If you’re a car enthusiast, you’ve probably wondered if test pipes make your car louder. While they don’t necessarily make your car sound better, they can make it louder.
Test pipes remove the catalytic converter to make cars sound louder. As the cat is no longer present, the sound is less muffled, which results in a louder car.
In this article, I will discuss what test pipes are as well as how they make cars louder. I will also describe a few benefits associated with the test pipe.
Let’s jump right into it!
What Are Test Pipes?
Test pipes are a type of exhaust pipe that replaces the catalytic converter in your car. They are essentially the same as straight pipes, except they are unrestricted and flanged.
A test pipe is typically used to check the exhaust flow. It can also determine whether the catalytic converter is causing problems in the exhaust system.
Despite the fact that these pipes were never intended for long-term use, people use them anyway. It is because catalytic converters are costly for some cars. Those car owners prefer the test pipe as a cheaper alternative.
The Effect of Test Pipes on a Car’s Sound
Test pipes make your car’s engine sound louder by removing the catalytic converter from the exhaust system. Catalytic converters are designed to reduce emissions, but they can also muffle the sound of your engine.
When you take out the catalytic converter with a test pipe, the muffler will also be removed. This results in a louder exhaust note.
Test pipes may barely affect the sound of some cars, while in others, they can significantly increase noise levels. It depends on what kind of exhaust system the car has.
You can try out different exhaust setups until you find one that sounds good.
Benefits of Using Test Pipes
Here are the four advantages of using test pipes.
1. Increased Performance
In addition to making your car louder, test pipes can also improve performance.
By removing the catalytic converter, test pipes allow your engine to breathe better and improve exhaust flow. This can lead to an increase in power and acceleration.
It is important to note that you need to tune the test pipe to achieve the most optimal performance.
2. Cat Check
If your car is malfunctioning and you believe the catalytic converter is to blame, use a test pipe to find out. It provides a comprehensive picture of the cat’s overall condition.
Exhaust pipes are abundant on the market, but most of them are expensive. Consequently, some people are deprived of the extra horsepower these pipes deliver.
Thanks to the test pipe’s affordable price, you can boost your horsepower while keeping your budget in check.
4. Easy To Install
Installation of exhaust pipes can be challenging at times. And when you go to a shop to install a pipe, expect a hefty fee.
However, none of these issues will arise if you opt for a test pipe. The installation is relatively easy, even for someone with a basic understanding of mechanics.
Related: Test Pipe Vs. Downpipe
Disadvantages of Using Test Pipes
The following are four drawbacks of test pipes you should be aware of.
1. Check Engine Light
One of the main drawbacks of using the test pipe is that it can trigger a check engine light. This is because removing the catalytic converter increases your car’s emissions.
2. Emission Failure
As I mentioned previously, high emissions from your car can cause it to fail inspections for emissions.
Moreover, test pipes are not legal in all states, so be sure to check your local laws before installing them.
In some places, it is required that vehicles have a muffler installed, so those who use test pipes may be at risk of being ticketed or fined.
3. Excessively Loud
Depending on your car, a test pipe can make your exhaust sound so loud that it is almost deafening. In that case, you may struggle to hear the radio or have conversations with passengers while driving.
4. Hazardous Fume
Test pipes can also lead to increased exhaust fumes in the car’s cabin. It poses an extreme health risk to both the driver and passengers.
As mentioned in the article, test pipes sometimes make little difference to the sound, whereas other times, cars can become significantly louder. Ultimately, it comes down to the exhaust system and the vehicle.
Test pipes can offer some performance benefits but may also lead to increased noise and exhaust fumes. Before installing test pipes, check your local laws to ensure that they are legal in your area.
Planning on installing a downpipe but don’t know if it is legal? Here is the detailed answer.