How to Make Your Car Louder (On a Budget)

When you’re on a mission to make your car sound louder, it may seem as if all of the viable options are too expensive, or they won’t work for your vehicle in particular. With that said, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you can try many budget-friendly methods and won’t put a dent in your wallet.

What to Do to Make Your Car Louder

The exhaust system on your car is very important. This is where the sound your car makes emanates from. The exhaust has four functions to carry out. It directs the fumes away from the vehicle once combustion takes place, controls the noise, boosts performance, and regulates fuel consumption.

From a practical standpoint, the easiest way to increase the car’s loudness is to replace the muffler. This may be a little costlier than what you’re anticipating, but there are other options as well.


The exhaust and engine systems on the car is what primarily affects the sound. An engine with a larger volume will generate more exhaust. That leads to a deeper sound that resonates throughout the vehicle. You can have an exhaust system that permits the sound to be muffled, amplified, sound mellow, throaty, or raspy.

When your engine combusts and the exhaust valves open, there’s a blast of burnt gasses that filter into the exhaust system. When the fumes get released it results in powerful and strong sound waves. Sound comes into existence from vibrations that cause pressure waves.

Those vibrations come from low and high air pressure. When the exhaust valve opens, the high-pressure gas goes into the exhaust and crashes into molecules of a lower pressure. The collision is the sound we hear escaping from the rear of the car.


Altering the components of the exhaust system can change the sound waves and make them several decibels louder.

The exhaust system consists of six components that work together like a well-oiled machine to contribute to the sound it makes. Understanding the way the exhaust works will provide a foundation for the modifications and why they’re effective. By removing or replacing certain parts of the exhaust system, you can alter the way the car sounds.

Catalytic Converter

The function of the catalytic converter is to transform harmful gasses such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide as well as other hydrocarbons into less destructive carbon dioxide, water, dioxygen, and nitrogen dioxide.

Though it is not the primary function of the CC, it does also muffle some of the noise. The reason is the back pressure created on the engine since the gasses don’t go through the converter.


The pipes route the air and by having smaller pipes, it dampens the sound somewhat as the air escapes. It’s better to try a larger diameter to reduce the effect of muffling the sound.


The resonator functions by canceling out the sound waves and rejecting them. It is a complementary piece to the muffler because it helps to eliminate buzz noises and humming as well as other high-pitched noises. The resonator helps to make the sound smoother when it exits the exhaust system.


There are various style mufflers that you can get, from the straight muffler to the performance muffler. The number one objective of the muffler is as the name implies, to muffle the noise coming from the engine after combustion.

The muffler redirects the airflow. The exhaust fumes go through the pipes, and they expand and get dampened on the way out the tailpipes.

This is the main component of the exhaust system that affects sound. While all parts work together as one, this part contributes to making the sound louder or less aggressive.

What Cheap/Free Mods Make Your Car Louder? (DIY)

Want to save some money and go at it yourself? Try these DIY solutions to get a louder car.

Exhaust Pipe Size

Once the sound gets past your muffler, it will shoot out of the exhaust pipe or pipes from your car. Buying larger exhaust pipes will prevent the noise from being dampened. It will become amplified as a result of the larger pipes. The smart poles offer more constriction, and this a smoother sound as the gasses travel through the exhaust pipes.

Drilling Holes in Muffler

Drilling holes into the muffler is the easiest, most cost-effective way to increase sound out of every choice on this list. You simply take a drill and create a couple smaller holes or one large hole.

Small holes are a great choice because after every hole you drill into the muffler, it makes the car a little louder. If you don’t want to alter the sound drastically, drill near the space where you find the tailpipe joined.

Dual Exhaust

A single exhaust doesn’t produce the same characteristic sound as a dual exhaust system. It discharges gas with less back pressure from the engine, creating an excellent rumbling sound throughout.

The dual exhaust also boosts your car performance more than the single exhaust. It’s a popular aftermarket modification choice.

Exhaust Tips

The exhaust tips go at the end of the tailpipes on the back of the car. They can encourage a powerful and rich sound from the exhaust. A standard exhaust tip doesn’t have that much impact on how loud your exhaust is.

However, if you purchase a larger exhaust tip, it makes the engine sound heartier. The smaller tips will give you a raspier sound. That’s why it’s essential to look at the different diameters for exhaust tips to understand the sound that you’re trying to achieve.

Muffler Delete

Are you going for extreme volume? Take out the entire muffler. Some states will allow you to modify your exhaust system if your car still has a fully functional cat and the sound is below a certain decibel level.

This is the first way a lot of people attempt to make their cars louder because the muffler’s job is to control noise. With no muffler, your vehicle will increase in sound in a dramatic fashion.

Performance Muffler

Inside standard mufflers, the sound waves bounce off one another and eventually cancel out. A performance muffler won’t suppress the sound waves too much, but they actually make them sound a bit more exaggerated.

There are no drawbacks to installing a performance muffler. They don’t rust, they have a decent extended warranty, and they’ll give your car a boost in the sound department without becoming overbearing.

How to Make Your Car Louder Without Removing Muffler

There are multiple ways to make your car louder without touching the muffler. For starters, you can try drilling holes into it, adding headers to the exhaust, getting bigger exhaust pipes, adding turbochargers or headers, or going the route of the straight pipes.

How to Make Your Car Louder Without Straight Pipe

There are multiple ways to make your car louder without using the straight pipe method, which is mainly illegal in the United States.

Consider the following options that also carry minor legal ramifications:

  • Increase the bore
  • Connect welder hangers to the exhaust
  • Try turbochargers
  • Unclog the exhaust tubing
  • Install headers

How to Make Your Car Louder but Not Too Loud

If you want your car to be loud but not obnoxiously so, consider the hole drilling method or getting a performance muffler since it won’t dramatically change the sound. With the holes, you can put just one to slightly alter the sound until you get to the level you like.

Your straight pipes, turbochargers, and a complete muffler replacement are the methods more geared toward a very bold sound increase. Another great option that many drivers choose is the cat-back system. It doesn’t start to sound like a drone when you accelerate, and it’s a more satisfying sound than just pure noise.

How to Make Your Car Louder Without Voiding Warranty

Modifying your truck or car alone doesn’t void your warranty. That only happens if the modification itself has caused your car to need repairs, according to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975.

You can replace the muffler, add a cat-back exhaust system, add air filters, add straight pipes, and more to make your car louder without housing the warranty. What’s most important is that the mods get installed correctly.

Is Making Your Car Louder Illegal?

A loud exhaust on your car can be attractive to some and off-putting to others. There are specific laws and restrictions on how loud your car can be. Technically, it is not illegal to make a vehicle louder, but you have to make sure that the noise isn’t a disturbance and that the mod part is legal.

Best Exhaust Tips to Make Your Car Louder

An exhaust tip not only adds sound but aesthetic appeal as well. With so many options on the market, it can be hard to know which one to pick.

Here are a few recommendations for the best exhaust tips for a louder car:

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Author: Dave Johnston

Dave Junior is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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