What Is Cat-back Exhaust?


Cat-back exhausts are one of the most popular upgrades on the automotive aftermarket today. These systems are relatively inexpensive, easy to install and can yield improvements in both horsepower and sound.


  • The term "cat-back" refers to that portion of the exhaust system installed from the catalytic converter to the tailpipes.


  • The primary purpose of installing a cat-back system is to replace the restrictive stock pipes and mufflers with higher flowing units that will produce more horsepower.


  • A cat-back system is composed of a straight pipe heading to the axle, the tubes that loop above the axle and a set of mufflers and tailpipes.


  • Even if the stock exhaust design cannot be improved by a cat-back system, many people install the system because they enjoy the sound of a louder and deeper-sounding exhaust.


  • Although it is illegal in most states to tamper with a vehicle's emissions system in any way, any portion of the exhaust that does not affect the car's emissions may be replaced at will.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Kevin Miller
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