Is aftermarket catalytic converter loud

Is an Aftermarket Catalytic Converter Loud?

Catalytic converters are an important part of a car’s exhaust system and play a critical role in reducing pollution. When your catalytic converter fails, you’ll often need to replace it with an aftermarket one.

However, there is a common belief that aftermarket catalytic converters are loud. But how true is that?

This post looks at everything you need to know before investing in an aftermarket catalytic converter, including whether they are louder than the original ones. Read on. 

What Is a Catalytic Converter? 

A catalytic converter is the ‘metal box’ under your car between the muffler and the engine. It is part of the car’s exhaust system, and its main function is to clean up the harmful gas emissions generated when the vehicle runs. 

The device converts harmful emissions into harmless gases such as carbon dioxide and water vapor. Well-designed catalytic converters can reduce carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions by up to 35%. 

Catalytic converters are designed to use metallic catalysts to stimulate reactions at lower temperatures than would normally be necessary. Is it possible to drive a car without a catalytic converter?

A catalytic converter helps muffle the exhaust sound. If your car’s catalytic converter is faulty or has been removed, your vehicle may give an engine error code. You will also notice a louder, unusual sound from the exhaust. 

It’s also worth noting that the louder, roaring sound you get after removing the catalytic converter does not indicate extra horsepower (HP). HP gain is negligible with catalytic converter removal. 

What Is an Aftermarket Catalytic Converter?

Aftermarket catalytic converters are similar to the one your car comes originally equipped with. An aftermarket catalytic converter is the one you purchase from the local market when the original one fails or gets stolen. 

Like most other aftermarket parts, aftermarket converters are often cheaper than OEM parts without comprising performance. That means you can replace your original catalytic converter with an aftermarket one without breaking the bank. 

What’s the Difference Between OEM and Aftermarket Catalytic Converters?

When shopping for car parts, you can choose from two main options: OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and aftermarkets. The same company that made the car itself manufactures OEM parts. 

Meanwhile, a different company makes aftermarket parts. Like other car parts, you can choose either an OEM or an aftermarket catalytic converter when you need a replacement. Here’s how the two options compare:


OEM converters can be expensive, especially for high-end vehicles. Meanwhile, the cost of aftermarket catalytic converters is usually a fraction of OEMs. 


OEM catalytic converters are usually high-quality. However, the quality varies widely for their aftermarket counterparts. So, you can choose an option that fits your budget since both serve the same purpose.


While OEM parts meet the EPA requirements, you may need to check manually for an aftermarket catalytic converter. 

When shopping for a catalytic converter, the trick is to go for something quality that fits your budget. 

Will Aftermarket Catalytic Converter Make Your Car Louder?

Many people have no idea how aftermarket catalytic converters work, so they often ask if the device will make their vehicle louder. You should know that the answer depends on several factors if you’re among these people. 

We’ve already mentioned that aftermarket catalytic converters generally work as their original counterparts. They serve as the car’s sound reducer, so they won’t make your car loud.

However, an aftermarket converter may not reduce the exhaust sound as much as the original one because it is usually cheaper. Nonetheless, when you choose a high-quality aftermarket catalytic converter, you can have the best experience possible. 

You should always take the time to research the various brands available on the market. Your mechanic can help you make an informed choice, but you should also check reviews from previous customers and see what they say about your desired brand. 

Final Thoughts

Replacing your car’s catalytic converter is critical when the original one malfunctions or gets stolen. If you get a high-quality aftermarket catalytic converter, it should function properly, like an OEM part. Besides reducing your exhaust sound, a good brand of aftermarket catalytic converter can purify harmful gas emissions, helping protect the environment.

If you want to replace your catalytic converter, the professionals at Performance Muffler can help. We have been troubleshooting and replacing malfunctioning catalytic converters throughout Arizona for over 15 years. 

If you have issues with your catalytic converter, call us at (480) 590-5524 to schedule a free consultation. We will take the time to diagnose the problem and determine if an aftermarket catalytic converter is the best solution.

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