Your stock exhaust system will never have the aggressive sound you’re hoping for, so what are your options? The two main aftermarket systems are cat-back and axle-back, and each provides its own benefits to your ride. What’s the difference between cat-back and axle-back exhaust systems? Read on to find out.
The “cat” in “cat-back” has nothing to do with felines. Instead, cat-back exhaust systems refer to the vehicle components behind your catalytic converter. This is your mid-pipe, muffler, tailpipe, and tips.
In addition to a sound upgrade, cat-backs boast a boost in your exhaust system performance. They also drop your vehicle’s overall weight. Vehicle performance increases due to better exhaust flow through larger diameter tubing.
Also known as straight-piped exhaust, axle-back exhaust systems include everything behind the rear axle of your vehicle, meaning the muffler, tailpipe, and tips. The axle-back system is all about changing your exhaust’s sound quality and bringing a more aggressive tone than your stock system can provide.
Axle-back exhaust systems are less expensive than the cat-back option and offer simpler installation. Putting it together is easy enough on your own if you follow a template. Typically, you bolt it on to install.
What’s Right for You?
The axle-back exhaust system is right for you if you’re hoping for a sound upgrade without spending too much money. With less to install, axle-back systems are easier to put together, too.
Cat-back systems are great for people looking to boost vehicle performance who aren’t worried about spending the extra money to get it. The installation for cat-backs is more difficult than axle-backs but still doable for a hobbyist.
Now that you know the difference between cat-back and axle-back exhaust systems, pick which one is right for you to make your car roar like a lion. Factory systems won’t cut it, so enjoy the sound of your beast’s new purr.