Exhaust Whistle Tip 101: Sound, Legality & Installation

By August 15, 2021Exhaust

An exhaust whistle tip is an aftermarket attachment to the tip of your exhaust. This device makes a whistling sound when exhaust gases pass through it as you accelerate.

An Exhaust Whistle tip is a small metal plate with a hole at the center. The hole is welded into the inner tip of the metal plate.

When exhaust gases are passed through the hole with pressure, it results in the production of a whistling sound. This whistle is similar to a steam locomotive whistle.

In this article, I will cover everything you want to know about exhaust whistle tip.

  1. How Does Exhaust Whistle Tip Work?
  2. Sound Gain from Exhaust Whistle Tip
  3. Installation & Cost of Exhaust Whistle Tip 
  4. Is Exhaust Whistle Tip Legal?   
  5. Does Exhaust Whistle Tip Void Warranty?
  6. Some pros and cons 
  7. Should You Install Exhaust Whistle Tip

How Does Exhaust Whistle Tip Work?

Exhaust whistle tip works on the principle that when gases pass through the whistle tip fitted inside your exhaust then its structure is such that it increases the vibrating frequency of the cylinder and also vibrates itself.

This combined vibration of both structures will produce an augmented sound compared to the actual sound produced by the car.

Here’s a table summarizing everything you want to know about Exhaust Whistle Tip.

  Exhaust Whistle Tip 
Installation  Very easy. Just screwing some bolts
Cost  Range from $7- $10  
Is it legal?  Yes  (Depending on the state law)
Does it void warranty  No
Exhaust whistle tip

Exhaust whistle tip is clamped onto your exhaust and will produce a whistle when you accelerate.

Sound Gain from Exhaust Whistle Tip

Exhaust whistle tip mimics the whistling sound from a turbocharged vehicle. The sound is most significant during high RPM like 4000 and above.

Personally, I don’t think it’s that loud. This is suitable for enthusiasts who love the turbo whistles but don’t have a turbo vehicle. 

The shape and structure of exhaust tips are such that they can make the sound either of high pitched (throatier) and low pitched(raspy). If we use a double-walled muffle, we will hear a full-bodied sound.

There are two types of whistle tips

  1. single wall
  2. double wall

A single wall whistle tip is just a single piece of metal and it is cut at two ends. It is hollow from the inside and also it is frequently non-polished from the inside. 

But in the case of double-wall whistle tip, muffler metal is wrapped to itself for outwards facing and hence both the inside and outside of the muffle is polished metallic surface. But it is also hollow.

Before purchasing the exhaust tip you have to take a few precautions and a few measurements. You have to measure the size or circumference of the exhaust tip. Then you can purchase this size of the exhaust tip.

This is a YouTube video showing you how a whistle tip sounds like. Skip to 5:48.

Installation & Cost of Exhaust Whistle Tip  

Exhaust Whistle Tip costs range from $7- $10 – depending on the brand and material and is quite easy to install. 

Installing an exhaust whistle tip is all about screwing a bolt into the whistle. You don’t need any special tools like jack or welding.

The installation can be done all by yourself within minutes. And if you don’t like the sound, you can simply remove the whistles by unscrewing the bolt.

Here’s a YouTube clip showing you how to install a whistle tip.

Is Exhaust Whistle Tip Legal?   

Exhaust whistle may not be legal on the street, depending on where you live. For example, it may be illegal in strict states like California but fine in others. 

Exhaust modifications are illegal in California if your car produces a sound of more than 95 decibels. If your car produces more sound than this limit in California be ready for facing the results.   

 Whistle tip does not produce that much sound – it mimics the whistling sound from a turbo. I personally have never seen anyone getting in trouble for whistle tip but this depends also on the stock sound of your car.

Cars with big engines produce more exhaust at higher velocity. This may make the whistle tip sounds even louder than usual.

It’s best if you research the specific laws in your area. Then question the seller about it.

Does Exhaust Whistle Tip Void Warranty?   

Exhaust whistle tip will not void the warranty of your car – the installation process does not require any cutting or welding and you can simply remove them within minutes if you need to claim warranty.

You shouldn’t worry about warranty when it comes to whistle tips. Just make sure you don’t screw the bolt too hard – causing the whistle tip to clamp on your exhaust too tight and cause scratches.

That’s the only thing you need to worry about – not such a big deal huh?

Exhaust Whistle Tip Pros & Cons   

Now, I am going to make a list of the pros & cons of Exhaust Whistle Tip. This will summarize all the info above and help you decide whether you should install Exhaust Whistle Tip or not.    


Pros of Exhaust Whistle Tip   

  1. Exhaust whistle tips are cheap. The price ranges from $7- $10 but depending on the brand and material. I think everyone can afford this. It’s relatively cheap compared to other mods like exhausts or mufflers.   
  2. Exhaust whistle tip is environmentally friendly. Unlike aftermarket exhaust systems, exhaust whistle tips do not impact and create more emission. 
  3. Exhaust whistle tip attracts attention. With the new sound, the exhaust whistle tip will be a head turner on the street for sure. If this is what you want, then the exhaust whistle tip is great!  
  4. Exhaust whistle tip is easy to install. It’s a matter of screwing some bolts in place. No welding, cutting or even jack required.
  5. Exhaust whistle tip does not void warranty. A whistle tip shouldn’t damage anything on your car and can be removed very easily when you need to claim for warranty.


Cons of Exhaust Whistle Tip     

  1. Exhaust whistle tip is Illegal in some jurisdictions. Exhaust whistle tip produces large noise that can be illegal in your area. Especially if your area has strict laws like  California.
  2. Exhaust whistle tip draws too much attention. This could be a pro or con – depending on you. But beware, it’s quite loud and will definitely be a head turner on the street (even cops).

Should You Install Exhaust Whistle Tip

 If you are into the sound of a turbo whistle, then you should install an exhaust whistle tip because it mimics it well and can be a head turner.

To install an exhaust tip whistle, measure the size of your exhaust cylinder and purchase the exhaust tip according to it. This exhaust tip is a metal plate with a hole in the center, so it is hollow.

It is cheap and easily available anywhere. But I recommend you to use it after proper consultation from a car mechanic. There are two reasons for this, first, he will help you to adjust the sound according to your requirement.

The second is that the mechanic will check the synchronization of other systems of the vehicle with that of the exhaust whistle. Otherwise, it may be harmful to your precious car.

Exhaust Whistle Tip: My Take

Personally, I would not go for an exhaust whistle tip because I don’t really like the sound. I much prefer the aggressive sound that comes from an aftermarket muffler or cold air intake.

They both cost much more than a whistle tip but the sound is much more satisfying. You should check these out before deciding on a whistle tip.

Related article: 5 Ways To Make Your Car Louder For Cheap

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Ifandi L.

Ifandi L.

Passionate about everything mechanical. Ifandi has been involved with motorcycles and cars since the old days - in his family's auto parts shop. Want to keep in touch? Scream "STRAIGHT PIPEEEEE" at the top of your lungs and Ifandi will show up.

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