How to Make Your Truck Louder

Why get a truck if you can’t show it off? A good truck is both an investment and a statement. Short of getting in trouble with the local homeowners’ association, there’s no good reason for it to be a quiet one.

So with that in mind, here are some tips for how to annoy your neighbors with your truck.

How to Make Your Truck Louder

What Can Make Your Truck Exhaust Louder?

There are countless ways to make your truck louder, from buying a set of headers to getting mid pipes in your exhaust. Although it should be noted that not all of them are strictly legal.

Make sure to check what laws apply to you before you go forward with any after-market modifications to make your truck louder.

You don’t want to face the kinds of fines that some states issue for noise level violations.


Even though it’s not strictly necessary for your truck to have one to function, you’re legally required to have a muffler in the United States.

However, it’s still perfectly legal to replace it with an after-market alternative as long as you stay within legal noise limits.

Even a small crack in the muffler can change the sound your truck makes.

The market for this kind of thing is huge, so it’s easy to shop around and find something that’ll fit your truck.

There’s a lot of science that goes into how mufflers work and what sounds they can produce; if there’s a specific sound you’re looking for, a muffler probably exists to make it.

Cold Air Intakes

For any vehicle to run, it needs air. Combustion being a big factor in internal combustion engines, you need air to achieve ignition.

Cold air being more dense than hot air means that it contains more oxygen, and more oxygen means more power. This, in turn, makes your truck sound louder and more aggressive.

The reasons for this are twofold. First, a cold air intake will allow for more airflow and combustion in general, and second, it’s more exposed.

It’ll make your truck more vulnerable to standing water and flood situations, but the trade-off in performance and sound is considered well worth it by many.

The Exhaust System

Not only are there different kinds of exhaust systems that you can try–cat-backs, single side, dual rear, dual side–but you can also change out any part of it you like.

The mid-pipes are one of the most rewarding parts to replace in terms of sound, with different mods giving you vastly different sound profiles.

The reason for this is, again, a matter of airflow. Every change you make to the exhaust system is going to have an impact on gas pressures within your vehicle, and those pressures will affect the sound in turn.


Another way to affect the sound from your truck is through forced induction. Gasoline works best when the air-to-gasoline ratio is about 14:1, which means you need 14 times more air than gas.

A turbocharger works by forcing exhaust gasses back into the system to create more air pressure, making the system more efficient.

This boosts performance, but the resulting sound is often smoother or more nasally-sounding. With all the twists and turns the air has to take to come out the other side, a turbocharger is something that’ll dial down the aggression of your truck, not pump it up.

Still, if what you’re looking for is something different, this’ll get you there.


Installing new headers is a good way to make your truck sound cleaner, but not louder. What this actually does for your vehicle is mainly seen in terms of performance; a header replaces the exhaust manifold, smoothing out the flow of hot gasses from the engine.

In fact, a new set of headers might even give you more horsepower.

If you only want your truck to sound different enough to turn heads, then this could be a good way to go.

But if you don’t care about performance and only want to increase the decibel levels, then this one can be skipped even if someone you know swears by it.

Combining Mods

Remember, you don’t have to do just one modification to your truck to make it louder. Any one of these things could get people talking about your truck, but the beauty of a truck having so many moving parts is that you can do multiple things at once.

If you want to change the sound profile completely, you can easily do so.

If one mod on its own doesn’t quite do it for you, then you can add more. If a mod is too much, then you can change it out and go for a different one, or try a different combination that fits your style better.

How to Make Your Truck Louder

Cheap or Free Ways to Make your Truck Louder

Exhaust Pipe Size

The bigger the exhaust pipes, the more airflow you’ll get. Admittedly you’re not going to get much in terms of changes to the overall sound from switching out the pipes alone, but a small change is better than none at all.

On top of that, you’ll also be improving the general performance and horsepower of the truck itself.

Drilling Holes in Muffler

Before you start taking a power drill to your truck’s exhaust system to beef up the way it sounds, you need to know how to do it correctly.

And while it’s usually safe enough to drill into the muffler directly, here are some things you’ll need to know before you get started.

1.    Use a ⅜ inch drill bit

A smaller drill bit allows you to drill more holes later on if you want to get an even louder sound.

2.    Only drill into the bottom of the muffler

If you drill into the top, you’ll be at risk for water pooling at the bottom.

3.    Set the drill speed to “slow”

You want to stop when the drill punches through the outer shell of the muffler, not drill a hole through the whole thing.

Dual Exhaust

There are a few different kinds of dual exhaust systems. Dual rear exhaust is the simplest, as it’s the same design as a single exhaust pipe but with a second one crammed next to it, and it’s seen most often on sports cars.

Opposite dual exhaust has two separate pipes that wrap around the wheels on either side, while dual side exhaust has both pipes going out one side.

Overall, it’s a matter of finding what works for you. If you’re doing a lot of towing, then opposite dual exhaust is probably the ideal option.

But if you’re looking for something that’s comparable to high performance exhaust systems without costing as much, then dual side exhaust is your best bet.

Glasspack Muffler

A glasspack muffler is a kind of muffler that allows air to pass straight through the muffler with only an insulating layer of fiberglass–hence the name–to keep it from rupturing eardrums.

Newer ones have gotten pretty good at reducing noise while still reducing back pressure, but the older versions are still available for people who want to annoy their neighbors.

Straight Pipe Exhaust

This one isn’t really a task you should take on yourself if you’re not a professional mechanic, but it will definitely make your truck louder. So loud, in fact, that it might get you in trouble.

Check your state’s laws before you even think about this one, and make sure that you only run your truck in well-ventilated spaces after going through with it. Carbon monoxide is no joke.

Can Exhaust Tips Make Your Truck Louder?

Of course, exhaust tips are still one of the easiest ways to make your truck sound louder–or at least different–and they’re usually fairly inexpensive too.

Keep in mind that for the biggest change to your car’s sound, you’ll need a tip that’s a different diameter to the exhaust pipe itself while also being fairly short. Longer exhaust tips actually reduce noise levels.

For the biggest difference of all, you’ll want resonator exhaust tips. In general, exhaust tips are especially effective in conjunction with other mods to the exhaust system, but resonator exhaust tips in particular will do more on their own.

Best Exhaust Tips for Deep Sound

For the best sound possible that’s designed to fit any vehicle you can think of with a little tweaking, you’ll want the DC Sports EX-1011B.

As something that’s bound to get you in trouble when combined with other mods, this exhaust tip will be a great capstone to an existing mod package.

And even if you’re installing it by itself, it’ll still have an impact on sound quality.

On the other hand, if it’s a whine or drone you want to get rid of, then you can’t go wrong with the AUTOSAVER88.

This little thing is sure to deepen the sound of your truck, making it throatier and more resonant. It can also take the edge off of some of the uglier qualities of the sounds from other mods.

Finally, for easy installation and an even better sound profile, try the Flowmaster 15363. This product may not be as heavy duty as some others, but it comes with a limited lifetime warranty to make up for it.

The deep sound and classy stainless steel design are also points in its favor.

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Author: DJ

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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