One of my friends was about to buy a downpipe for his car. As soon as I realized his car was not turbocharged, I stopped him from buying the pipe, which would have been a waste of money.
It is because downpipes are only for turbo cars since they tend to feature exhaust manifolds. However, supercharged cars may also boast downpipes to keep their powerful engines running smoothly.
In the article, I will discuss what downpipes are, their benefits, and whether they need tuning. Let’s get started right away!
What is a Downpipe on a Turbo Car?
A downpipe is a pipe that connects the turbocharger to the exhaust system. It is typically made from stainless steel or aluminum.
Downpipes come in different sizes and shapes, depending on the model of the car. Many aftermarket companies offer performance-enhancing downpipes that are larger in diameter than stock pipes.
Turbocharged vehicles produce more power and torque than other vehicles, so they need a way to release this excess pressure.
That’s where downpipes come in. A well-designed downpipe can also improve engine performance by increasing boost pressure and decreasing back pressure.
Do All Cars Have a Downpipe?
No, not all cars have a downpipe.
Some cars don’t have it because they lack exhaust manifolds (like rotary engines) or because their catalytic converter is integrated into their muffler (like many newer Subaru models).
Read Also: Are Downpipes Illegal or Not?
How Are Downpipes Beneficial for Cars?
A downpipe is an important part of a car’s exhaust system. The pipe carries exhaust gasses from the engine to the muffler and tailpipe.
It helps improve engine performance by allowing exhaust gasses to exit the engine more quickly. As a result, the engine can breathe easier and produce more power.
Let’s look at three of the biggest benefits of downpipes below.
1. Enhanced Performance
Turbocharged vehicles usually produce more power than regular automobiles. However, more power also causes more exhaust pressure.
You see, the primary job of a downpipe is to allow the exhaust gas to flow more efficiently. As a result, it lowers exhaust pressure and increases horsepower and torque.
Moreover, downpipes are known to minimize turbo lag, which contributes to better performance too.
2. Sound Boost
You will get a sound boost based on the downpipe you use. Some aftermarket downpipes make an aggressive sound. Despite the aggressiveness, the deep tone will not be unpleasant to listen to.
Do not be surprised if a downpipe does not enhance noise in any way. Remember that the pipe’s main function is not to enhance sound.
3. Fuel Economy
Although it depends on your driving style, downpipes may increase your MPG. As I said earlier, downpipes can significantly enhance exhaust flow. The engine runs more efficiently and thereby becomes more fuel efficient.
However, most motorheads opt for downpipes primarily to increase horsepower. And to take advantage of the increased horsepower, they drive in a way that is unlikely to result in a decent MPG.
Do Supercharged Cars Have Downpipes?
Supercharged cars have downpipes to help increase airflow and improve performance.
The downpipe is a key component of the exhaust system and helps direct exhaust gasses away from the engine.
Supercharged cars often have larger and more powerful engines than non-supercharged cars, so the downpipe plays an important role in helping to keep the engine running smoothly.
Read Also: Difference Between Up-Pipe Vs Down-Pipe
Do I Need a Tune If I Install a Downpipe?
If you’re looking to install a downpipe on your vehicle, you might be wondering if you need to tune the engine as well. The answer is yes; you need to tune your engine after installing a downpipe.
A downpipe is a high-flow catalytic converter that helps improve exhaust flow and reduce backpressure. It’s a popular modification for turbocharged vehicles, as it can help increase power output.
However, because it alters the flow of exhaust gasses, it can also throw off the air/fuel ratio. This can lead to engine knock and decreased fuel economy.
Tuning your engine will help ensure that the air/fuel ratio remains optimal, preventing these issues.
Related: Downpipe Vs. Header
As I described in the article, turbo cars are the only ones with downpipes. There is no doubt that supercharged vehicles use the pipe as well, but turbo cars rely on it more heavily.
Downpipes reduce back pressure to improve exhaust flow. This is especially beneficial on turbocharged engines where high exhaust gas temperatures can lead to pre-ignition and engine damage.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your car’s performance, a downpipe is definitely worth considering.