10 Reasons to Check out the Cat Back Exhaust SystemsSandgate Admin
Deciding to purchase a performance exhaust system for your car is no easy task. There are loads of options, all offering different benefits, and the amount of research you do can quickly turn to frustration when you realise the minuscule differences between the many options.
Luckily, the team at Sandgate Auto Electrics understand these systems and their differences very well, and that is why our clients look to us for knowledge and expertise that can save them many hours on internet forums.
In this article, we are going to focus on cat back exhaust systems, and the main ten reasons that we have discovered as to why they are worth a look. If we know our car lovers, finding the right exhaust system for a car or truck is about getting more power without spending a fortune, and cat back exhaust systems tick a lot of boxes.
When it comes to a new exhaust system, there are usually two reasons you may be considering the change – sound, and performance. Most car lovers associate the sound of a car with its exhaust, so it makes sense you may want to tweak this a little! Considering the different classifications of exhaust systems and how far they extend to the front of your vehicle, cat back exhaust systems start just behind the catalytic converter (it’s how they got their name)
They are the popular choice when it comes to aftermarket exhaust systems as they offer reliable performance and sound without having to buy a new catalytic converter. They are also well-suited to those who like to handle their own installation! Let’s look at the top ten reasons why a cat back exhaust system may be right for you.
Reason 1: They look great
The cat back is the section of the exhaust that runs from the outlet of the catalytic converter to the exhaust tips. Exhaust systems that include this often feature a large pipe running from the converter to the muffler, with mandrel-bent turns and glasspacks for reduced back pressure.
All of the design elements are more for show than functionality, with the system tuned in such a way that the lower sounds are more prevalent than in other exhausts, which is immediately one of the noticeable differences.
Reason 2: Increased power
The design of these systems often sees an increase in horsepower compared to the factory design of a vehicle. Why? Because stock models try to minimise materials and maximise space, with horsepower as a lower priority. This is why stock exhaust systems are relatively ineffective. Aftermarket custom cat back exhaust systems increase the efficiency of an exhaust system because of the mandrel-bent turns and reduction in back pressure.
Reason 3: Easy installation
You will be able to find a cat back exhaust system for just about every make and model of a vehicle, and they are easy to install, making them great for people who love a bit of DIY.
They directly bolt on to where the original exhaust sits and do not require any further modification. Cat back exhaust systems come with exhaust pipes, muffler and exhaust tips, so you have everything you need to replace the exhaust.
Reason 4: Price
Cat back exhaust systems are a great way to enhance the performance and look of your vehicle without having to take out a small loan. An average exhaust will start at around $300 and can go up to anywhere around $3000.
The difference in price is often due to the materials used (which we will discuss in detail a little bit later) as well as the level of customisation you opt for (also touched on further down). The main point here is, they don’t have to break the bank.
Reason 5: Wider pipes are better for your vehicle
The wider pipes of a cat back exhaust system mean that your vehicle is able to breathe better. It is important to note, however, that going too large may cause a dip in performance when gases pile up and exit the system slower resulting in torque, rpm, and horsepower loss.
Once you know which system is the best match for your year, make and model you can assess the maximum pipe diameter which will maximise the performance for your particular engine. The team at Sandgate Auto Electrics can easily get you this information once you let us know your vehicle details.
Reason 6: Choose your muffler
There is a range of muffler types you can choose from with a cat back exhaust system with most people opting for a glasspack or straight-through muffler. Both of these options are designed to work well within the system to reduce back pressure.
The difference, besides looks, is sound output, for example:
- A straight-through or flow-through, muffler features perforated baffles with packing material that absorbs a significant amount of sound while still providing a loud output
- Glasspack mufflers are like resonators and do not have any sound-absorbing packing material resulting in a louder and higher pitched noise
Reason 7: Save on fuel
Depending on your make and model, cat back exhaust systems can lead to an increase in fuel economy. The engine doesn’t have to work as hard pushing exhaust gases through the piping which reduces its load and leads to higher efficiency and MPG.
It is important to note that the fuel saving will be more noticeable when traveling at freeway speeds than city driving, but if you spend a lot of your day on the road, you’ll likely notice the difference.
Reason 8: You’ll be a lot louder
Your neighbours may disagree that this is a benefit, but as we’ve mentioned earlier, and depending on your muffler choice, your vehicle will have a lot more grunt. This may well be the area you need to do the most research into and the sound quality, and type, can range drastically per system.
Reason 9: Choose your steel
When it comes to picking a cat back exhaust system, you will likely be choosing between stainless or aluminized steel. The majority of the performance systems are made from stainless steel which is favoured as they won’t oxidize and corrode over time like traditional steel can.
If you are looking to save a little money but still get most of the benefits of a cat back exhaust system, however, aluminized steel may be the way to go. Made from traditional steel that’s been coated on all sides with aluminum-silicon alloy, these systems are very strong thanks to the metallurgical bond which still provides a level of corrosion resistance. While the aluminum coating reflects heat well, the steel can corrode if the aluminum layer is chipped or scraped off. Most cat-back systems will come in either an aluminized or stainless steel version.
Reason 10: Split and custom designs
If you are looking for something a little more unique, you can opt for a split rear or custom cat back exhaust system design. The split models feature an exhaust pipe that, as the name suggests, splits into two side-by-side pipes at the end, often with polished muffler and exhaust tips to really make a visual impact.
It should be noted that a split system will often provide an aggressive noise increase, and some designs will split the two pipes to opposite sides of the vehicle.
Custom setups, especially for vehicles that do a lot of off-roading are also available. If you have modified your 4×4 with lifted, lowered, or air type suspension systems, you can opt for a specially designed cat-back system with more pipe curvature before the rear axle. This is necessary for off-roading as it allows a higher degree of wheel travel and greater clearance for reduced-height springs and airbag suspensions. The custom exhaust systems available let you pick from a selection of pipework that allows you to adjust the exhaust to suit your noise preference.
Speak to Sandgate Auto Electrics about a cat back exhaust system today!
If the above ten reasons to consider a cat back exhaust system have you thinking it may be right for your car then Sandgate Auto Electrics are the people to call.
The team at Sandgate Auto Electrics are well-versed in all things automotive which has led to them becoming the go-to for car lovers in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, South East Queensland. As a family owned and run company, who are local residents themselves, we have gotten to know their loyal clientele and love helping them with the repairs and modifications.
From their humble beginnings to becoming one of the most well-known companies in Brisbane and Australia we are experts in the fast developing future of new age vehicles and accessories.
From motorbikes to marine to RVís to the most technical of diagnostics, the team at Sandgate Auto Electrics & Air Conditioning have the technicians to solve any problem small or large. Speak to the team today about cat back exhaust systems, or any other vehicle considerations you may be pondering, and let us guide you to the vehicle of your dreams!