Louder Turbo: 7 Ways To Make Your Turbo Louder (With Cost)

By August 8, 2021Turbocharger

You can make your turbo louder and more aggressive by installing aftermarket parts. 

Simplest, you can opt for a turbo muffler delete, which replaces your stock turbo compressor outlet with a less restrictive version. But we are looking into more turbo noise…

Personally, I have installed a bigger turbo to my Civic with the turbo muffler delete. It didn’t sound as good as expected, not even close to what I really wanted.

It is a completely different story after installing aftermarket downpipes and ECU tuning. The car sounded amazing, and I also can feel the instant power delivery to the engine as I floor the throttle.

In this article, I want to share with you some alternative ways you can make your turbo sound sexier:-

  1. Aftermarket Downpipe
  2. Open Box Air Filter
  3. Remove Engine Cover
  4. Installing Cold Air Intake
  5. ECU Tuning
  6. Blow Off Valve
  7. Turbo Exhaust Whistle
  8. Recommendation: Which Should You Do

Aftermarket Downpipe

Aftermarket Downpipe makes turbo louder louder because it’s wider – allowing sound waves to travel easier without collisions.

Downpipe comes in two types: catted downpipe or catless. CAT refers to catalytic converter – a device used to convert the toxic exhaust gases into non toxic ones before they are allowed to leave the car. 

Catted downpipe includes a catalytic converter, whereas catless catalytic converter does not.

RELATED ARTICLE: Does Downpipe Make A Car Louder?

Installing the aftermarket downpipe can be done in under 2 hours if you’re experienced. I would say jacking the car up is the hardest part. Getting it done on a lift is definitely a bonus.

It shouldn’t cost more than $200, if you’re getting it done in the shops.

Check out this video by Humble Mechanics showing how it’s done.

downpipe connected to turbo
Downpipe connected to turbo outlet
This is a catless downpipe. No catalytic converter.
Exhaust gasses exit downpipe to the rest of exhaust pipe

Use Open Box Air Filter

Open box air intake systems provide better sound improvement because it has no airbox. It has an unique sound of air breezing into the intake as you accelerate. 

It will not make your engine louder but instead, you will hear the additional sound of air.

Image of Cold Air Intake Air Filter

Open air box has its air filter exposed.

Open air intakes are not enclosed within any box (which is designed to reduce sound). If you see an air filter that looks like a mushroom head, open box air filter it is! They are open and widely exposed to allow more air flow.

I have installed an open box air intake on my other car. The sound improvement it provides is amazing and I absolutely love it. It does not actually provide much horsepower.

RELATED ARTICLE: Open Vs Closed Box Air Intake: Performance, Sound & Price

Remove Engine Cover

Yes, the engine will sound louder with the cover off. Engine covers are not for decorative reasons only, the thick black plastic cover also acts as a noise suppressor. 

Personally, I’ve tried removing the engine cover to let my engine sound louder. It works, and I can hear my engine louder on the outside, but not too much of a difference when I’m behind the wheel. I also noticed cooler oil temps! (surprised)

It makes sense that removing the cover will also make airflow over the engine better. But, I’d keep the cover back on during the winter so that the engine can warm up better.

A lot of older cars do not come with engine covers, I personally don’t think that it’ll harm the engine. If you want your turbo or engine to sound louder without cost, go ahead and take off your engine cover.

Use Cold Air Intake 

The sound of your car will be louder and more aggressive with a cold air intake. Instead of loudness though, a cold air intake changes the sound of your car engine. 

You will clearly hear the sound of air flowing into the intake – especially when you rev up the car and then release the throttle. 

This is a very satisfying sound that makes your car sound more aggressive and even faster.

RELATED ARTICLE: Does Cold Air Intake Make A Car Louder? 

Cold Air Intake

Cold air intake comes up with plastic tubing or a metal tubing. Just make sure you select the one with plastic.

The cost of open box air intake varies depending on the brand. Though, the good ones from reputable brands start at about $300 – $350.

Check out this Cold Air Intake that I bought on Amazon. Installation is pretty straightforward, it can be done with a screwdriver, pliers and a ratchet-set in 90 minutes or less! 

Choose a cold air intake that uses the factory holes so you don’t need any drilling or cutting when installing. Usually, the product comes with an installation guide. This will be your best friend or enemy when installing.

If you want to read the manual before buying? I’ve got you covered. Here’s the guide to installing a K&N cold air intake

I have an article here where I shared what to look for when getting cold air intake. I generally prefer open intakes because of the sound. If you feel the same, here you go – Best Cold Air Intake: What To Look For 

Which muffler is your car right now?

Tune For Higher Boost Pressure

Raising boost pressure the engine is able to take in more air, thus making the turbo spin harder, spooling up and making louder sound.

Extra air being forced into the engine is commonly known as boost pressure. It can be adjusted by controlling the amount of exhaust gas flowing through the turbo. 

Turbos normally have a wastegate (prevents boost from rising further) which bleeds off the exhaust directly to the atmosphere which can make your car sound amazing. Sometimes, over boosting can be caused by a wastegate fault or poor remap.

Most cars now have an electronic controlled boost system. To increase the boost of the turbos on these engines, all that’s needed is tuning your ECU, also known as a performance chip. 

Initial cost can start at $500 to $1,500 in your local garage with a professional technician. A remapping often costs around $500 – $1,000 in the market. 

You may find it a little expensive, because the costs are also involved with the actual tuning on the dyno which requires technicians to go through multiple diagnostic runs to determine the baseline of your engine.

Your engine can actually withstand a lot more stress. Stock boost pressure is normally restricted with a large margin to cope for your safety and environmental reasons.

Tuning for higher boost pressure does have a higher risk of damaging your engine, such as “knocking” or boost cut due to limitation of your engine. Be sure to tune according to your vehicle capabilities.

Turbo Exhaust Whistle

You can make your turbo sound louder by attaching a turbo whistler to your exhaust pipe. However, on heavy acceleration, it will not sound as genuine.

Usually a turbo whistler is made of light weight aluminium and can be fitted to your exhaust pipes without welding or drilling. It only takes seconds to get it attached.

Personally, I gave it a try, it’s a shame that it only worked for about 10 minutes. I tried it on different cars, and found out that it wouldn’t work until it cooled down. (What?)

Sure it seemed like I bought a faulty one, and the second one I bought is still the same. There goes my 20 bucks for both of them. 

I personally don’t recommend this. It’s just a gimmick and I feel it’s a waste of money. I now have a cool idea to prank on my manager a little bit! (Haha!)

Louder Turbo: My Recommendation

I recommend going for aftermarket downpipe, cold air intake, and ECU tuning. They can surely boost your car’s performance with amazing sound characteristics. 

There are many ways to improve the sound of your car – but which ones are actually affordable?  Check out our article below to understand how car sound is generated and what you can do to make your car louder at a lower cost.

RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Ways To Make Your Car Louder For Cheap

Chai WJ.

Chai WJ.

I am a car enthusiast and a passionate rider who loves to discover new places. Since the pandemic, I can't go to places and I started to blog and share information that I learned. I'm not easily distracted, I just... OMG, do I hear a Supra?

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