Eight Ways To Increase the Loudness of Your Car's Exhaust (Two Methods)

If you want to make your car louder, you know there are expensive upgrades you can apply that will alter the car’s sound dramatically. But not all people have the funds to buy these expensive upgrades. You should stick to your budget.

There is hope! You can make your exhaust sound louder no matter how much you have to spend. What can you do to make your car's exhaust sound louder?

Drilling holes or removing the muffler can improve the sound of the exhaust. The catalytic converter can be removed or a catback exhaust installed. If you are able to afford it, consider adding a performance muffler or cold air intake, turbocharger and straight pipe exhaust. 

We will be sharing some useful tips and tricks to increase the exhaust sound. The average cost of each option is listed in our guide so that you can determine how much to spend. 

Índice de Contenido
  1. How does exhaust sound get generated?
  2. How to Make Your Car’s Exhaust Louder (Ranked by Price)
    1. 1. Exploitation of Exhaust (from
    2. 2. Buy Take-Off Muffler (from to )
    3. 3. Installation Exhaust Tip (35-).
    4. 4. The Delete Catalytic Convert (-0).
    5. 5. Buy a Performance Muffler (65 to 0)
    6. 5. Get a Cold Air Intake for 0-0
    7. 6. Install Turbocharger (0-,000)
    8. 7. Straight Pipe Exhaust (450 to 50).
    9. 8. Installation of Aftermarket Exhaust (250-
  3. Are Louder Exhausts Illegal?

How does exhaust sound get generated?

What makes the sound that’s coming out of the exhaust? The engine's combustion of fuel and the air mixture creates power. Sound waves are created by the combustion of fuel and air mixture in the engine. They then travel out through the exhaust. 

The sound waves and exhaust gases travel through many parts on the road to the vehicle, such as the catalytic convert, muffler, and resonator. The sound coming from the car is affected by each of these components. To get a louder sound you will need to modify these parts. 

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

1. Exploitation of Exhaust (from $0-$25).

Although it is not recommended but the most cost-effective way to produce a louder exhaust noise, drilling small holes through the exhaust can cause an exhaust leak. With your power drill and 3/8” bit, you simply put four to six holes in the exhaust pipe. 

These holes need to be dug before and after the catalytic convert. It is possible for dangerous gases to escape the atmosphere if the hole is placed before the cat. While the sound from the engine's combustion will travel throughout the system, some of the sounds will be blocked by the holes. 

It isn't recommended as it could cause more exhaust fumes to the car, which can be harmful for your health. You could also risk your car failing to pass a smog check. It can also lead to problems if your car is not subject to an annual inspection.

2. Buy Take-Off Muffler (from $20 to $45)

The part that produces the silencing action is removed by taking off the exhaust muffler. It is necessary to replace the muffler by a pipe, which has been integrated into the system. Exhaust clamps can be used if there are suitable pipes. Welding is the most efficient method. For rubber hangers, you may have to weld mountings.

The car's sound will be louder due to the muffler deletion action. You will also hear a more powerful exhaust note. However, it’s not legal to perform in all US states.

READ MORE: Muffler Delete: Pros & Cons (and Average Cost)

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

The resonator is able to produce the opposite effect as the muffler. Instead of vibrating the sound waves to make them quiet, the tip of the resonator will bounce the sound waves about, creating a different sound but not as loud. It is not necessary for all cars to have a resonator. In this instance, the exhaust tip will suffice.

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.

RELATED: Resonator Delete – Pros & Cons (and Average Cost)

4. The Delete Catalytic Convert ($50-$350).

Catalytic converters are used to lower harmful byproducts of emissions. This reduces noise from your vehicle.

This system can be bypassed by using a fitting or downpipe instead of the converter. You will immediately notice an increase in sound quality. 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.

You can also get O2 sensors from the engine control module to determine catalyst efficiency. By simply taking out your cat you will be able to see a check engine lamp on your dashboard as well as a code P0420 on your scanner. To bypass the issue, you will need to program it again.

5. Buy a Performance Muffler (65 to $150)

This performance muffler will alter the sound coming out of your exhaust. It can reduce some sound waves but it can increase overall tone. 

It has hollow construction, and less plates. The easy gas exit allows for a better sound and can also boost performance. You should check local laws to ensure that performance mufflers you purchase are legal. However, it’s often a better choice than removing the muffler completely.

5. Get a Cold Air Intake for $150-$300

You can get more horsepower and a better sound with the cold intake. The cold intake cools the engine by sucking in more oxygen, which gives it better performance. 

The exhaust does not change, but the noise coming out of the engine can be louder, more aggressive and creates a distinct tone as it leaves the exhaust. The cool turbo chirping sounds will be more apparent if your car is equipped with a turbocharger.

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. To increase power and torque, the turbocharger adds air to the combustion chamber. 

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. You may need to change other parts, such as fuel injectors and engine control modules, to make the turbocharger work for the increased fuel requirements.

READ MORE: How to Increase Car Engine’s Horsepower & Torque? (8 Steps)

7. Straight Pipe Exhaust (450 to $1250).

If you are really looking to make your exhaust sound louder – a lot louder, a straight pipe exhaust is your best choice. You will need to get rid of several exhaust components in order to change the exhaust design from a straight pipe. The catalytic converter and resonator will be removed, while a straight pipe is installed.

The price of a straight pipe that works properly may need to be tuned. While most restriction will be removed, the exhaust will produce a completely new sound. 

READ MORE: What is a Straight Pipe Exhaust System and How Does It Work? Pros, Cons & Cost

8. Installation of 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.

Manufacturer's standard exhaust system is extremely restrictive. It aims to make the noise as quiet as possible. The aftermarket exhaust removes these restrictions and optimizes airflow. 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. 

There are two options: either replace the entire exhaust tube from the exhaust manifold using an aftermarket exhaust system, or go with a cat back exhaust system. The most common choice is catback exhaust pipes. This means you can replace the entire catalytic converter as well as the back. Cat-back exhausts are available in many styles and will produce a more powerful sound than the original catalytic converter.

Another benefit of an aftermarket exhaust is one you may not be aware. You will see an improvement in engine performance due to fewer restrictions. You will feel a significant improvement in your engine's performance, as there is less restriction of airflow. 

Are Louder Exhausts Illegal?

There are many legal ways to increase exhaust volume. However, you might find yourself doing more than you should and end up breaking the law. There are potential problems if exhaust parts such as the catalytic convert or muffler, get removed. Some states require regular inspections because of strict emission restrictions.

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.

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