3 Reasons Why Exhaust Burble, Crackle, Or Pop Tunes Bad For Your Car? (Explained)

When street racers or modified car owners are driving, many sounds usually come out of their car exhaust system, some of which are burble, crackle, or pop tunes.

They are usually heard when the exhaust valve opens and closes, then the vehicle takes off and acceleration slows down.

This typically occurs when too much-unburned fuel goes down through the exhaust pipe and combines with fresh air, leading to the emission of such tunes.

While car exhaust burble, crackle, or pop tunes have gained a poor reputation because of the noise they produce, street racers and modified car owners really love them.

So, is car exhaust burble, crackle, or pop tunes bad?

Let’s Find Out if Exhaust Burble, Crackle, or Pop Tunes Are Bad for Your Car

Yes, exhaust burble, crackle, or pop tunes are not suitable for your car if not done well, not aligned in control, taken too far, and not tested. They cause piston failure, damage the exhaust valves, and can cause turbocharger failure. However properly installed and tuned car that is gently used could be fine.

Red car exhaust burble crackle pop tunes without flames
Red car exhaust burble crackle pop tunes without flames

Below we explain each of the damages they cause when done incorrectly. Take a look.

1. Piston Damage

While your exhaust gives exhaust burble, crackle, or pop tunes, the excess fuel burns usually lead to the ignition of the piston chamber.

It eventually may cause detonation, which is a bit of additional burning at several points across the piston surface. Even if the piston is quite strong, it won’t withstand this combustion.

Detonation usually is a very slow killer. It may happen for many months or even a year, depending on how you drive your car and its duration. After a while, the piston will crack and even burn, then fail. The outcome of this is usually engine failure.

2. They Damage the Exhaust Valves

Most bubble and crackle tunes usually emit fire as the fuel tries to escape through the exhaust ports. This usually happens under massive retardation or delaying of the ignition timing.

It usually leads to a massive peek in exhaust gas temperature, making your exhaust valves literally cremated. Eventually, they will be unable to seal appropriately or even get damaged permanently.

Whatever the case, the exhaust burble, crackle, and pop tunes, don’t improve the performance of your engine when you misuse them.

3. Turbocharger Failure

The increase in EGT is usually harmful to turbocharged engines. While the excess gas enters the turbo at very high temperatures, the turbo design usually finds it hard to withstand the temperatures. Because of the excess heat, there may be permanent damage to the metal, bearings, and cook seals.

Moreover, in excess tuning cases, you will notice damage on the turbo fins because of the sheer force of the fuel mix igniting.

The bottom line is that for you to get this burble and pop tunes, many tuners usually apply the same principle. They send additional fuel into your engine when you pull off the throttle.

The excess fuel partially assists in cooling the engine as it removes heat when the fuel vaporizes on top of hot metal. However, excess fuel usually remains unburned inside the cylinder and combines with the oil while on your cylinder walls.

The combination of oil and petrol usually wipes through the piston rings to the stump, blending with the oil and thinning it out. The purpose of the oil is to lubricate the moving parts. But it also partially withdraws the heat away from vital systems in your engine.

So, in this case, when you have oil thin, it is usually quite catastrophic as it may cause excessive engine wear and tear, making the engine to seize and then transferring a conrod out of the engine block.


Is Adding a Fire Tune to Burble, Crackle, or Pop Tunes Also Bad for Your Car?

Red car exhaust burble crackle pop tunes with flames
Red car exhaust burble crackle pop tunes with flames.

The combination of exhaust burble, crackle, pop tunes, and fast-fire tunes usually looks cool. However, adding fire tunes to burble, crackle, and pop tunes damages the engine and may cost you a lot to fix the menace.

First, you must understand how people usually get a fire tune in their cars so that you may know how it may damage the engine.

So, to get fire tunes in their cars, they must tamper with the onboard computer. This unit is usually mandated to regulate all manner of things. Starting with air intake to aiding with fuel injection, and so much more.

You purchase the tune, plug it into your car’s OBD2 reader, and then modify the code. For the fire tunes to come out, you instruct the computer to release a small amount of gasoline into the ignition chamber before the exhaust valve closes.

After that, the engine ignites the gasoline using a spark, and eventually, the explosion generates gas. The harder you press your throttle, the excess exhaust is generated, and vice versa. If you pull your foot off the throttle, your exhaust valve switches off because you are not igniting excess fuel.

You usually instruct your car to release excess fuel via the exhaust valve just before it closes. And since the muffler and exhaust valve is hot, the heat kindles it into fire tunes.

You can see this process looks pretty cool. However fantastic as it may seem, the fire tune will inevitably damage or destroy your engine. Liquid fuel is usually not allowed to move through the exhaust pipes. And that is why your exhaust valve closes every time you spray the fuel into the ignition chamber and opens if only exhaust fumes remain.

The first piece of equipment that is usually damaged is the exhaust valve, which is usually burned with more fire-spitting. While the valves may not close when you ignite the fuel in the chamber, inadequate engine compression emerges.

Eventually, your vehicle’s performance decreases, and the engine starts malfunctioning. After a while, the fire tune will entirely ruin your car.

Repairing the damage depends on the car; It can get expensive if the damage is extensive and has affected other parts of your car.

What Parts Will Get Damaged with Burble, Crackle, or Pop Tunes?

1. Exhaust Valves

The first part that is usually damaged is the exhaust valves. Because of retardation of the ignition timing, they are usually cremated, which may make them not seal adequately, leading to damage.

2. Piston

If your piston is broken, you may spend more to replace it in many ways. Your piston may crack or burn and eventually fail if you prolong tuning your car.

3. Turbocharger

The excess EGT is usually not suitable for your turbocharged engines. While the excess hot exhaust gas mixture moves to the turbo at very high temperatures, the heat usually causes permanent damage to the cook seals, metal, and bearings.

The turbo fins may also get damaged because of the sheer force between the fuel mix.

What Are the Other Negative Downsides of Having Burble, Crackle, or Pop Tunes?

Here are other negative downsides of having burble, crackle, or pop tunes. Take a look.

  • Increases chances of poor-quality re-work.
  • They worsen your vehicle’s energy efficiency.
  • Much strain is enforced on other mechanical parts that may not be strong enough to withstand the pressure.
  • They might be loud for other people hence interfering with their comfort.

Will Burble, Crackle, or Pop Tunes Improve Performance?

If you use them correctly, they will improve the performance of your car, and you end up having excellent performance with their increased acceleration. 

Regulating some performance parts like cold air intake will always guarantee your vehicle a fast acceleration. However, it would be best to consider factors like your vehicle’s size and weight.

Moreover, following the proper measures while tuning your car increases engine power. Re-working the exhaust pipes leads to improved engine power at its maximum potential. Also, it all depends on your car’s size.

Additionally, tuners may improve the RPM on the torque curve. It will then make your engine controls widen your performance needs.

Before you get your vehicle tuned, always check the following:

  • Oil: The oil should not be low.
  • Spark Plugs: Always ensure you get them replaced if they are damaged. They should be working in excellent condition.
  • Fuel: The process usually drains some good fuel. Check if you have enough gas in the tank.
  • Tires: Shouldn’t have any scratches.
  • Electronic Wires: These should be in good shape and connected to avoid damage. None should be escaping or hanging.

Is it Cool to Have Burble, Crackle, or Pop Tunes Improve Performance?

It is usually fantastic to have burble, crackle, or pop tunes to improve performance when done correctly. If you want to have them, there are usually options. You can install or have a professional install them by opting for a switchable tuning system.

This implies that during the seasons, when you attend events and shows and want to release some tunes for a while, you may activate the popping setting. Then when the event ends or during daily driving, you set it to a standard quick performance tuning setting.

This setting will not give any burble, crackle, or pop tunes. It will reduce the chances of engine damage and keep your loved ones and neighbors from too much noise.

Is it Illegal to Install Burble, Crackle, or Pop tunes?

No, it is usually legal. In most cases, you are not performing anything wrong but just working. However, some regular roads usually prohibit drivers from driving with the burble, crackle, and pop tunes because of the noise they make, especially if they are loud. 

You may have problems with the police because of the disturbance you may be causing. That’s why it’s vital to research the legal zones to ensure that you are driving responsibly. 

Installing is simple. You need an ECU vital tool, dynamometer, and gauges and then install the software.

From there, you can install the burble, crackle, and pop tunes when you have downloaded the software.

You will always find most software having features like optimizing fuel efficiency and reading data. Installing the tunes depends on your car manufacturer, vehicle size, and purpose. Prices do vary, so there is no fixed price.


Burble, crackle, and pop tunes are more for show than performance. So, if you need these tunes, you require an excellent flowing exhaust system and specially modified software for safety purposes. Always remember, anything can damage your engine if used incorrectly and excessively.

Excess usage of burble, crackle, and pop tunes may cause damage to your turbocharger, piston, and exhaust valves and impair the performance of your entire vehicle. You can use them gently and correctly for the long-lasting of your vehicle and other internal components.


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