The Benefits of a Cat Back Exhaust System

BY Erin C.

You may have heard the term cat back exhaust, but do you really know what this upgrade entails? A relatively simple mod, a cat back system is a section of exhaust that attaches after the last catalytic converter to free up your exhaust flow. While the exact makeup may vary, a cat back can contain a rear-pipe, a resonator and a muffler, a mid-pipe, X-, H- or Y-Pipe – all designed to produce more power, a more pronounced sound and better gas mileage. The cat back system is perfect for enthusiast who wants to keep all emissions equipment in place and unaffected for any future emissions testing. They allow for a modest performance increase and unique sound.

More Power

An aftermarket cat back exhaust is designed to be freer-flowing than your stock exhaust, usually with larger diameter piping and higher-grade stainless steel mandrel bent tubing. These changes result in reduced back pressure at the exhaust manifold, which helps your engine breathe easier and release more horsepower and torque. Horsepower gains depends highly on the design of your factory exhaust system, the diameter tubing used, type of bends, transitions, and muffler design.

Souped-Up Sound

Another sought after benefit of a cat back exhaust system is the sound they produce. Whether you want just a little more grunt or a full-on growl, there’s a cat back exhaust system out there to satisfy your need for souped-up sound. This is a big consideration to take into account when purchasing a cat back exhaust, so it’s important to do your homework. You want to spend your time and money on a system that’s the right fit. There’s nothing like hearing a system or muffler in person to make the best judgement, however if you can’t hear one in person, YouTube is a great resource as well as the sound clips we provide when available.

Improved Fuel Economy

An increase in fuel economy is often experienced after installing a cat back exhaust system. This is the result of your engine not having to work as hard to push exhaust gases through the free flowing mufflers. By lightening the load on your engine, you get improved efficiency and MPG. Many aftermarket systems are lighter in weight as an added benefit.

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