Cat-back Exhaust Vs. Axle-back Exhaust

by John Hume

Cat-back exhausts and axle-back exhausts are aftermarket car upgrades. These modifications increase the horsepower of a car. Aftermarket exhausts are larger diameter pipes that increase airflow and, as a result, increase horsepower.


Cat-back exhausts are longer than axle-back exhausts. A cat-back exhaust replaces all the piping in front of a catalytic converter, which is located near the front axle of a car. An axle-back exhaust replaces all the piping located in back of the rear axle; this is usually the muffler and a small section of the exhaust piping.


A cat-back exhaust, when installed with an air intake, can increase a car's horsepower by five to 10. An axle-back exhaust is usually installed to change the sound and look of a car. The horsepower increase of an axle-back exhaust is minimal.


Cat-back exhausts can range from $300 to $500 as of September 2010. Axle-back exhausts range from $150 to $400. The pricing is varies between cars and manufacturers.

About the Author

John Hume has been writing since 2009. His work appears in a weekly fitness newsletter for the Strength & Fitness Club, where he also worked as a trainer. Hume is a certified trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and still works as a personal trainer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers University.