What is a Downpipe and You Don’t Know Why is it Important?

If you are a car owner, you must be familiar with different parts of the exhaust system of an automobile. Then you must know how downpipes look like. Most of them don’t consider it as part of the car. It makes the sound of most vehicles aggressive and louder.  They allow the sound waves of…

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What is a Downpipe and You Don’t Know Why is it Important? ©What is a Downpipe and You Don’t Know Why is it Important?

If you are a car owner, you must be familiar with different parts of the exhaust system of an automobile. Then you must know how downpipes look like. Most of them don’t consider it as part of the car. It makes the sound of most vehicles aggressive and louder. 

They allow the sound waves of your car to travel pretty much smoothly without disturbance such as collision. But first, you must understand what is a downpipe? then, you can give your vehicle quality sound. This article examines the actual meaning of a drainpipe and all its basics. So…

What is a Downpipe?

It’s part of the exhaust system that connects exhaust and turbines in both ends. It propels the exhaust gases from the turbine housing of your car into the exhaust system. An average one has one constricting catalytic converter, which cleans the gases produced from the downpipe exhaust system.

The catalytic converter hampers the flow of exhaust fumes. Unfortunately, this results in slow turbine spins due to minimal circulation, translating to low horsepower and power boost. And, if your car has less power, it might be a big problem for your tuners.

These are why most car enthusiasts should opt to buy downpipes that don’t have a catalytic converter. But, if you are an environmental enthusiast, you can boost your car power without affecting the surrounding environment.

Do you know what is a downpipe on a car? It technically connects the catalytic converters with exhaust manifolds. In most cars, the catalytic converter is incorporated with the downpipe. Therefore, most car owners have not thought of replacing it with an aftermarket converter due to fuel economy.

The aftermarket version can enhance the performance of your car if it has a turbocharger or pump. This is because all the pipes exiting and entering the turbocharger should have an unobstructed flow of exhaust fumes. Unfortunately, these pipes contain a lot of bends, and if they are bent using the crush bending technique, then there can be a lot of restriction of gas flow, both in and out.

You can boost the performance of your turbocharger if you minimize the restrictions of gas flow. Quick spool-up gives your vehicle more power and economizes on fuel consumption. That’s why most automobile manufacturers make oversized downpipes with accurate bends.

A catalytic converter is responsible for purifying the gases that you produce. The restrictive aspect is the main issue that affects your downpipe because it forces your vehicle to lose power. Therefore, you should buy a top-quality car because they come with the power needed, such as Mercedes Benz.

Another thing that is easy to notice is the mandrel bending. A strong steel rod is inserted into the bending to prevent breakage at the bending point. Therefore, you should look for these basics in the downpipe that comes with your car.

Why Should You Acquire New Exhaust Downpipe?

Do you know why most car owners install downpipes? Of course, the main reason is to increase the sound of the exhaust. But, apart from that, it can also improve the overall performance by eliminating additional weight. So what does a downpipe do?

Make Sound Louder

It can make your exhaust sound flow much better. This can be achieved if there is a minimal restriction; thus, constant airflow and more noise produced while driving. A catless type can make your vehicle sound louder.  This is possible due to the large diameter of the pipes and minimal restrictions of the catalytic converters.

Therefore, it is advisable to set up a drainpipe before you install your exhaust. If your car is not loud enough, you can mount a complete exhaust. You customize the sound if you install an axle-back or a mid-pipe. In addition, it can provide a lot of engine noise, thus adding a good experience while driving.

Improves turbocharger 

It enables the turbocharge of your motor engine to be highly effective. It is an important part of your car. There are several bends in the exhaust piping that lead the gases in and out of the turbo. Most big cars have enough space around the engine bay to accommodate the tubing, unlike small vehicles. Therefore, they might need more bends.

It also modifies the turbocharge to operate at extremely high pressure. However, most cars have perfectly designed turbo in the exhaust system. Thus you can improve it by installing a drainpipe. Nevertheless, if you boost your stock turbo, you more gas output from the exhaust due to smooth downpipe.

Improve performance

It enhances the performance of your car. This is because it has a mandrel bend with a large diameter. Therefore, it can minimize gas flow restrictions and improving your car’s horsepower.

Most manufacturer’s downpipes are highly restrictive because the in-built catalytic converter decreased the flow of air. In addition, there are numerous small cells on your stock downpipe; thus more it leads to airflow restriction.

What are the Common Types of Downpipes?

The purpose of the drainpipe is to improve the flow of exhaust gases. There are two types of downpipes in the market, catless and catted downpipes. The slight difference that exists between them is the omission and insertion of the catalytic converter. 

Catted downpipes come with a catalytic converter with a very great exhaust gas flow. Its advantage is that it provides a high rate of gas flow. It also retains the catalytic converters, thus protecting the environment from pollution. In addition, it increases your chances of passing of emission test conducted yearly. 

So, what is a catless downpipe? This is a type of drainpipe that does not come with a converter. Its greatest significance is the unrestricted flow of gases. It allows the gases to exit the turbocharge at a high rate because it does not have a cat. A catalytic converter is a device used to transform toxic exhaust gases to non-toxic before its emitted to the environment.

Its main disadvantage is the negative effect on the surrounding environment from free exhaust gas flow. It isn’t easy to pass an emission test in the United States if you install the catless version in your car.

How to Install a Downpipe?

The process of installation is simple and straightforward. Nevertheless, the most difficult is that you have to ensure everything is correctly fixed and replaced. So, before you start the mounting process, ensure that your car is off and allow it to cool off for about two to three hours.

Step #1: Park your car properly and ensure your e-brake is on. Use the best jack stand to lift it to your desired height. After that, you can remove the bolts that shield the heat and put the O2 sensor separately. 

Step #2: Unscrew the pre-cat with a highly effective wrench. After that, you can also remove the after-cat sensor carefully because these sensors have a routine of seizing up. Most after-cates cannot go either up or down after almost four turns.

Step #3: After removing the after-cat, unbolt all the drainpipe connectors. This enables you to cat-back the exhaust pipe at about 15.5mm. Support the downpipe with a strong object after getting it loose. Finally, unbolt all the connections between the exhaust and its manifold.

Step #4: Now, you can mount the new downpipe alongside new hardware and tighten it with strong steel bolts to hold it in place. And, your final product will look fantastic.

Benefits of Installing a New Downpipe

You can get numerous benefits if you install an aftermarket version because it has a bigger and wide diameter. This allows exhaust gases to flow freely through the turbocharger quite faster, thus increasing its power.

Sowhat does a downpipe do? It enables the turbocharger to suck enough air and propel it to the combustion chamber. Thus enhancing the horsepower if you tune it correctly of about 55 to 80 horsepower. 

How Downpipe Works

You probably know that it propels the gases to the entire exhaust system from the turbine casing. It can also be referred to as the strong tubing in the oldest cars running from the manifold to the whole exhaust. So, how does it work?

Your car comes with a drainpipe already installed with an inbuilt catalytic converter that pushes the exhaust gas into the honeycomb. This honeycomb is coated with solid metals such as palladium and platinum, which act as catalysts.

The metals can combust the fumes, thus allowing the exit of a small number of destructive gases into the atmosphere. For instance, nitrous dioxide is linked to being the main cause of lung cancer, and they also make your car have low performance.

Most downpipes that come with inbuilt catalytic converters are less functional, and it’s used in most vehicles. So you have an option of upgrading it using aftermarket brands to enhance performance and make it more powerful. So, what do downpipe do?

Apart from improved performance, there are other things that your downpipe can do. The first thing it does is to enhance the appearance of your engine bay. This depends on how you position it during the installation process.

Besides, the area where it meets the turbocharge should be visible, and you open the hood. Its well-polished metal always stands out thus, adding more appearance and value to your car’s engine bay.

It checks the engine’s light because the ECU of your vehicle checks for the emission numbers at the post-catalytic converter oxygen sensor. Therefore, regardless of the type, whether catless or catted, it skews the emission numbers. This enables your car to check if the light engine is effective for the catalytic converter.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can my catless downpipe pass the emission test?

No, if you are using a catless downpipe, you cannot pass the emission test. This is because the exhaust gases from your car are more harmful and dangerous without the catalytic converter. Therefore, the tailpipe examiners can catch this road discrepancy, and you will be unable to register your car.

Most people always replace them with an OEM downpipe before the yearly scrutiny, and you might be fined for that if you are not careful. In addition, in other states, the authorities conduct the emission test from the roads. So remember, you might be penalized before you do these illegal practices.

Can my downpipe invalidate my product warranty?

Invalidating your downpipe depends on the type of damage. But the manufacturers cannot repair a damaged engine. Therefore, it cannot annul the warranty of the suspension parts and electronics such as subs in the cabin.

Most manufacturers always discard the warranty claim because it is quite costly to repair broken parts of an engine caused by the downpipe. Therefore, an aftermarket downpipe is the best option for you if you want a replacement.

How can my downpipe make my exhaust louder?

It improves the sound produced from the exhaust and makes it louder and very aggressive. You can watch videos online on how it can make sound from the exhaust louder with deep tones. In addition, there are various ways your downpipe can enhance the exhaust sound.

Between catted and catless downpipe, which is louder?

Catless one is considered to be quite louder than catted downpipe. This is because it has great space and less pressure that enables the waves to travel through the exhaust pipe. One disadvantage is that it produces a very nasty smell, especially the unburnt fuel because they don’t have a catalytic converter.

You might feel it while driving, but if you halt to do some things, then you can feel the bad smell coming from your exhaust. Therefore, you can opt for a catted one to avoid gas poisoning.

Recap: What is a Downpipe?

If you want to modify your downpipe, you can use the aftermarket one. However, you should ensure that you first differentiate the pros and cons between and catted and catless varieties. For example, if a bad smell is not a concern for you and you want high performance, then the catless version is the best option. But if you want to keep it quiet, then go for a catted downpipe.

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