What Is Exhaust Drone?

Are you curious to know what is exhaust drone? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about exhaust drone in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is exhaust drone?

The thrill of driving a high-performance or modified car often goes hand in hand with an exhilarating engine note that resonates with power and excitement. However, there’s a downside to the auditory symphony produced by some vehicles – exhaust drone. This phenomenon can turn the pleasurable experience of driving into an uncomfortable and tiresome journey. In this blog post, we’ll explore what exhaust drone is, what causes it, and how it can be managed to ensure a more enjoyable ride.

What Is Exhaust Drone?

Exhaust drone, often simply referred to as “drone,” is a low-frequency, resonant sound that occurs when a vehicle’s exhaust system generates a continuous, monotonous noise at certain engine RPMs (revolutions per minute). It is typically most pronounced during highway cruising speeds or steady-state driving conditions. The sound is often described as a deep, booming, or droning tone that can be felt as well as heard within the cabin of the vehicle.

Causes Of Exhaust Drone

Several factors can contribute to the occurrence of exhaust drone:

  1. Exhaust System Design: The design and configuration of the exhaust system play a significant role in the presence of drone. Factors like muffler design, exhaust pipe diameter, and the number of resonators can all affect the sound characteristics.
  2. Engine RPM: Drone is most noticeable at specific engine RPMs, often occurring in the range where the engine operates efficiently during cruising. These resonant frequencies can vary depending on the vehicle and exhaust setup.
  3. Exhaust Material: The type of materials used in the exhaust system can influence the sound. Stainless steel, for example, tends to produce a different tone compared to other materials.
  4. Exhaust Valves: Some performance-oriented vehicles feature exhaust systems with active exhaust valves that can adjust the sound profile. When these valves are open, it can increase the likelihood of drone.
  5. Resonance: Resonance occurs when sound waves reinforce each other, amplifying the noise. The exhaust system and the vehicle’s interior can create conditions for resonance, leading to drone.
  6. Aftermarket Modifications: Modifications such as removing or altering mufflers, adding straight-through exhausts, or making changes to the exhaust system without considering acoustics can exacerbate drone.

Effects Of Exhaust Drone

Exhaust drone can have several effects on the driving experience:

  1. Discomfort: Prolonged exposure to drone can be uncomfortable and fatiguing for both the driver and passengers, leading to reduced enjoyment during long drives.
  2. Distracting: The constant droning noise can be distracting and make it challenging to hold conversations or listen to music at a comfortable volume.
  3. Reduced Comfort: Excessive drone can affect the overall comfort and appeal of a vehicle, potentially leading to dissatisfaction among owners.

Managing Exhaust Drone

Addressing exhaust drone often involves a combination of methods:

  1. Exhaust System Tuning: Selecting an exhaust system designed to minimize drone, such as one with specific muffler and resonator configurations, can help reduce the issue.
  2. Sound Deadening: Adding sound deadening materials to the vehicle’s interior, especially in areas prone to resonance, can reduce the transmission of noise.
  3. Aftermarket Solutions: Some aftermarket products, such as electronic exhaust valve controllers, can help manage drone by allowing the driver to adjust the exhaust tone.
  4. Professional Tuning: Consulting with automotive professionals who specialize in exhaust tuning and modification can provide tailored solutions to minimize drone.


Exhaust drone is a common issue faced by performance and modified car enthusiasts, impacting the driving experience and comfort. While some level of drone may be inherent in certain vehicles or exhaust setups, it can often be managed and reduced through thoughtful design, tuning, and the use of aftermarket solutions. Finding the right balance between performance and acoustics is key to ensuring a more enjoyable ride, where the sound of speed harmonizes with the thrill of the open road.

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Is Exhaust Drone Normal?

You’ll never hear exhaust drone in a car that uses the stock exhaust system. That’s because engineers reduce unwanted exhaust noise through design before the car ever leaves the factory. It’s only when you start modifying your exhaust system that you can experience exhaust drone.

Is Exhaust Drone Bad For Your Ears?

It causes hearing loss and it tends to annoy people, especially your neighbors when you take the car out at dawn for a Cars & Coffee show. It also makes for a miserable drive if you’re going any distance.

How Do You Stop A Flowmaster Drone?

A three-chamber muffler like the 50 Series Delta Flow (left) is designed to strike a balance between that aggressive Flowmaster sound and the need to control interior resonance. Another way would be to use an in-line resonator (right), which are designed to tune out drone specifically.

Is It Bad To Leave Drone In Car?

Personally, I wouldn’t store any DJI drone gear in a hot car. You definitely don’t want to store the remote controller or aircraft batteries in a parked car. It would be best to keep those items in a location that’s maintained between about 71°F (22°C) to 82°F (28°C) — or normal room temperature.

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