Pops & Bangs 101: How To Achieve & Can It Hurt Your Engine?

By November 23, 2022Common Questions, Exhaust

If you want that pop or crack sound from your engine, which comes with spitting flames, you must get some modifications done on your vehicle. To achieve the best pop and bang effect, you will have to make major changes to your exhaust system, like having a decat. Also, your vehicle’s computer system will have to be reprogrammed to allow some necessary features. 

Pop and crack are increasingly becoming popular among car owners, which is a great way to show off your car. As much as this modification excites people, it could cause serious damage to a vehicle if not done right. It is why you need the right information before having it done on your vehicle. 

Personally, I have modified my BMW 3 series. The modification was nice and great to hear. Although, it did not come with any engine performance improvement. 

How to Get Pops & Bangs

Image of burnout exhaust

To achieve pop and bang, you will need to make certain modifications or tuning to the exhaust system and parts of the engine. Also, modifications are made to the vehicle’s computer system. 

Pop and bang are increasingly becoming popular with many vehicles. Car manufacturers and aftermarket auto parts producers have recognized this new potential. It is why they have created many mediums for people to achieve this for their vehicles; all you need to do is choose the best suitable vehicle. 

Pop and bang can be achieved by tuning parts of the vehicle, especially the exhaust system. It may involve removing some parts of the exhaust system or replacing them with modified ones. Below are some ways you can achieve pops and bangs for your vehicle:

1.Pop and bang maps

Remap required for pops and bangs

One of the most popular ways to achieve pops and bangs in any vehicle is through remaps, or as many people call it, pop and bang maps. It involves the computer system, or as many like to call it, Engine Control Module (ECM). It involves adjusting some specific features in the ECM to allow for a lean misfire whenever you release the throttle. It allows your vehicle to achieve the pop and bang feature whenever it is slowed down. 

Fuel is needed to achieve pop and bang, but regular vehicles cannot. It is because whenever the throttle closes up, the fuel injector does not release fuel; this reduces the power created by the engine and reduces the speed quietly. We do not want this; rather, we want to achieve a much louder sound, with pops and flames when reducing speed. 

To achieve the pop and bang we need, you must retard ignition timing, decreasing the torque. When the engine is slowed down, the engine will run lean so that the fuel released by the injection will not damage any part of the engine. 

When the retarded timing is achieved, ignition will also allow combustion. At the same time, the exhaust valve is opened, allowing fuel to escape to the exhaust, where it will be ignited and cause that amazing pop and bang that you love. 

All this is achieved by reprogramming the ECM allowing the fuel injection to stay open while decelerating. The spark timing is also retarded through the ECM. The more retarded the spark timing is and the fuel released, the higher the pop and bang you will be able to achieve. It is important to note that the pop and bang remap must be done with other exhaust modifications like the decat or sport cat.   

Also Read: How Much HP Can You Gain From a Dyno Tune?

2. Decat 

Catalytic converter delete

Catalytic convert is deleted on the right.

Another way people can achieve pop and bangs is through Decat. If you do not know what decat is, it removes the catalytic converter and replaces it with a straight pipe.

The catalytic converter plays a major hindrance to pop and bang in your vehicle. It is because the converter cleans the exhaust gas going through the exhaust system, which means fuel will be removed from the gases. Fuel plays a major role in creating pop and flames. 

Removing the catalytic converter will allow fuel to escape from the engine to the tailpipe, burning and creating flames and pops.  The Decap method is used with the pops and bangs remap. It allows fuel into the exhaust system. 

Also Read: Catalytic Converter Delete 101: Horsepower, Sound & Cost

3. Pop and Bang Kit 

Another way to have pop and bang on your vehicle is by installing hardware that allows you to easily activate the pop and bang any time you want. The kit includes hardware that comes with a button.

Once the button is pushed, the engine drops and fuel is pushed to the exhaust. A spark installed in the exhaust ignites the fuel causing flames and pop sounds. Using the kit is one of the easiest ways to activate the pop and bang. It is also quite easy to install in your vehicle.  

How to Get Pops & Bangs Without Tune

If you want to achieve some sort of pops & bangs without tuning then the least you could do is to get a pops and bangs kit. This device has the abilities push fuel directly into the exhaust and a spark to ignite those fuel in the exhaust – causing pops and bangs.

The typical (and great) pops & bangs are not achievable without tune. Although you don’t need major tuning or upgrade, you still need to remap your ECU and adjust the ignition timing and fuel injection. You will also need to upgrade the vehicle’s exhaust  to support the massive heat and pressure as well as decat.

Can You Put Pops and Bangs on Any Car?

Pop and bang can be installed in any vehicle, although most regular vehicles require some modification. Some vehicles have specific features, which is why it requires tuning or modifications to their exhaust system. For instance, if your vehicle has a catalytic converter, you will have to remove it or install a more suitable exhaust.

Some vehicles are made to have the pop and bang feature naturally. The vehicle, in most cases, comes with enhanced engines and an exhaust system that supports flames and popping sounds without having any form of modifications done. Most of these vehicles are high-performance fast cars. 

However, regular vehicles without high-performance features require modifications to the exhaust system and ECU to make it pop and bang. 

If you are wondering if pop and bang will work for your vehicle, there is a good chance it will if you consider the right factors. First, you need to consider the type of exhaust used by your vehicle. If you have a catalytic converter, you will have to have a decent done, or you can replace it with a sports cat if you want to pass emission test.

With an exhaust modification for your vehicle, you can guarantee fuel passage through the exhaust pipes, which will then ignite to cause the pop and flames. 

It does not just stop there; you will have to reprogram or update done on your ECM. It will enable the fuel injection of all fuel flow even when the vehicle is slowing down and also retard the ignition timing.  

There are other modifications that you can have done on your vehicle to allow it to pop and bang. A good example is a pop and bang kit. Any vehicle can achieve pop and bang if you have the right modifications.  

Also Read: Should You Tune A Stock Car: Cost, Horsepower & Tuning Tips

Will Pops and Bangs Damage Your Car?

Having pops and bangs done to your vehicle can cause damage to your engine and exhaust system after a while of use or during extreme use. It is why sporting cars that experience pop and bang require a lot of maintenance, including oil changes, repair, and replacement of major vehicle parts. 

Firstly, pops and bangs can cause serious contamination of your vehicle’s oil. When you release the accelerator, and the fuel is released, it escapes into the engine system. The fuel can get to places like the engine’s cylinder and mix up with oil. In some extreme cases, it could get to the rings and piston. 

When the fuel mixes with oil, it dilutes and loses its lubricating power. It could cause serious wear in the engine leading to failing parts. 

Secondly, excessive use of the pop and bang could damage your piston. As the vehicle creates pops and bangs, it is possible that some of it will occur in the piston area, which is minor combustion. Although the piston is made to be strong, there is an extent it could cope with the pop and bang before the part will eventually fails. 

Furthermore, pops and bangs can cause damage to the exhaust valves. Due to the retarded ignition timing and fuel traveling through the exhaust system, the fuel is ignited in the wrong part of the exhaust system. There will be an increase in the exhaust gas temperature, leading to burnt exhaust parts, including its valves.  

Do Pops and Bangs Reduce Power?

Pops and bangs will not reduce performance unless the remap is done terribly wrong.

If done correctly, pops and bags have nothing to do with how your vehicle will perform. It will not increases or reduces engine power. The modification is purely for show-off and nothing more. The creating pops and bangs, from the fuel release to the ignition in the exhaust system, do not affect the engine’s performance.

Although the modification does not affect engine performance, it could cause major damage to your engine, and when it does, it will affect your vehicle’s performance. As mentioned above, pop and bang can damage the cylinder, piston ring, and piston. The piston and cylinder play a major role in the engine’s proper functioning. 

When the piston or cylinder walls get cracked or broken, pressure from the combustion system will escape leading to a loss of power by the engine. It would be best if you noted that this could only happen when the modification has damaged parts of the engine.  


Q: Do Pops and Bangs Damage Turbo?

Pops and bangs can damage your turbo engine. Generally, the modification will cause serious damage to any engine, including turbocharged ones, when the feature is used excessively. 

If you use the pops and bangs modification on your engine excessively, it could damage the moving parts in the engine, including the piston. It causes contamination in the engine, which could cause engine oil to lose lubricating power. Once this happens, the engine will experience overheating and failure. If you use the pop and bang modification, you must have a regular oil change. 

Also Read: Turbo & ECU Tuning: Can You Turbocharge Without Tuning?

Q: Are Pop and Bangs Safe?

The safety of pop and bang depends on how well it is down. If the proper steps are taken to ensure it works, it be safe. Many people do not understand the proper procedure to have the pop and bang done on their vehicle, which is why they encounter problems with their engine and exhaust system – in this case, it’s not safe. 

For instance, not properly retarding the ignition timing. Suppose the ignition timing is not retarded properly. In that case, torque reduces efficiently, and the engine will not reduce speed as it should, causing engine issues whenever you try to pop and throw flames.

Also, people often make the mistake of having the pop and bang done with a catalytic converter. Having a pop and bang with a cat still on your exhaust system could block the exhaust system. The modification ignites the fuel in the exhaust system, which causes extreme heat, which the catalytic converter cannot handle. 

Q: Do You Need a Decat for Pops and Bangs?

Having a decat is a requirement to get pops and bangs. The catalytic converter cleans your exhaust from most toxic waste – including the unburnt fuel that’s required to cause pops and bangs on your exhaust.

Furthermore, a catalytic converter with pops and bangs can cause your engine to fail – especially turbocharged engines. The constant pop and bang in the exhaust system will allow the cat to create a lot of back pressure which could eventually cause the turbo to fail. 

Although you need to take note that Decat (removing catalytic converter) is illegal in most US states and you will definitely fail inspection. Only try these modifications on your off-roading vehicle.

Q: Do Crackle Tunes Hurt Your Engine?

Crackle tunes can be dangerous to your engines. The engine continuously exposes contamination from the constant release of fuel that finds its way to the engine system. When the fuel finds its way to the engine, it contaminates the engine oil, causing it to lose its lubrication. Once this happens, the engine will experience extreme friction in moving parts and wear. Eventually, the parts will fail. 

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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