What is a Cat Back Exhaust System?

A cat back Exhaust system.

The cat back exhaust system is one of many standard components and systems found in your vehicle. Deconstructing this type of system is easy when you examine the name. "Cat" is an abbreviation of "catalytic converter," so essentially the cat back exhaust system refers to an exhaust that has been installed after the catalytic converter and is directly connected to it. Read on to learn more about how this type of exhaust system works in your vehicle.

The Parts of the Cat Back Exhaust System

There are several parts that are connected to make an exhaust system. The cat back exhaust system consists of the pipe that leads from the catalytic converter to the muffler, the muffler, and the last bit of pipe that extrudes from under the vehicle.

Emissions Testing

There are some vehicles that do not have a cat back exhaust system as some cars lack a catalytic converter. These exhaust systems are often referred to as "catless." This type of exhaust system may be illegal in your area, so make sure to check with the local governing body to determine if this is the case where you live.

The cat back exhaust system helps to prevent harmful emissions to be released into the environment. This is why this type of system is currently important to a vehicle when you go in for state-regulated emissions testing.

True Dual Exhaust

A cat back exhaust system encompasses all components of an exhaust system that are connected back or after the catalytic converter. This type of system can be a dual exhaust system if the vehicle has two catalytic converters. Essentially, you would have two cat back exhaust systems and two catalytic converters.

Many vehicles that have a dual exhaust are, in fact, more of a visual thing than a real dual exhaust. The catalytic converter has two components, and a dual pipe is attached to it. The exhaust system is a single exhaust with a dual pipe but the external visual is that of a dual exhaust. It still has the exhaust after the catalytic converter so this is still a cat back exhaust system.

The Reason for a Cat Back Exhaust System

The cat back exhaust system was created to make use of legally required catalytic converters. Using this system frees up the flow of the exhaust after the catalytic converter.