How to Improve Exhaust Sounds: 7 Expert Tips
Since 2003, our automotive exhaust engineers have been helping people Hear the Difference, Feel the Performance and Get Noticed. However, we know not everyone who craves the sound of unleashed pipes can afford a new exhaust system. Or maybe you’ve already replaced the exhaust and still aren’t satisfied.
Have no fear there are plenty of ways to add decibels and sound quality on any budget. Here are 8 DIY tips to make a car exhaust sound better. As always, be sure to check the laws in your area to ensure that the specific mod you make is appropriate.
1. Aftermarket Exhaust
A new MRT exhaust system is the most effective way to boost the sound. Aftermarket exhausts also increase horsepower by allowing more exhaust flow. Axle-back exhaust kits are the easiest and least expensive option. If money is no object and you want the biggest, baddest sound, go with a cat-back exhaust.
2. A Smaller Muffler
Although you can’t legally remove the muffler from a street vehicle, you can replace it. A smaller muffler, straight-through muffler or muffler with a limited baffle will make your exhaust sound louder and deeper. This is a practical option that takes much less time than replacing the whole exhaust system. Most experts recommend the straight muffler since this also increases efficiency for a small power gain.
3. Resonator Delete
If you want to fine-tune the sound while boosting the volume, deleting the factory resonator is a great option. These add-ons cancel out unpleasant sound wavelengths, letting the frequencies roar that you want to hear. Some aftermarket exhaust manufactures have designed Resonator deletes that are typically tuned to specific vehicles and exhaust types such as the MRT Ecoflow Resonator Delete Y-pipe designed for the 2015+ Mustang .
4. Exhaust Tips
A new, larger exhaust tip can add a few more decibels and a cool new look to boot. Large tips with flared ends and dual walls have the most noticeable effect. Another option is to put small whistles inside the tips to make the system sound turbocharged.
5. Install Headers
A set of headers can take an aftermarket exhaust to the next level. Attaching headers to the engine makes it easier to push exhaust gases out of the cylinders, thus increasing flow and the aggressiveness of the exhaust sound along with it. Note that headers aren’t as effective with factory exhausts because of the greater pipe restrictions.
6. Larger and/or Straighter Tubing
On that note, new exhaust tubing can add volume and make the sound deeper by enhancing flow and reducing kinks. Replacing the factory pipes with tubing that is a half-inch to one-inch larger in diameter will generate more of a muscle car growl. If larger pipes won’t fit together properly underneath your vehicle, straighter and smoother pipes have the same effect. Straight piping is popular among truck owners and racers; beware, though, that going completely “straight pipe” strips away the O2 sensors and runs the risk of failing emissions testing.
7. Unclog the Tubing
Just like the sink at home, sometimes you need to clear the pipes. Dirt, leaves and other debris may be blocking the flow inside your tubing. Simply cleaning the pipes can make them sound much better without spending a dime.