How to Make a Truck Louder (And Is That Even Legal?)

How to Make a Truck Louder (And Is That Even Legal?)If you're a pickup truck owner, you might be wondering how you can make your truck louder. This is a very common question for current or prospective pickup truck owners. We've done some research to help you better understand the different ways you can increase the sound output on your pickup, along with the legal aspects of this kind of modification.

There are 2 primary ways to make your truck louder. One way is to upgrade your factory exhaust system to an aftermarket unit that allows more free flow of exhaust fumes. You can also make your truck louder by upgrading the air intake system to a larger, less restrictive performance intake unit.

There are many reasons you might want to make your truck louder. Whether you want some extra horsepower or just a meaner growl when you step on the gas, there are modifications you can have done that will radically change your truck's sound. Without further ado, let's get into it and discuss what exactly you can do to make your truck louder.

Exhaust System Modifications

Let's take a quick look at what you can do to the exhaust system to get your truck to be louder.

Aftermarket Muffler

One of the biggest ways you can make your truck louder is to get a different muffler. Mufflers serve to dampen your truck's engine sound. There's a big market for mufflers that are designed to allow more sound to exit the exhaust system rather than be dampened in the muffler's chambers. Simply altering this component of your vehicle alone can have a drastic impact on your truck's sound output.

There's a fairly sophisticated science behind designing mufflers with internal features that dampen more or less sound from the engine. Thanks to this modern automotive technology, you can select a muffler that will produce the exact sound you're looking for. Whether you want a higher, raspy sound or a deeper, throaty growl, there's a muffler that can produce it.

Aftermarket Tailpipe

A tailpipe alteration is another way you can make your truck louder. The tailpipe essentially routes the exhaust fumes out of the vehicle. From a sound standpoint, modifications to this component can also help produce that enhanced sound you want.

One of the modifications you can have done is to get an aftermarket exhaust system that has 2 exhaust pipes. If your truck currently has one pipe, this alteration will make a huge difference both in performance and sound. The system will be able to expel fumes more efficiently which will boost performance. Furthermore, doubling the number of exits for the exhaust fumes and soundwaves will amplify the sound.

Larger Pipe Tips

Have you ever seen pickup trucks will huge tips on the end of the exhaust pipe? If so, you probably also remember that truck being particularly louder than other trucks on the road. This modification not only makes your truck look better, but it also enhances the its sound, and we'll explain why.

Due to their geometric design, these tips essentially makes serve as a wider chamber that the exhaust gas passes through before being released into the air. The gas reverberates off the wider walls of the tip, resulting in a much louder sound. In other words, the tailpipe tip essentially creates one last resounding echo before the gas and sound waves leave the exhaust system. This is extremely important because it's at this particular spot that a truck's sound is most audible.

In this way, an aftermarket exhaust tip is a quick and simple way to make your truck louder without having to alter any other component of the exhaust system.

Air Intake Modifications

Another modification you can make that will make your truck louder is the installation of a cold air or performance intake system. These units modify the temperature and amount of air going to the engine. performance air intake unit will make the truck louder in a couple ways.

First, the sound of air being sucked into the engine will be much louder than normal. This difference in noise level will be heard primarily from inside the cab rather than outside the vehicle.

Second, a performance air intake system will increase the volume of air being sucked into the engine at any given time. This means that the engine will be running more efficiently, which will result in a greater volume of exhaust fumes being created. As we've discussed, a more free flow of exhaust creates a louder sound. For the greatest effect, this modification should be coupled with an aftermarket muffler to maximize both airflow and exhaust flow.

One thing to keep in mind when considering this modification is that some aftermarket air intake systems might void your truck's powertrain warranty. Be sure to consult the conditions of your warranty before taking this step.

Combining Modifications for Maximum Effect

We've mentioned several steps you can take to make your truck louder. Any of these steps alone will have a notable impact on the way your truck sounds, but you'll have the best results by combining these modifications. All of these modifications working in conjunction will allow your truck to reach its true sound potential and experience optimal performance.

Legal Considerations

Up to this point, we've discussed how you can make your truck louder. Now we'll talk about whether you should make these modifications to your vehicle and if you choose to, how to do so legally.

While making your truck louder might seem like no big deal, it's actually more regulated than you might think. When it comes to modifications that make any vehicle louder, there are legal aspects you should consider.

In the United States, all vehicles must have a muffler to be deemed street legal.  As we've discussed, there is a plethora of aftermarket mufflers available that significantly increase a vehicle's sound output. For this reason, it's very rare for a vehicle to be missing a muffler altogether, so this likely won't be an issue.

Regarding overall noise level, there's no national legal standard. These laws vary by state. Some states have an objective metric that determines if a vehicle is too loud. Other states have more loose, subjective standards for legal noise level. If you're planning on modifying your truck's exhaust system and you live in one of these states, you should consult your state's laws before you modify your truck's exhaust system in order to ensure you're complying with local laws.

Just to be sure your aftermarket system is in fact in compliance with local laws, you can easily measure your truck's noise output with a decibel meter. There are also smartphone app decibel meters that make measuring your truck's sound easy and convenient.

Make Your Truck Louder, Legally

We hope this guide helped you better understand the different approaches you can take to make your truck louder. Making these modifications to improve your truck's sound can be a great decision. A loud, throaty growl will both improve your truck's performance and make it stand out on the road. That said, be sure to follow your local laws so you can fully enjoy your louder truck.

Share this article


  1. I hate loud trucks. They are a public nuisance. Why should everyone in the neighborhood be subjected to this obnoxious noise constantly just because someone wants to show off? Ridiculous. These things should be banned.

  2. I agree with Fed Up. Why should children, families and neighbors suffer from damaging noise because some dude wants to appear manlier? Dudes, NO ONE thinks you’re cool, they think your creepy. And women laugh at you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *