It goes without saying that cars can be very noisy. And while that might be a problem for some, others enjoy having a louder, more impressive-sounding vehicle. In fact, millions of drivers pride themselves on how noisy their cars are by organizing Car revving competitions.
If you are a noise enthusiast but feel like your car is not loud enough, there are ways you can change that. Read on to learn more about what you can do to make your car louder and more impactful.
But first, let’s see what makes a car loud and why people would want noisy cars.
What Makes a Car Loud?
Generally speaking, in order to generate power, your car creates combustion by mixing fuel and air in the combustion chamber. These small explosions generate sound waves that travel through your car’s exhaust system. During their journey, the sound waves pass through multiple mufflers and resonators, whose job is to reduce the noise.
In other words, the more mufflers and resonators a car has, the quieter it is. So, if you want to make your car louder, you’ll have to tweak these components first.
Why Do People Want Their Cars to Be Loud?
There are multiple reasons why people want to make their cars louder. By far, the most common one is that car enthusiasts simply enjoy the sound of a loud exhaust. As a matter of fact, people all over the world organize revving competitions to see who has the loudest and most impressive exhaust system.
Another reason that people want loud cars is that these vehicles usually have aftermarket exhaust systems. These systems can actually have a positive effect on your vehicle’s power. Actually, some car enthusiasts have noticed a reduction in fuel consumption when opting for louder exhaust systems that don’t feature many sound muffling components. Therefore, by making your car noisier, you could end up improving its performance.
How Loud Can a Car Be?
Before moving forward and learning how to increase the noise your car generates, you need to consider whether this is a practical idea. You might already know that there are laws regarding how loud cars can be. Depending on where you live, you might get a ticket if you’re driving a loud car, especially in urban areas.
So, it’s vital to check your local laws and regulations to see if you are allowed to make your car louder without any legal consequences.
18 Tips on How to Make Your Car Louder
There are many ways you can make your vehicle sound louder and more powerful. But keep in mind that you need to read the manufacturer’s manual before you attempt to modify your car. Otherwise, you could cause damage that might cost thousands of dollars to fix.
Another way you can prevent doing harm to your car is by consulting a professional technician. They can tell you if your vehicle is ready for a new exhaust or if it is legal to make your car louder. And best of all, experienced technicians will do these modifications themselves and help you save precious time.
So, without further ado, here are some of the best methods you can use to make your car louder:
1. Replace Your Muffler
One of the most affordable and safest ways to increase your car’s sound is to replace the muffler. That’s because some mufflers are better at absorbing your engine’s sound than others. However, figuring out which type of muffler is right for your car can be quite challenging.
As a rule of thumb, most s-type mufflers tend to absorb a lot of sounds. So, you’ll want to choose mufflers with limited baffles as they can increase the sound of your car (like this one). Experts also recommend that you purchase a straight muffler, as that will make the exhaust gases come out directly. Not only will it make your vehicle louder, but it can also improve its efficiency. After all, you can always talk with a technician to see what kind of muffler works best for your vehicle.
2. Get an Aftermarket Exhaust
As previously noted, the exhaust plays an important role in how loud or quiet a car can be. Aftermarket exhausts can maximize the airflow, making your vehicle louder in the process. They will also improve your vehicle’s performance by allowing your car’s engine to circulate more air, increasing its horsepower. Some drivers have also reported that they found driving to be a much smoother experience after getting an aftermarket exhaust.
However, it’s important to mention that some cars have restrictive systems and won’t allow the installation of aftermarket exhausts. In fact, aftermarket exhausts can have a negative impact on some vehicles’ performance and life span. That’s why it’s best to consult with a technician before installing one.
3. Buy an Exhaust Tip
If you can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a new exhaust, you can get a new exhaust tip to make your car louder. These small parts can act as a sound amplifier for your car that won’t break the bank. Exhaust tips also come in a variety of styles, so you can easily find one that suits the style of your car.
Most technicians recommend choosing tips that have flared ends with dual walls, as they offer the perfect balance between looks and performance. You can also install whistles inside the tip to make it sound like a turbocharger.
4. Equip Your Exhaust System With Welder Hangers
Each vehicle’s exhaust is designed differently. For example, some car manufacturers hang the exhaust system using rubber mounts. As a result, they reduce the vibration and sound coming from the system. So, if you want to increase your car’s noise, you can connect welder hangers to your exhaust, as they will allow you to hear every single vibration.
Keep in mind that this method can backfire, and you could end up making your car too loud. For that reason, some people suggest you get a rubber-connected hanging system instead since it reduces some vibration without completely eliminating it. But if you don’t mind extremely loud cars, then welded hangers are the way to go.
5. Don’t Forget About Turbochargers
Although Turbochargers tend to be very expensive, they will make your exhaust system louder and more effective. These components were initially designed to increase your engine’s performance by pushing extra air into the combustion chamber.
Unfortunately, not all vehicles are compatible with turbochargers. Additionally, they can be quite expensive in the long run, as they increase the amount of fuel your car needs. Nevertheless, turbochargers remain a fan favorite, with people all over the world relying on them to make their cars louder. As a matter of fact, they are a common sight at most revving competitions.
6. Get a Catback Exhaust
If you can’t afford to get a turbocharger, you should get a Catback exhaust system instead. These cheap yet effective components will not only improve the appearance of your vehicle but also make it much louder. Additionally, Catback exhausts can increase your engine’s horsepower, improving its performance. And since they are made out of stainless steel, they won’t rust and will give your car a high-end aesthetic.
7. Install a Set of Headers
Does your car already have an aftermarket exhaust, but it’s still not noisy enough? Then try installing a set of headers! The purpose of these components is to increase airflow and eliminate the back pressure in the manifold. As a result, your exhaust system will produce a deeper and more noticeable sound. And just like exhaust tips, headers will also increase your car’s horsepower and fuel efficiency.
8. Increase the Bore
Increasing the bore of your car will actually make it much louder. Simply put, narrow exhaust pipes can reduce the amount of noise that your car generates. In contrast, bigger bores allow the hot exhaust gases to expand, making your vehicle noisier.
But be cautious when you adjust the bore of your pipe. Technicians recommend drivers avoid increasing their bore by more than half an inch or an inch to prevent damage to the overall exhaust system. You should also make sure that it fits with your car properly; otherwise, you could reduce your vehicle’s performance.
9. Unclog Your Exhaust Tubing
More often than not, your car is not as loud as you would expect due to a clog in the exhaust tubing. So, by taking some time to clean the area, you could end up with a better-sounding exhaust system. Remember, if you want to unclog your tubing, you’ll need to be extremely careful not to puncture your exhaust. And don’t forget that you can always rely on a local mechanic to do the maintenance.
10. Perforate Your Exhaust
Drilling holes in the exhaust is a cheap and reliable way to make it louder. These holes will allow the air to escape before it reaches the muffler. To do that, you’ll need to drill a few holes between the muffler and the catalytic converter. Just make sure to drill them after the catalytic converter to avoid releasing dangerous emissions.
11. Upgrade Your Engine
Car enthusiasts already know that small engines will only generate so much sound. In fact, it is one of the most common reasons why some cars are extremely quiet. To fix that, you can upgrade to a bigger engine, which will increase the power and sound produced by your car.
However, you need to ensure that all of your car’s components can handle such an engine. Additionally, keep in mind that upgrading is very expensive, so you should consider the other options as well before replacing your engine.
12. Use Speakers
Although it isn’t that common, some manufacturers will put microphones in their cars to amplify existing intake and engine sounds. They also wire in music that stimulates and creates sounds that don’t usually exist in the engine bay or exhaust system.
If your car isn’t already wired with microphones and speakers, you can always get them installed by a technician. But remember that some people might notice a difference between the natural exhaust sound and the artificial one created by your system.
13. Crackle Tune
A vehicle’s ECU tuning can drastically change the way your car sounds. More specifically, a tuner can adjust the camshaft phase and fuel, which modifies the sound during throttle. But how does it work?
In order to generate a crackle tune, the tuner will leave the injectors open for a few moments after the throttle plate has closed. That opens the exhaust valve way before all the fuel has burned in the combustion chamber. When the unburnt combustible exits the vehicle and comes into contact with open air, it instantly ignites. The result is a crackling and popping sound, with some extreme cases where the car will actually shoot flames from the exhaust.
Crackle tune works best on cars designed for off-road use that don’t feature catalytic converters. That’s because unburnt fuel and air-fuel mixtures can clog or damage the catalytic converter.
14. Fender or Hood Exit Exhaust
Fender and hood exit exhaust systems are just stylish open headers. They are designed to exit the car cleanly and usually require custom fabrication work in order to get the perfect shape. Not only will a hood or fender exit exhaust make the car louder, but it will also increase its power. That’s why these exhaust systems are frequently used on performance cars that already have engine modifications.
15. Anti-lag System
Turbocharged engines can be equipped with an anti-lag system, which is a kit that keeps the turbo engaged at all times, even if you are not pressing the gas pedal. Similar to the crackle tune, an anti-lag system burns fuel inside the turbo, forcing the turbine to spin constantly while the system is engaged. Therefore, the driver has access to full boost without any delay while also generating a lot of noise.
The biggest drawback of anti-lag systems is that they reduce the lifespan of your turbo. As a result, they are mainly used during races or exhaust contests. Furthermore, you might need to get an aftermarket ECU to be able to install anti-lag to your car.
16. Consider a Resonator Delete
Resonators are bolted to your exhaust system right before the mufflers and are responsible for altering the exhaust frequencies before reaching the muffler. In other words, resonators are a sort of pre-muffler. Without a resonator, your muffler will work with the engine’s raw sound, reducing its effectiveness.
If you plan to remove your resonator, you might as well go all the way and also get a new muffler. That will make your car sound loud, powerful, and impressive.
17. Use Y Pipes
Y pipes are usually used on cars with 6 or 8-cylinder V engine configurations where the driver only wants one tailpipe. Their purpose is to collect gases from the left and right banks of the exhaust manifold and merge them to extract the maximum amount of power.
As a matter of fact, if you have a V6 or V8 engine with a single tailpipe, your exhaust system already has Y pipes. However, they are usually designed to make as little noise as possible. By upgrading them to an aftermarket variant, you can make your exhaust louder and significantly lighter.
18. Upgrade Your Cold Air Intake
The stock cold air intake is usually enough for most drivers, but it rarely does your car any justice. For example, it is restrictive and can reduce the efficiency of your turbocharger. That’s why most mechanics recommend upgrading your air intake if you plan to install a turbocharger.
It’s important to remember that high-performance cold air intakes will increase the amount of air sent to the engine. That means more horsepower, better performance, and a loud whooshing sound. Additionally, cold air intakes also look impressive, so anyone who pops your car’s hood will be in awe.
Just remember that not all cold air intakes will increase the noise or horsepower. As a result, you should opt for those that have an open filter element since they offer the best balance between power, efficiency, and sound.
When it comes to making your car sound louder, it is not as complicated as most drivers assume. All of the above solutions have the potential to work nicely, so you’ll have to consider which choice is the best for your vehicle.
For instance, if you only want to make your car sound sportier, changing your muffler or adding exhaust tips will do the trick. If you don’t mind altering a large part of your exhaust system to add sound and power, go for Y pipes, headers, or even replace your exhaust with a catback.
But don’t forget to do some research beforehand, as some modifications may be less suitable for your vehicle and could cause damage to it. Also, if you feel like you need additional help in understanding car modifications, it’s best you contact a professional mechanic.
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