How To Make Your Car Louder

02/21/202321st February, 2023

Do you want to learn how to make your car louder? In this article, we’re covering all of the best and worst options, from budget to premium.

how to make your car louder


One of the few things that make us car guys is appreciating the sound of our cars.

We challenge you to find a car guy who doesn’t like to achieve the best note possible as the exhaust screams when the pedal hits the metal.

If you own a Civic, or a car with a similar low-displacement engine, improving the car exhaust sound is going to be one of the obvious ways to make your car stand out from the crowd, and honestly, loud exhausts are a symphony for the ears. (Well, perhaps not from a Civic, but you get where we’re going with this!)

However, not everyone would love your new-found addiction to mashing the loud pedal, especially your neighbors. But still, there are people who will appreciate it, and as you begin to anger the neighborhood, chances are, you’ll make a few like-minded friends along the way.

To be honest, there are more than a few ways that you can try to modify your car exhaust to improve the engine sounds.

And what is helpful to note is that this upgrade will not only improve the sound, but often it will also improve the horsepower since you will be able to squeeze the maximum airflow from this setup.

In some cases, there is an improvement of 10 to 50 hp by installing an aftermarket exhaust system upgrade, but obviously not quite so much from a noisy backbox.

So, if you want to improve the sound that your car makes, this is the way to go, and we’ll be covering all the details in the following chapters.

First, before we learn how to make your car louder, let’s learn the pros and cons of modifying your car’s exhaust system.

Pros & Cons Of Having A Loud Car

Before we learn more about how to make your car louder, let’s first look at the pros and cons of doing this type of mod to your car.


Let’s start with the pros before we learn how to make your car louder. What are the positives of doing this exhaust upgrade mod on your car?

Well, the first pro is that your car will sound really nice. The engine will (often) sound like a symphony, and that sound will be music for your ears and other car enthusiasts around you.

The second pro of adding these mods besides the sound is the performance that you will get, especially when installing straight-pipe exhaust or headers.

So, how these mods will improve the performance of the car?

Well, this would be the case because the airflow will be a lot better. You will not have a catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, or resonator.

So, the flow of exhaust gases would be very unobstructed, from the combustion chamber into the exhaust, resulting in increased performance.

So, the horsepower gain can be somewhere in the range of 10 to 50 horsepower depending on the engine you run.

The bigger the displacement engine, the higher the gains would be.


Now let’s discuss the cons before we learn more about the ways how to make your car louder. What are the downsides of doing such a mod to your car?

Well, the first con is probably the sound waves. This sound could irritate people, as well as the cops. So, you need to get familiar with your local laws and regulations because if you get pulled over, you can be heavily fined by the police.

The second downside is that you will start noticing more vibration inside the cabin because there will be no stock muffler. A car manufacturer installs these components also to lower the vibrations.

The next problem would be the check engine light. This would be the case because some more advanced mods will require a tuner. The oxygen sensors have to be tuned to work with the ECU.

Another big problem is the situation with emissions. The emissions will get high whenever you do these mods. So, you can fail the emissions testing mainly because the emissions that your car will produce are not up to the factory’s recommended spec.

There will be too many exhaust fumes that will make your carbon footprint a lot bigger. So, be aware of these problems.

Now, let’s move on and learn more about how you can make your car louder.

How To Make Your Car Louder – The Various Methods

Now let’s dive into the topic and learn how to make your car’s exhaust louder. In the following couple of chapters, we are going to list the most common ways people do to make their cars louder. So, let’s dive into the mods you can do to boost your vehicle’s sound!

1. Install Cold Air Intake

Let’s move to the first way how to make your car louder. The first mod that many people are doing is installing a cold air intake.

So, what is a cold air intake? The cold air intake is simply an air filter that grabs cold air from the side of the engine.

When you install a cold air intake on your car, you are basically removing the regular air filter and replacing this filter box with the aftermarket cold air intake.

But what makes the cold air intakes different? Well, the cold air intake is a cone-shaped air filter. This means that it can get a lot more air into the engine. Also, there is a separate compartment that will make sure that the intake is nice and cool and that there is no hot air getting inside the engine intake.

And as you probably know, cold air creates much more power than hot air. So, if you install this intake, you will also have performance gains.

But what is good about this intake is that the cold air intake will make your car a lot louder. Especially when you push the throttle. And there is nothing more satisfying than the sound that a cold air intake makes.

For a cold air intake, you also might be required to get a tuner to adjust the PCM so the injectors and the throttle are nice and balanced. Some of the aftermarket kits have a unique tuner that comes with them.

With that covered, let’s move on to the next technique to make your car louder.

2. Install An Exhaust Tip (Backbox)

Another good way to make your car louder is by installing a backbox, also known as an exhaust tip. So, what is an exhaust tip?

Well, an exhaust tip is simply the tip of your exhaust. This component mounts after the rear muffler, and not only do aftermarket tips look good, but they are also really good when it comes to improving the sound of your car.

Although many people doubt their effectiveness in improving sound, in reality, they can be quite good. We’ve often found that it’s a case of “you get what you pay for” when it comes to having a cheap sound versus a premium tone.

In the video, you can see the difference in the sound that the exhaust makes before removing the tips and after.

Let’s move on to the next way how to make your car louder.

3. Aftermarket Headers

Now let’s cover the next way to make your car louder, and by this, we mean installing aftermarket exhaust headers.

Aftermarket headers are a really popular and cheap way to make your car sound a lot better.

There are many options out there that you can buy already pre-made headers if you are not into welding.

These headers can be purchased for $150. But as you probably know, you will remove the factory exhaust manifolds, as well as the catalytic converter, to fit these headers on the car. So, this will affect the emissions.

We recommend this mod if you have an older classic car. If you have something more modern, our next mod will be the way to go regarding how to make your car louder.

4. Rear Muffler Delete

Next on our list of ways how to make your car louder is the rear muffler delete. As you probably know, the rear muffler is at the end of the exhaust.

This is a big metal box that is designed to neutralize the noises and make your exhaust quieter.

Some people delete this muffler altogether and run their car with no muffler at all. Just take note that doing this would make your car very loud.

That’s why we strongly recommend that you at least weld the exhaust tubing instead of the car’s muffler. This way, you will make your exhaust sound more nimble and more tolerable. Let’s now move on to the next way how to make your car louder.

5. Performance Muffler

The next way to make your car louder is by replacing the rear muffler with a performance muffler.

And out there are a ton of producers of these aftermarket mufflers. And honestly, we recommend going this route because you will not alter anything in your car except for the sound.

The computer will not be confused like when you cut the cats and the exhaust manifolds by installing headers.

Adding a performance muffler will still get the sound, and your car will run perfectly normally.

6. Install X-Pipe

Another good way to make your car louder is by installing an X-pipe. But what is an X-pipe?

Well, this pipe is usually installed on V-engines that have two banks. So, the mid-muffler is cut off, and you replace it with an X-pipe.

This is also an excellent way to create the perfect sound since V8 engines can produce a real noise when you add an X-pipe.

Also, these pipes are purchased online for cheap. Especially when it comes to classic cars, that’s why we strongly recommend it.

7. Drill Holes

Another very cheap way to make your car louder is by drilling holes in the exhaust.

And this is also a suitable method. But it can make your car sound obnoxiously loud. For that reason, many enthusiasts aren’t big fans of this mod.

Also, it looks rather unprofessional, and the sound is very intolerable. So, we would recommend skipping this method.

8. Cherry Bomb

An ideal way how to make your car louder is by installing a cherry bomb. But what is a cherry bomb?

Well, a cherry bomb is a special muffler that comes in red. And also, the muffler is loud. Very popular among hot rodders back in the day.

While it’s great that these mufflers are dirt cheap, they are certainly an acquired taste since noise, rather than tone, is the primary consideration in the design process.

These are common first mods for enthusiasts looking to make their cars louder, but they soon move on to something more refined.

This type of muffler is mostly suited for V8 engines, but you can also install it on some JDM/USDM applications.

Now let’s move on to the last way how to make your car louder.

9. Straight Pipe

And the last, and honestly the best method to make your car louder is installing a straight pipe exhaust. So, what is a straight pipe exhaust?

Well, a straight pipe exhaust is a type of exhaust that implements straight pipes, as its name implies. This means replacing the mufflers with steel pipes with a larger diameter.

This type of exhaust can be created fundamentally by cutting the mufflers and replacing them with pipes. Or by purchasing a complete aftermarket kit and replacing your stock exhaust system with this new system.

If you can afford the aftermarket option, it is much better because (assuming you buy a quality system) you will not have to weld or deal with exhaust leaks.


In this article, we have covered quite a bit about how to make your car louder. And we discussed a few ways that you can try to achieve this goal.

You should be aware that every method has its pros and cons. So, if you are a beginner, we would not recommend headers, straight pipes, downpipes, or similar mods that can be difficult to install. And for these mods, it is best to consult with a professional mechanic.

You can start from the basics, like installing an aftermarket exhaust tip or by simply installing an aftermarket rear muffler.

We hope we’ve covered all the simplest and cheapest ways to make your car sound much louder.

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author avatar Written by

Goran is a JDM enthusiast and auto journalist that actively lives his passion for drifting. He enjoys sharing his in-depth knowledge with Drifted fans when he's not behind the wheel.

Goran is also a frequent contributor to and

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