Guide: What is the Difference Between Charge Pipe and Downpipe

There is countless importance of turbo engines. One is that it produces high power as a result of air intake. The advanced power lets you enjoy a more smooth and faster ride. A turbo engine is also lighter and smaller than an engine producing the same amount of power.

But in this article, we will talk about elements of the turbo engine, some of us get confused about that is charge pipe and ttrs downpipe. What is the difference between them? Their functions and overview. We have covered the necessary points to define them better.

So let’s explore:

What is Charge Pipe

The charge pipe brings the turbocharged air to the engine to prevent it from exhaustion. 

A charge pipe is connected to the blow-off valve or the diverter valve. The tube may be plastic, aluminum, and stainless steel material. It allows air to flow from the turbo to the intercooler of an engine. Basically, it does not let the engine exhaust.

It is common in some vehicles when you drive them the engine gets hot. The heat is not good for a turbocharged engine. So, there should be something to beat the heat and make sure that the car is working properly and your ride is efficient. The intercooler allows the engine to cool down the hot turbo air before it recirculates the engine. 

Functions of Charge pipe:

A charge pipe improves the performance of an engine by reducing the pressure of turbocharged air. The charge pipe helps in boosting the airflow from the turbo into the intercooler. The charge pipes are used to carry out pressurised gases from turbocharged engines. With a smaller throttle opening, it boosts power production by directing the air. The pipe connects the turbo to the engine’s intake system. BMW m2 charge pipe is ideal to increase the lifespan of the engine.

Should I install an aftermarket charge pipe?

As we mentioned, charge pipes come in aluminium, stainless steel, or plastic materials. Generally, plastic is lighter than any metal. So, the plastic pipes are cheaper in cost and easy to install. On the other hand, any metals are eroded. So, plastic charge pipes don’t erode, which is good for maintenance. 

yet, plastic isn’t long-lasting, and when it gets hot, it may melt or take longer to cool. That can restrict the power of the engine to achieve maximum efficiency. That means the pre-installed charge pipe won’t last long enough, and it may limit the flow of exhaustion. 

What is Downpipe?

If you are familiar with car exhaust system parts, you might be friendly with downpipes. Regardless, many car owners have never thought of this part of a vehicle. Let’s explore what a downpipe is, what it does, and why it’s such an important factor in the exhaust system, especially if you own a high-end sports car.

A downpipe may refer to the tubing housing that helps to carry out the exhaust air from a car’s turbine housing to the rest of the exhaust system. In other words, a downpipe is attached to the turbine housing of a turbocharger to let exhaust gases released from the engine.  Generally, downpipes have a catalytic converter. When an engine produces gases and exhaust air the catalytic helps in cleaning those glasses. Thus, they reduce and direct the emission of harmful gases such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, etc.

Should you ride your vehicle with its own downpipe or replace them?

Let’s say you have a high-end, supercharged vehicle, like an Audi. You are curious about testing it while driving. If they are not efficient enough, you may consider buying a market downpipe in replacement. Audi s3 8v downpipe is considered high-end quality. If your car’s exhaust system is not working properly, you might wish to remove the factory-installed downpipe from your car and replace it with an aftermarket model with a bigger diameter. You can also remove the catalytic converter,  or you can install a high-end converter as an alternative.

Functions of Downpipe:

A downpipe allows a car to release the exhaust air from the engine. It helps in increasing the efficiency of the engine’s turbo part. The downpipe releases gases out of the turbine to improve power. Usually,  downpipes available in the market come with a broader diameter. The wider diameter has a bigger space to let a speedier turbo spin. That not only reduces turbo gases but also creates more spool. So, when you install a market downpipe, you decrease engine temperature. It results in increases in the engine’s power and improves the driving experience.

How to know a car needs a downpipe or charge pipe?

If you have no idea if your car needs a downpipe or a charge pipe, check and observe if there is any odd exhaust noise. If you observe the exhaust noise clearly, it means you need a charge pipe.

Catted vs catless downpipe

If you have decided to buy an aftermarket downpipe, there are generally two types of downpipes to consider for your car. Catted and non-catted, what is the difference between them both?

A catted downpipe has a catalytic converter. Contrarily, a catless downpipe doesn’t come with the converter. The catalytic converter cleanses exhaust gases. This process helps to relieve the odd smell of raw exhaust air. Besides, a catalytic converter is an eco-friendly instrument. It guarantees that your car doesn’t release harmful gases like carbon monoxide.


Clearly, a downpipe and a charge pipe are two separate but equally important parts of a turbo application. The former is an intake manifold and intercooler-connected tube that has been mandrel-bent. It releases the engine’s turbocharged air. On the other hand, a downpipe is a piece of tubing that connects the exhaust side of the turbocharger to the vehicle’s exhaust system.

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