How to Make Exhaust Louder

How To Make Car Exhaust Louder

The size and power of your engine affect the sound coming from the exhaust system. Your engine displaces gas in a certain amount of liters or cubic inches. The more exhaust your engine produces, the more space that gas displaces, banging against whatever it passes through.

In the case of your car’s internal tubing, that’s your exhaust pipe. You can change the muffler, exhaust system piping, and exhaust tip influence the overall sound of your exhaust. If you increase the exhaust output without adding any noise dampening devices, you make your exhaust sound louder.

Method #1 — Drill a Hole in the Muffler

The muffler blocks noise and improves airflow throughout the exhaust pipe. Drilling a hole impedes that airflow and improves air noise. You will need a drill and an ⅜-inch drill bit.

  1. Point the drill at the bottom of the muffler. While it doesn’t technically matter where you place the hole, drilling at the bottom of the muffler prevents moisture from accumulating.
  2. Use a slow speed to drill into the muffler. You need a slow speed until you’ve carved a groove into the metal. You can increase the drill speed from there.
  3. Drill or enlarge holes as needed. You can add additional holes to influence exhaust sound. We recommend drilling with smaller holes before enlarging them to have more control over the sound.

A hole in the muffler provides the cheapest, easiest, and fastest way to boost exhaust volume. Simply drill one to two small holes, and you’re good to go.

Drill placement can determine the volume of the drill and create a different tone from the exhaust pipe. Drilling near where the exhaust pipe joins the car generally increases volume without deepening or heightening the pitch.

Mind where you place the drill hole, though. You don’t want the gas to corrode the surrounding car parts and potentially cause problems. Chat with a mechanic or buddy who knows a lot about cars before permanently altering your tailpipe.

You may be interested in: Our guide to the best motorcycle exhaust wraps

Method #2 — Replace the Muffler

Your muffler might be muffling the sound too much for your liking. To get louder exhaust sound, replace the muffler with a version that doesn’t dampen sound as much.

We recommend chatting with a mechanic to figure out which muffler is best for your car. Generally speaking, though, straight mufflers produce a louder sound.

The S-shaped mufflers included from the factory were designed to absorb sound. Straight mufflers pour the exhaust right out the car — taking a bunch of sound with it.

Method #3 — Use an Exhaust Tip

Exhaust typically costs less than $30. It’s a cheap addition to your car that can dramatically boost volume.

They’re also another way to add personality to your car. Some exhaust tips are matte black, have a vintage look, have cool burn patterns, or come in fancy shapes that could match your personality.

If you want to get the most sound possible from your exhaust tip, opt for one with flared ends or dual walls.

Method #4 — Check for Clogs

Your exhaust might not reach its full sound potential due to an internal clog. Debris can make its way into cars and cause all sorts of problems, but especially for external tubing like the exhaust.

Checking for any problems with the exhaust is car maintenance that many people neglect. It’s cheap, practical, and who knows — it might be the source of sound dampening.

Method #5 — Increase the Exhaust Pipe Size

Increasing the size of your exhaust pipe by ½-inch to 1-inch in diameter will increase the volume of your exhaust. The larger area to expel gas displaces more air, causing louder, deeper tones.

Method #6 — Alter the Exhaust System’s Connection to Your Vehicle

You could also connect your exhaust with welded hangers. When your exhaust system hangs from the vehicle on rubber mounts, it dampens the vibrations transferred through the exhaust system.

Such a connection carries sound from the exhaust system to the passenger area, so everyone in the car can hear the loud exhaust.

If you want to have loud exhaust but not necessarily hear it in the passenger compartment, you can replace the free-hanging suspension system welds with rubber connections.

The absorbs some of the vibrations entering into the vehicle, but it doesn’t do so enough to dampen noise around the rest of the exhaust system. You could also place sound-dampening mats around the exhaust to deter some noise from entering the cabin.

Method #7 — Increase Exhaust Pipe Bore

The bore of the exhaust pipe equates to its diameter. A narrow exhaust pipe doesn’t produce much sound. Wider exhaust pipes emit more gas at once, increasing the volume.

You can purchase exhaust pipes with a wider bore to replace the one you currently have. If you have the metalworking tools, you could widen the bore of your existing tailpipe on your own to save money.

Method #8 — Add a Turbocharger

A turbocharger (also called a turbo) increases your engine’s internal combustion efficiency by forcing extra air out of certain chambers. Turbos add noise from the engine that makes its way through the exhaust pipe.

Generally speaking, turbochargers help produce the popping sound many vehicles make. They also increase the volume the car makes when accelerating while improving the overall efficiency of your car.

The price of turbochargers ranges from $100 to over $1,000. We recommend not opting for the cheaper option, if possible.

Not all car brands support having turbochargers. Check if turbochargers are compatible with your vehicle before adding one.

Final Thoughts

There’s something deeply satisfying about the deep, thick rumble of a loud exhaust pipe. It notifies people that you’re someone who skids silently through life — you want to make your presence known. And you don’t care if you annoy a neighbor or two in the process.

It’s all a matter of adding character, personality, and individuality to your ride. It’s relatively cheap and easy to make your exhaust louder, so you have every right to.

Brett Gordon

The engine behind editing at DigMyRide and the brains behind its build. During the day, Brett is a thirty-something dude from SoCal climbing the corporate ladder, but by night, he spends his time contributing to the online world of automotive tech & trends.