Anyone who owns a car wants to make it sound better. They’re either bored with the current sound or want their car to sound sporty. Whatever the reason, improving your exhaust dynamics is an easy way to make your vehicle stand out from the crowd.
The most obvious way to make your exhaust louder is installing an exhaust tip. This may be sufficient for some people, but if you want a deeper tone or more power, you may want to consider installing a cold air intake or resonator delete.
Here's how to make your car exhaust louder or deeper:
Purchase and install aftermarket exhaust parts:
- Exhaust tip
- Cold air intake
- Resonator delete
- Aftermarket exhaust system
Modify your exhaust system:
- Drilling holes
- Installing a straight pipe system
- Removing the muffler
1. Install exhaust tips
Instead of silencing the sound waves, exhaust tips allow them to vibrate even more. This results in a deeper sound and better vibrations when revving.
You can easily install an exhaust tip by clipping it to the default exhaust system’s tail. Since this method is cheap and easy, expect it to give only subtle results compared to custom or aftermarket mufflers.
If you want more significant changes, prepare to spend more bucks.
Cost: between $25 and $150
Pros: cheap and easy to install
Cons: small effect on the exhaust sound
Legal: Yes (as long as the sound is below 95 decibels)
2. Put cold air intakes
Cool air intakes shift the air filter to the outside of the engine, sucking in cool and oxygen-rich air, which helps optimize engine combustion and performance.
Your default car air intake sucks hot air from the engine compartment. Since hot air has less oxygen, it does not help much with engine combustion, which results in inefficient engine performance.
When your engine performs better, it will sound better. Not only will your car sound louder, but it will also sound deeper and more aggressive.
Cost: between $200 to $500
Pros: louder, deeper, and more aggressive sound
Cons: expensive and complex to install
Legal: No (the item must have California Air Resource Board issued exemption)
3. Resonator delete kit
More than producing better sounds, a resonator delete can also optimize your car’s fuel mileage. Also, unlike the previous suggestions, a resonator delete is legally acceptable in most places.
A resonator silences high-pitched noises, hums, and buzzes from your car. Removing it will result in deeper hums and buzzes, which create a more authentic sound.
Cost: less than $100
Pros: less vehicle weight, louder exhaust tone, and a slight increase in horsepower
Cons: decrease fuel economy
4. Aftermarket exhaust system
If you want to completely keep your car’s default exhaust system, you may install an aftermarket one instead. This changes only a part of the original exhaust system.
Aftermarket exhaust systems have three kinds – axle-back and cat-back.
- Axle-backs replace the parts from your car’s rear axle to the muffler.
- Cat-backs replace the parts from the catalytic converter to the muffler.
Axle-backs are cheaper because they serve the sole purpose of giving your car a deeper exhaust sound.
Meanwhile, cat-backs are more expensive and preferred because they improve vehicle performance and release a louder and deeper sound.
Cat-backs improve the performance of your car in terms of horsepower, torque, and fuel economy.
Cost: between $500 to $2,000
Pros: louder and more aggressive sound, improved performance
Cons: can be very expensive
Legal: Yes (as long as the sound is below 95 decibels)
5. Drill holes in the exhaust
If you have a power drill and a ⅜-inch drill bit, you can make your car’s exhaust louder for free. Drill six to eight holes in your exhaust pipe at the area between the muffler and the catalytic converter.
By drilling holes in the exhaust pipe before the muffler, you allow the sound of your engine to escape before it gets silenced by the muffler.
Unfortunately, this method is highly discouraged by car enthusiasts. Drilling holes in the exhaust pipe will cause an exhaust leak which can harm your passengers’ health and the environment.
There may be better options than this method if your state requires an annual smog test.
Cost: None if you have a drill ($50)
Pros: Cheap and easy DIY
Cons: illegal, can route toxic fumes back to the car’s interior, affect the performance, check engine light, weak acceleration, can deteriorate the muffler overtime
6. Take off the muffler
If you are obsessed with how to make your car exhaust louder and willing to make all compromises, then you might as well remove the muffler itself!
Removing your car’s muffler, and installing a muffler delete pipe, will result in louder, more aggressive sounds.
You are eliminating the exhaust system part that suppresses that car’s noise.
Since mufflers reduce and adjust the noise of your exhaust system, removing it is extremely illegal!
Cost: between $100 to $250 (between $50 to $100 if DIY)
Pros: loud roaring sound, increased performance, and horsepower
Cons: Illegal, emission test failure
7. Straight pipe exhaust system
Your car’s stock exhaust system’s job is to keep your car as silent as possible. By default, it is bulky and complicated. You may need to change the exhaust system if you want a louder car.
By installing a straight pipe exhaust system, you eliminate all the restrictions of the default exhaust system. As a result, your car will release its paramount level of engine sound.
Weighing less than the default exhaust system, the straight pipe exhaust system can boost your car’s horsepower, torque, and fuel economy performance.
However, straight pipes can be illegal because they produce loud cars that emit unhealthy fumes.
Cost: between $200 and $1,000
Pros: Louder roaring sound, more horsepower
Cons: Illegal, causes more pollution
Before drastically changing your car components, do your research and consult experts.
“Every New Yorker deserves to feel safe and comfortable in their community, and that includes cracking down on excessively noisy vehicles on our streets,”Governor Hochul
Some countries are strict with noise ordinance laws. Most countries require annual car check-ups to see if your car adheres to environmental laws. Modifying your exhaust may result in failing these tests. Also, if you plan to sell your car, exhaust modifications might negatively impact its selling price.
Overall, understand that modifying your car has many consequences, and you should be prepared for them.