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GMC Sierra 1500 Cold Air Intake

How to Clean and Maintain the GMC Sierra 1500 Cold Air Intake

Installing a cold air intake on the GMC Sierra 1500 will do wonders to its performance on the road, but this aftermarket upgrade is not something that you just install and forget. On the contrary, the GMC Sierra 1500 cold air intake requires more maintenance compared to standard air intake parts in order to function properly and consistently. So if you have one in your Sierra 1500 or are planning to buy a cold air intake kit in the near future, here are some tips we recommend you follow:

  • Shake the filter first before spraying with the filter cleaner.

Gently tap the filter on the inside of a plastic trash can or a similar receptacle, or use an air hose pressurized at no more than 100 psi. Doing so will remove a lot of the particle buildup in and around the body of the filter and allow the filter cleaner solution to seep even deeper into the filter media.

  • Choose the filter cleaner that's recommended by the manufacturer.

Most cold air intake manufacturers also offer cleaning solutions that are specifically designed to efficiently clean the filter media without damaging it. So while its may cost more, using a manufacturer-recommended filter cleaner will save you money in replacement parts by making the filter last longer.

  • Use only a low-pressure hose when rinsing the filter and the housing.

There's a common misconception that using a high pressure hose can clean off grime faster, but the effect is negligible and the will only damage the filter media.

  • When applying the filter oil, start at the top and slowly work your way down along the crown of each pleat.

This will ensure the filter media is evenly covered with oil. Let the oil wick for at least 20 minutes before putting the filter back into place.

  • Don't forget about the intake pipe.

If the pipe is already dirty, don't hesitate to detach it from the intake manifold for a thorough cleaning. Wiping the pipe with a moist rag should remove surface dust and dirt, but for more stubborn stains or buildup a wash mitt and soapy water is necessary. Be sure to rinse and wipe dry afterwards.

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  • Tips on How to Upgrade to a GMC Sierra 1500 Cold Air Intake System

    A cold air intake is an affordable option GMC Sierra 1500 owners can take to improve their truck's engine performance. Although results can vary anywhere from 5 to 50 added horsepower, cold air intakes are easy enough to install and without the need for extensive modifications on the engine bay. And at a price of a few hundred dollars (with some models costing less than $100), a GMC Sierra 1500 cold air intake is a good deal.

    If you're planning on installing a cold air intake on your Sierra 1500 pickup, here are some tips we recommend you follow:

    Tip #1: Make sure that the engine is cool first to prevent burning yourself.

    We also recommend unplugging the negative battery terminals to avoid electric shock when coming in contact with steel surfaces around the engine bay.

    Tip #2: Prefit the cold air intake before the actual installation. Aftermarket intakes take up more space that the stock air intake, so it's always a good idea to check if the kit will actually fit in the engine bay. As a rule of thumb, there must be enough space for the air intake parts to sway without hitting any of the parts inside the engine bay. Do not force or modify any of the parts if they do not fit, as doing so may prevent the intake from functioning properly and void its warranty.

    Tip #3: Lubricate the filter before installing. While some cold air intake kits have their filters pre-lubricated and can be installed right out of the box, most kits sold today need to be greased up first with filter oil. Apply the oil directly on the filter, starting at the top of crown and working your way down on each pleat. Allow the oil to dry on the filter for at least 20 minutes before mounting on the housing. Also, take note that the filter needs to be cleaned and re-lubricated once every 15,000 miles or as indicated by the manufacturer.

    Tip #4: Keep the old intake if it still works.

    If you're simply doing an upgrade and not replacing a faulty unit, we recommend saving the old intake kit as a backup. In the event that the cold air intake malfunctions, you can slap back the old intake and drive your car to the mechanic.