De-Cats Explained

A de-cat is a performance-enhancing modification that involves removing the catalytic converter from a vehicle’s exhaust system. This modification is popular among car enthusiasts and drivers of high-performance vehicles, as catalytic converters can restrict exhaust flow. By removing the converter, exhaust gases escape with less restriction, improving engine performance and efficiency.

IMPORTANT NOTE: While de-cats can significantly boost performance, it’s important to be aware of the legal status of such modifications, as they can affect emissions. This is especially relevant for road use but less so for track-only vehicles.

The Performance Benefits of De-cat

De-catting primarily enhances vehicle performance by reducing exhaust back pressure. This reduction allows the engine to ‘breathe’ more efficiently, leading to increased horsepower and torque. Additionally, removing the catalytic converter often results in a more aggressive exhaust note, which many enthusiasts find appealing. For high-performance cars, such as the Audi RS6 V10, which might feature multiple catalytic converters, removing secondary cats can also enhance this effect without significant modifications to the primary emission control.

Choosing the Right De-cat

Selecting the appropriate de-cat is crucial and depends on the make and model of your vehicle. De-cats are not universal; they are often specifically designed to fit certain models. Material quality is also important—high-quality de-cats are usually made from materials like stainless steel or titanium, which offer durability and excellent heat resistance.

Installation of De-cat

Installing a de-cat can be complex and often requires professional help. The process involves removing the existing catalytic converter and replacing it with a de-cat pipe. This may require special tools and expertise, particularly for vehicles equipped with complex exhaust systems or multiple catalytic converters.


While de-catting is primarily aimed at enhancing performance, especially for track-only vehicles, considering the overall impact and requirements is still useful. For those operating within environments where emissions are not regulated, de-catting can offer a substantial boost to performance. Always ensure that the de-cat chosen is suited for your vehicle and consider professional installation to guarantee optimal performance enhancements.

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