? ›

However, if you start to hear a loud, whining noise - a bit like a dentist's drill or police siren - it's a potential symptom of turbo failure. As the fault gets more serious, the noise will get worse. If you notice a whining from your engine, you should get a professional mechanic to have a look at your car.

Does drilling holes in your muffler make it louder? ›

Drilling the muffler will make it louder and won't make any toxic emissions. Take the muffler off and straight pipe it out the back of you want loud. I'll help you.

Does louder exhaust increase horsepower? ›

Depending on your car, an aftermarket performance exhaust system could give you as much as 50 extra horsepower or as little as 2-3 HP. To learn more about the benefits of upgrading your exhaust system or get an estimate of the horsepower benefits one might give you, try asking an expert.

What exhaust gives the best sound? ›

Cat-back exhausts

These are full exhaust systems from the catalytic converter to the exhaust pipe at the back of the car. As well as the muffler and tail pipe, you'll also get the mid and intermediate pipes. These are the best sounding exhausts that will also give you some power gains.

What does a longer exhaust tip do? ›

A larger tip will give the engine a stronger, hearty sound, while a small tip will produce a raspy sound. This is where taking a look at different exhaust tips for your vehicle will pay off. You'll be able to determine the style and noise you're looking for.

What is catback exhaust? ›

The cat back is the section of the exhaust that runs from the outlet of the catalytic converter to the exhaust tips. Exhaust systems that include this often feature a large pipe running from the converter to the muffler, with mandrel-bent turns and glasspacks for reduced back pressure.

What happens if you put holes in your exhaust? ›

A hole in your exhaust can allow the exhaust fumes to seep into the interior of your vehicle. This can expose you to carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a gas that can causes you to feel ill. Symptoms of exposure to carbon monoxide include: nausea, vomiting, cold, and flu-like symptoms.

What exhaust adds the most horsepower? ›

If you're looking to increase your vehicle's horsepower, one of the best methods you can choose is modifying the exhaust system. Specifically, a cat-back exhaust system is a great way to improve your vehicle overall. Not only will a cat-back exhaust system improve performance, but it can enhance the aesthetic as well.

How much HP does a turbo add? ›

Supercharger or turbocharger

A turbocharger works with the exhaust system and can potentially give you gains of 70-150 horsepower. A supercharger is connected directly to the engine intake and could provide an extra 50-100 horsepower.

Does a cherry bomb increase horsepower? ›

Cherry Bomb exhaust sound provides aggressive, loud, throaty, and mild tones. While improving fuel economy, horsepower, towing capacity, and appearance.

Which muffler is loudest? ›

The Loudest Mufflers on the Market
  • Hot Tamale by Paradox Performance Muffler. Paradox Hot Tamale Performance Mufflers are more than just loud. ...
  • Loud “Straight-Through” Mufflers (e.g. short glasspacks) ...
  • V Baffle Race Mufflers. ...
  • "Mufflers" With Nothing Inside Them. ...
  • Other Race Mufflers (e.g. Flowmaster® Outlaw™)

What is the loudest legal exhaust? ›

The Flowmaster Super 44 produces a deep and aggressive exhaust label. It is much louder than standard mufflers and can still be heard from inside the car.

What car has the loudest exhaust? ›

Some of The Loudest Cars in the World
  • Mercedes-AMG E63.
  • Jaguar F-Type R.
  • Lexus LC.
  • Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R.
  • Porsche 718 Cayman GT4.
  • Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.
  • Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
  • Lamborghini Huracán Performante.


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