What is a Resonator? A Guide to Exhaust Resonators & What They Are

What is a Resonator? A Guide to Exhaust Resonators & What They Are

Even if you're not a performance enthusiast, you probably understand the basic concept and sections of an exhaust system. Headers, catalytic converters and mufflers are all commonplace terms, but there's more going on than most people realize. One of the more relatively unknown (but equally as important) parts of any exhaust is the resonator. Exhaust resonators are essential components that play an integral role in helping your ride sound and perform better. But what is a resonator in a car? Why do you need one? How does a resonator work? Keep reading to find out the answers to these questions and more.

Table of Contents

What Is the Purpose of a Resonator?

> Tips for Exhaust Resonator Installation

> How Does a Resonator Work?

> What to Consider When Purchasing an Aftermarket Exhaust Resonator

what is a resonator

What Is the Purpose of a Resonator?

There's a lot you can learn about the purpose of a resonator – it's more than a random pipe funneling exhaust gases through your system. So, what does a resonator do on an exhaust system? A resonator's purpose is to modulate and change your exhaust note, fine-tuning it into a more organized pattern. Essentially, an exhaust resonator acts as a large echo chamber.

By manipulating the frequency of sound waves, an exhaust resonator removes high-pitched noises and annoying hums and buzzes for a smoother exhaust note. While it doesn't affect the volume, exhaust resonators are perfect for reducing noise and drone together with the muffler, making cruising speeds better for the driver and passengers. If car owners are experiencing drone within a specific RPM range, an exhaust resonator can help correct it.

Additionally, exhaust resonators play an essential role in the exhaust evacuation process, helping your engine produce more power and reduce fuel consumption.

how does a resonator work

How Does a Resonator Work?

Not all exhaust resonators are designed the same way. However, all contain some form of sound-dampening material wrapped around perforated tubes of carefully chosen lengths and diameters.

Primarily, the resonator in a car works based on something called destructive interference – the same technology found in noise-canceling headphones. When high and low-pitched sound frequencies hit an exhaust resonator, they bounce off the outer walls (resonating), canceling out higher, more annoying tones to eliminate exhaust drone. Additionally, this makes the job of your muffler easier without robbing you of any efficiency or power from the engine.

Ideally, a resonator is designed to work in frequency ranges where the engine makes the most noise. However, even if the frequency is not precisely what the resonator was tuned for, it still can produce some destructive interference.

exhaust resonator

What to Consider When Purchasing an Aftermarket Exhaust Resonator

If you're thinking about installing an aftermarket exhaust resonator, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind to ensure the best results.

  • Size: Aftermarket exhaust resonators can be purchased in different diameters and tube lengths – they are not one-size-fits-all components. The size you want will depend on the type of exhaust system you have installed in your vehicle. Be sure to accurately choose a resonator with an inlet and outlet diameter compatible with your muffler.
  • Material: The material used on an exhaust resonator is essential to its longevity and overall performance. If you find an aftermarket resonator designed from long-lasting and durable material, like 304-stainless steel, it's worth the investment. Because a resonator in a car will be located close to the ground, you'll also want to ensure the material is resistant to corrosion and rust.

CORSA Is Home to Top-Rated Exhaust Resonators for Your Make and Model

With industry-leading engineering and expert design, CORSA Pro Series packed exhaust resonators give your sound quality and performance the upgrade you deserve. Available in multiple sizes and configurations to fit your make and model, Pro Series exhaust resonators from CORSA PERFORMANCE outperform your stock parts (and the competition) for an unmatched driving experience. Find your perfect sound and flow – shop CORSA exhaust resonators today.

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resonator in a car

Tips for Exhaust Resonator Installation

If you're considering installing an aftermarket exhaust resonator in your car, you have a few options. You can either take it to a professional or get it done independently. If you're a DIYer through and through, there are a few things to keep in mind during the installation process. Here are our best tips for DIY exhaust resonator installation:

  1. Work in a well-ventilated space to prevent excessive buildup of exhaust gas in your garage or work area.
  2. Remember that components under your car will be hot if you've been running it for an extended period. Allow things to cool before resuming work.
  3. Some exhaust resonators are weld-in components. Ensure you're always wearing the proper safety equipment to avoid accidents.
  4. Don't ignore a sound, smell or performance issue once the exhaust resonator is in. Any of these are indications it was not installed properly and could cause future maintenance issues.

Take a Closer Look at CORSA Pro Series Exhaust Resonators


CORSA exhaust resonators are a part of our Pro Series line of products designed to outperform the competition and give you an exhaust note unlike any other. Check out this short video to get a better view of our line of exhaust resonators, as well as our entire Pro Series line.

Find Your Perfect Exhaust Note With CORSA Pro Series Exhaust Resonators

Now that you understand what a resonator is, look to CORSA PERFORMANCE for the best exhaust resonators in the industry. With unmatched acoustic engineering, CORSA's performance exhaust resonators can help you in your pursuit to find the perfect exhaust note, increase your performance and eliminate annoying drone while on the road. Don't settle for your stock parts. Perfect your sound and performance with a CORSA exhaust resonator today. If you need any help finding the right fit for your make and model, contact us anytime.

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