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Ultimate Guide (2023): What is a Cat-Back Exhaust System?

The primary purpose of exhaust systems is to increase power and boost engine sound. Standard exhaust systems can handle this job, but only the minimal job. Stock exhaust systems give fewer loud groans than a motor enthusiast wants.

Other problems include lack of quality of performance from a variety of factors. It is possible to replace the factory exhaust system with aftermarket exhaust systems to improve efficiency.

With abundant choices available for performance exhaust systems such as turbo-back, axle-back, header-back, and cat-back systems.

Selecting the best car exhaust systems is not an easy decision. It can be frustrating to discover the differences among the many options you have at times. This post will concentrate upon a cat’s exhaust system and its main reasons for its worth.

What are Aftermarket Performance Exhaust Systems?

Aftermarket performance exhaust systems are exhaust systems that replace your stock exhaust system to give your motor a more significant amount of power and enhance sound. Aftermarket exhausts can be ordered from different manufacturers.

What is a Cat-Back Exhaust System?

Cat-Back Exhaust Systems are reasonably simple auto modification that increases exhaust flow and produce an additional engine tone. Catalytic Back Exhaust refers to the section of the exhaust system that attaches to the catalytic converters.

A cat-back exhaust system can consist of a rear pipe, an oscillator, or muffler, although depending on its manufacturer and its model, the unit can include other components. How should I check the exhaust system? The exhaust pipe on your vehicle helps keep dangerous gas emissions away from your combustion.

What are the Main Features of the Cat-Back Exhaust System?

The main features of Cat-Back Exhaust Systems are:

  • Quick & Easy Installation
  • Large Diameter Tubing
  • Lacks a resonator
  • Option to choose from stainless steel or aluminized steel
  • Stright through or Glass Packing material

Advantages of Buying Cat-Back Exhaust System

Here are the main advantages of buying a cat-back exhaust system:

1. Large Tube Diameter

Cat-Back Exhaust systems come with larger tube diameters when comparing the stock exhaust or axle-back exhaust. The high-grade mandrel-bent and large tube diameter help the system to breathe better.

However, choosing huge diameters may result in a large pile of gases and slow exit. It adversely impacts the torque and horsepower of your vehicle.

2. Price

Cat exhaust system can improve the performance and look of your automobile without requiring much cash. The standard exhaust starts at around $300, and there’s also potential for a range of about $30,000.

It differs by material and Also, depending upon the level of customization (also discussed later). The most crucial thing, in this case, is that there are no of these needs needing any extra cash or a deposit.

3. Increased Power

This type of equipment has often increased power than used on a factory model of the automobile. What are the reasons for this? Because stock models use minimal materials and maximize the available room, power is less important for these cars.

It’s also possible that stock exhausts have relatively low effectiveness. Custom cat-back exhausts increase efficiencies by turning the mandrel into bounded turns and decreasing back pressures with its larger diameter to reduce the exhaust flow restrictions.

As the engine breaths better, it also helps in enhancing the horsepower and torque.

4. Save on Fuel

Cat rear exhaust systems can boost fuel economy if used correctly. It helps reduce the pressure of the exhaust gases and increases efficiencies as it increases the MPG and fuel economy. The savings are more apparent if traveling on highway speed and city driving, but if you spend most of your driving time, there is a chance you will notice the difference.

5. Easy Installation

The Catback Exhaust system is easily installed on nearly any make and model of automobile and is simple to install. The new bolts are directly attached and do not need any modifications. The cat-back exhaust system includes a muffler with exhaust tips and a spout for replacing a damaged exhaust.

6. They Look Great

Catback is a section of exhaust that runs from catalytic converter exits to exhaust tips. Exhaust systems included with this feature usually have large pipes from the converter to muffler, with bent mandrake and glass packs to reduce backpressure.

The whole design is more of a show than functionality, and the system is tuned so that low noise is more significant than that found in other airflow exhausts, this difference being immediately apparent.

7. Split and Custom Designs

You can opt for an integrated front and custom cat-back exhaust system if the look is unique. The split model features the exhaust pipe, which, as its name implies, splits into two sides into two pipes. The resulting noise increase may cause an erratic split of pipes, and some designs split these pipes to separate vehicles from the other.

Custom configurations for vehicles that perform more on-road are also available.

8. Wider Pipes are Better for Your Vehicle.

Larger ducts in cat exhaust systems allow your vehicle to breathe more. It can, however, be noted that excessive pressure can result in reduced torque, rpm, and power. After deciding on the best pipe size, you can determine the maximum pipe diameter, which maximizes performance for your vehicle.

9. Louder Noise

Although it depends on your muffler choice, the vehicles with cat-back exhaust offer more grunt. Compared to original exhaust systems, axle-back and cat-back exhausts shape your vehicle tone. You can play within the wide range by doing some research on the type and sound quality.

The muffler used under cat-back are generally glass pack mufflers and straight through mufflers:

10. Straight-Through Muffler

With straight, perforated baffles, they are wrapped in sound-absorbing materials, like fiberglassing. Hence they give a slightly low sound but still shape the sound.

11. Glasspack Muffler

These mufflers do not have extra sound-absorbing material. The glass layer and packing absorb sound, resulting in a more aggressive sound than a straight-through muffler.

12. Choose Your Steel

When choosing a cat rear exhaust system, you may choose stainless steel or alloy. The majority of the system is made of stainless, and it is preferred for it because of its resistance against corrosion over the years.

If you wish to get some savings with your Catback engine but have most benefits, aluminum steel might help. The system is manufactured with traditional welded steel coated on the entire surface of the aluminum-silicon alloy. It is highly durable by the metallurgical bond, preserving a level of corrosion resistance.

How to Settle On the Right Cat-Back System?

Here are the various types of Cat-back exhaust available for your car. You can choose the one depending on your preferences:

Single Exhaust

The most modest modification of the Cat-Back system is strictly budgeted. As it comes with less restriction on shaft bents, you can upgrade to the stock system any time you wish to. Compared to other cat-back exhaust systems, it is lightweight and highly affordable.

Dual Exit – Single Exhaust

If you are looking to upgrade the aesthetics of your car without much expectation for performance, you can opt for some modifications in the single exhaust. It comes with one head pipe, a muffler with two exhaust tips, and a converter.

Dual Exhaust System

If you are a sports enthusiast looking for a unique growl, sporty looks, and superior performance, the Dual Exhaust system is your deal. It comes with exhaust pipes, two sets of mufflers, and a catalytic converter with varying modifications to the muffler’s shape.

Cat-Back Exhaust System Vs. Factory Exhaust System

A stock system can be fitted with both a resonator and muffler to reduce the noise levels produced by your vehicle. The noises that a muffler fails to curb, the resonator does the job. However, the resonator also restricts the exhaust flow leading to lowered vehicle performance. Hence, the resonator adversely affects fuel efficiency.

As cat-back exhaust comes with mandrel bent tubes made of aluminized or stainless steel. The free flow of gases and robust build quality make it a preferred choice for people looking for an uplifting performance for their vehicle.

The main reason for sticking to stock exhaust is that it comes pre-installed and saves you from the hassle of installing new parts.

If you are not looking for a performance or sound upgrade, it is acceptable to proceed with stock exhaust.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a Cat-Back Exhaust Sound Better?

The Catback exhaust is a replacement for your old muffler, which is less restrictive. The sound of burned fuel is not suppressed so much – it will cause an aggressive sound that will increase.

Is a Cat-Back Exhaust Loud?

Straight through the Catback system features small diameter mufflers that do not require baffles. It gives more loud sounds with fewer restrictions.

Is a Catback Exhaust Worth it?

Catback exhaust systems can improve your car’s performance without the need for a loan. A typical exhaust is about $300 and can reach $3000.

What are the Top Brands for Cat-Back exhaust systems?

Borla, Magnaflow, MBRP, Flowmaster, and Corsa are reliable brands for Cat-Back exhaust systems.

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My Name is Christopher Angels, and I am a postgraduate in mechanical engineering. Cars have always excited me as a child, and soon I decided to dive into the world of cars by pursuing mechanical engineering. I also worked as a Mechanic for over 3 years to understand Cars' anatomy and how each part contributes to its working.

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