Straight Pipe vs Downpipe. Which is Better?

It’s important to decide if you want a straight pipe or a downpipe for your car if you are the kind of person who likes loud engines.

A straight pipe is an exhaust system that does not include a catalytic or muffler conversion.

A downpipe is a section of tubing that connects the exhaust port to the starting point of the car’s exhaust system.

As gasses are produced, Downpipes have catalytic converters that clean them.

Straight pipes and downpipes have some differences. This article contains everything you need to know, so you should keep reading.


Difference Between a Straight Pipe and a Downpipe

There are some key differences between the two exhaust systems. The emission of harmful gasses is reduced by the use of downpipes and straight pipes.

Downpipes in most countries are legal, but a straight pipe can be illegal because of emissions. It’s more expensive to install a downpipe.

Installation of a straight pipe can cost as much as $1500 while a downpipe can cost as little as $2200.

It is possible to install a downpipe yourself, but a professional would be best for the job as it involves welding.

Straight pipes produce louder noise than downpipes because they have no distraction, exposing the engine sound more.

Types of Downpipes

The two types of upgraded downpipes are high-flow catted and catless. The two are different because either they have or don’t have a catalytic converter.

The prices of the two are different due to the noble metals in the catalytic converter.

Some restrictions come with the catless downpipe In some countries, it can be illegal because of its environmental effects.

Is Downpipe the Same as Straight Pipe?

A straight pipe and a downpipe are not the same things. A downpipe reduces harmful gas emissions, whereas a straight pipe produces a lot of gasses.

Straight pipes don’t have a component to change gasses from dangerous to safe without a cataclysm. The exhaust system process can be improved by a muffler.

Gasses go right from the manifolds to the environment if a straight pipe doesn’t have both exhaust components.

This is not safe, and in some states, it will not pass environmental regulations.

What Is the Purpose of a Straight Pipe?

If a straight pipe is not the fastest vehicle feature, what is the point of having it? Straight pipes contribute to more power and produce a loud noise.

Most drivers are not concerned with sound, but gearheads are.

To get a racecar-like experience with their vehicle, gearheads add exhaust tips, roar exhaust cutouts, or remove their mufflers.

Increased performance can be found because the exhaust system doesn’t have to work hard to convert gasses and reduce noise.

Pros and Cons of Straight Pipes


  • Straight pipes have increased performance in the sense that they give your vehicle more power. As the backpressure is reduced, the system allows exhaust gasses to flow freely.
  • Straight pipes give your car an aesthetically pleasing look. Applying a chrome finish to the exhaust tip makes it more appealing.
  • The straight pipe exhaust system lets out the authentic sound of the engine since there are no restrictions on it.
  • Most cars come with universal kits for straight pipes.
  • The car moves even faster because of the weight reduction. Less fuel is used with the reduced weight, thus saving more money.


  • There is no flexibility with the straight pipe. You may need to do extra work to make sure the design doesn’t affect the airflow.
  • It can be too loud for you to hear, so you have to have protection for yourself and your passenger. It’s usually very expensive to install a straight pipe exhaust.
  • Straight pipes emit a lot of emissions that aren’t friendly to the environment.
  • It might be difficult to sell your car due to legal issues.
  • You also have to tune the pipes after they are installed, also buying newer ones is very expensive.

Pros and Cons of Downpipes


  • Downpipes reduce the emission of harmful gasses and are friendly to the environment. The position of the downpipe affects the performance, but only if it is immediately after the engine.
  • The appearance of the engine bay is improved by a downpipe.
  • If a downpipe is well-tuned after installation, there will be no check engine light, and the advantage is that it increases the power of the car, which is up to 40 and 20 without a tune.


  • The aftermarket catless downpipes have a slightly unpleasant smell, which is the only downside of the downpipe. It is not street-legal most of the time.
Straight Pipe


Enhancing the car’s performance is the main reason to install a straight pipe or a downpipe in your vehicle.

Knowing the differences between the two exhaust systems will help you choose the best one for you.

Although a downpipe is more expensive, it proves to have more minor disadvantages and is also friendly to the environment.

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