Convincing my parents to install an aftermarket exhaust system

As we move to EVs, what can we do to make these EVs “sound right”?


Engine swaps.


Whenever I pass (or more often, are passed by) a vehicle with an “improved” exhaust system I think how tiring it must be to sit in it and hear it drone on and on during a long drive.


What some of the luxury makes are already doing:
Pipe exhaust sounds into the audio system or with separate speakers.


It’s amazing what doesn’t bother you when you’re young! I used to do glass packs with long tube headers on an open cab Jeep CJ. I don’t think I could stand it now! Didn’t bother me in the least when I was 19 or 20.

My dad has a 2019 Charger TA. Some sort of factory performance exhaust. It’s perfect. You can hear the exhaust, nice rumble, but it’s not at all obnoxious. Barely noticeable at a steady cruise in overdrive.

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I’m going to give you two reasons why not to this that haven’t been mentioned already. If the system is from the dealer and a genuine NISMO part, the first reason doesn’t apply.

The first reason is quality. Most aftermarket systems are just too cheap. They use low quality materials that rust out prematurely. Also if the pipes are larger, it will allow the exhaust gasses to cool faster which reduces back pressure, but allows more condensation inside the pipes and the condensate is acidic contributing further to rust.

The second reason is noise. Noise attracts attention, often unwanted attention. That cop may not give you a ticket for loud exhaust because your system is just under the dB limit, but you have his attention, and not in a good way. The slightest vehicular infraction and he will get you. Better to stay under the radar, especially when you are young.


my 03 f-150 that I got from a friend has magna-flow dual exhaust that his son put on. it sounds great but the Hwy drone is a PIA. luckily I dont drive it much on the Hwy

The flogging will continue indefinitely!

Actually, when I write “as a follow on” I am adding to your post. I think we’ve been here before, and more than once.

Wouldn’t make more sense to reply to the OP with your thoughts ?

Not all aftermarket exhaust systems are cheap. Some are very high quality made of stainless steel (as are most OEM systems these days). No auto manufacturer makes exhaust systems.


Borla’s exhaust systems are made from aircraft-quality stainless steel, and they are the antithesis of cheap. There are probably others of similar quality.

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Yeah, I remember Thrush glass packs on a straight 6, 2 speed automatic or a VW flat 4.

Made you feel “cool” until you turned up at the girlfriend’s house and her Dad walked out. :grinning:.

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I dated a girl for a short while when I had that Jeep whose dad was a state highway patrolman. He actually made me go get my mom’s car before he’d allow me to take her out. Looking back…I don’t blame him! She was a nice girl. I had a lot to learn, but thought I knew it all already.

Didn’t work out lol.

I am particularly sensitive to loud noises and the quieter the vehicle the happier I am. I have been this way all my life. Even as a teenager, I didn’t like a loud exhaust system in a vehicle. When I was in college, I often took the intercity buses from a regional bus company. The buses were the Flxible Clippers powered by straight eight Buick engines with open exhaust systems. My ears would ring for a couple of hours after an hour and a half ride in these buses. In the early days of television, the high frequency buzz of the high voltage section of the sets I found annoying. I wear ear protectors when running my gasoline powered push mower. The one thing I really liked about the battery powered mower that I used to have was the quiet operation. I still have very acute hearing in my almost 80 years on this planet, and feel fortunate that I don’t need hearing aids.
I bought a new Ford Tempo back in 1985. The car was reliable and trouble free, but it was too noisy for me on highway trips. It was one of the few cars I didn’t drive 100,000.miles. After three years, I traded it for a Ford Taurus.
From the late 1930s through the 1960s, some auto makers offered the Borg-Warner automatic overdrive in conjunction with the three speed manual transmission. People claimed that the added $100.cost of the overdrive wouldn’t save enough on the increased gasoline mileage to pay for the cost over the 100,000 mile life expectancy of the cars back then. However, the decrease in noise at highway speeds certainly made road trips more pleasant, particularly in cars like the 6 cylinder Studebaker Larks.
I look forward to having quiet running EVs.



Next question? :smiley:

In seriousness, @Renegade is right. Wait till you have your own car, then modify it as much as you want. I don’t want anyone messing with my car, even if they’re a blood relative.

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Thinking back to my 20s, one of my friends asked…
Isn’t it it great to be living on our own?

I was truly living on my own, while his parents paid for his car insurance, took care of his laundry, arrived every weekend to clean his apartment, and they refilled his refrigerator with food that they bought for him.

It’s truly amazing to see how many people fail to see how incredibly dependent on their parents they REALLY are,


hmmm … ok, this is what I suggest

  • Obtain written approval from the DMV and local law enforcement the change is legal and will meet all state and federal emissions requirements

  • Open a bank account for $10,000 in your parent’s name (but with your own money) that would guarantee payment of any fines, repairs, loss of income, medical, etc caused, even if just in part, by the new exhaust system. Should there be none, the money would be returned to you at a pre-defined future date. This may require you first remove the new system and replace the old.

I think a better solution is to ask your parents to help you buy your own car. Even if it is a used Civic. Then you’ll have more freedom to mess w/it.

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Agree, that is why I said “most”. What do you think a 16 year old kid can afford?

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Yep. The upside to being an adult on your own is that you get to decide what your spending priorities are. The downside is that food and housing and toilet paper don’t just show up anymore, which makes you reluctant to mod your car right as you gain the authority to do it. :wink:

Some can afford quite a bit. I went to school with a 16 year old who drove a Porsche 911. We all suspected he was a drug dealer, but he had the money. :wink:

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Video blogger shmee replaced the exhaust on his new Audi with a similar system. Both had switchable manifolds for bypass/no bypass. The new exhaust just had smaller mufflers. And it sounds like CRAP. But, he needs content for viewers. I hope he kept his $2000 stock exhaust for retrofit.