Like your body, your car's engine needs rest because continuous combustion from everyday and long-distance driving might cause it to burn out. To keep that from happening, you must get your car a cold air intake system if it doesn't have one yet. This will keep the temperature of your engine down by allowing more oxygen into it, thereby maximizing combustion and making the burning of fuel become more efficient. It will in save you on gas, boost your horsepower, and stretch the life of your internal-combustion engine.
Thus, the cold air intake system can well take the place of your restrictive airbox and stock air paper filter, both of which squander horsepower. It has metal or plastic tubes that lead to a special air filter called short ram air intake. The increase in airflow is made possible by the big diameters of these tubes and their smooth interiors which reduce air resistance.
Air intakes come in many different styles and are constructed from different materials. Some are made of only one type of material (either one of plastic, metal, rubber or silicone), while others are made of composite materials (fiberglass, carbon filer or kevlar combined). The type of material used, however, does not affect the process because of the very brief contact of the material and air during tubing.
Cold Air Intake Buyer's Guide
- A cold air intake is an aftermarket engine air intake that draws cooler air and brings it to the engine. It is positioned far from the engine and is not a dedicated performance upgrade like turbo and superchargers.
- Cold air intakes don’t need excessive amount of filter refills.
- It improves your car’s mileage and extends engine life.
- Some states are not allowing cold air intakes due to emission concerns so do your research first before installing an air intake system.
- It costs around $50 to $2,600
Your vehicle’s performance isn’t just about the engine power, power-to-weight ratio, or aerodynamics. Of course, the things that were mentioned are some of the primary driving factors in achieving great power and performance. However, the raw power generated by the engine is not the peak power because there are tons of ways to “scale it up.” Some people resort to engine bolt-ons like turbochargers to push their car’s performance even higher, while others go toward less expensive alternatives—enter the cold air intake.
What is cold air intake?
A cold air intake is an aftermarket engine air intake system that is positioned far from the engine. This layout allows it to suck in cooler air than a factory intake setup, which is usually an enclosed type found in close proximity to the engine compartment. A cold air intake consists of an intake tube that connects to the turbocharger inlet, a heat shield, and an air filter that’s usually washable. They are easier to install than turbo and superchargers, aside from being relatively cheaper and simple.
Don’t mistake cold air intakes as a dedicated performance upgrade, though. Unlike bolt-on components, cold air intakes won’t supply your car additional power. Rather, it helps the engine breathe by bringing in cooler air which is denser, meaning it has more oxygen. It does, however, contributes to a bump in horsepower but not as notable as what turbo and superchargers can provide.
What difference can cold air intakes make?
No need to buy more filters
Cold air intakes utilize washable and reusable filters, which helps you save a notable amount of money compared to regular replacements of disposable paper filters. All you need to do is lubricate the filter properly and install it right away.
Extended engine life
If you want to preserve your engine’s life, make sure that the temperature is properly regulated. A cooler engine lasts longer than engines with poor cooling system because once temperature gets too hot, the engine won’t be able to breathe properly. Installing a cold air intake would also help your radiator.
If you want a more fuel-efficient car, consider letting cold air into your engine, as fuel and cooler air in the chambers combust better than normal or warm air, which has fewer oxygen in them. Cold air intakes increases airflow by dropping the temperature of the air entering your engine.
As mentioned earlier, denser air has more oxygen than warm air. In the case of combustion engines, oxygen means more power. That’s because increase in oxygen mixed with fuel improves the combustion process, allowing your power plant to generate more horsepower.
Things you need to know before installing cold air intakes
Don’t get too excited about modifying your engine. Like regular aftermarket purchases, there are liabilities that you need to consider before buying and installing a cold air intake in your car. There are certain factors that you need to consider and they range from technical to legal concerns.
While cold air intakes are a big help to your engine, they can be a primary source of rare problems. A cold air intake is directly fitted to a car’s engine, which is a perfect setup for a disaster because it can let floodwater into the engine. Another major concern is the possibility of voiding your engine’s warranty. You have to know that most car manufacturers refuse or do not condone any liabilities on modified engines.
Varying fuel consumption results
Technically, cold air intakes reduce fuel consumption by introducing more oxygen to the engine. However, some people find having the opposite case. This is because due to the shift of driving discipline. Cold air intakes make your engine roar far better than having a stock intake system. This slight change in sound is a music to some drivers’ ears, causing them to become more aggressive on the pedal. Pumping the accelerator means pumping more fuel in the chamber, which obviously results in poor fuel economy.
Legality in your location
Not all states are happy with cold air intakes mainly because of emission concerns. For example, California sees installing a cold air intake as tampering with your car’s intake system that could lead to undesirable increase in harmful emissions. Intake systems on cars that are sold in California are required to pass the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) strict inspection, which is the basis for smog inspectors. You could face serious charges if your system lacks an Executive Order (EO) number issued by CARB.
Remember that when shopping for a cold air intake system, be sure to review your local state regulations. Products come with labels like 47-, 48-, 49-, or 50-State Legal, as well as shipping restrictions to states like California and New York. There are also non-street-legal cold air intakes labeled as “Intended For Closed Circuit Competition Use Only.” To avoid misspending, do some research first before purchasing any aftermarket products.
Personalize your cold air intake purchase by
1. Knowing the different tube materials
There are different materials used to make a cold air intake tubing, which could be a varying factor because each one has their own perks. You’ll find cold air intake systems with plastic, aluminum, carbon fiber, flex hose, steel, silicone, or stainless steel tube. There are plenty of choices to go for but the only thing that will matter is an in-depth research about the fitting of certain materials in relation to the model of your car.
2. Choosing a filter type
Apart from having an idea of what tube material to look for, you also need to consider various filter types. What you need to look at are dry and oiled air filters. Dry oil filters are common to factory air intakes and are commonly made of paper or foam for maximum filtration power. However, these materials are more restrictive to airflow by default, which means adding dirt trapped on the sheets may result in dramatic changes in fuel economy. Oiled filters, on the other hand, are usually made of cotton material with larger breathing holes. This type of filter relies on the oil’s ability to trap contaminants with its sticky properties. You can easily wash and reuse oiled filter; just make sure you oil it properly before refitting it.
3. Selecting the perfect tube finish to match your setup
This more likely falls to the aesthetic category of modification. Apart from choosing from a vast selection of tube material, you may also feel free to select the color material that would fit your engine bay better. Whether you like it black, polished aluminum, silver, powder-coated, chrome, or gunmetal gray, you are covered as long as the paint job is applicable to the material of your choice.
How much is a cold air intake?
There are three packages of cold air intake to choose from, namely individual pieces, assemblies, and kits. Prices vary with respect to the package you opt buying. Individually sold products range from $310 to $2,600, while assemblies are priced roughly around $50 to $2,300. Kits have a price tag ranging from roughly $220 to $1,200, depending on the part inclusions.
Important Facts You Need to Know About Cold Air Intake
Give your engine a break/ Install a cold air intake and boost your engine power while keeping it cool at the same time.
Did you know that an engine works better in cold weathers than warm ones? That's because low temperatures mean the engine gets cold air, which is denser and is packed with more oxygen molecules. With more oxygen in the cylinders, your engine burns fuel more efficiently, giving more power and better fuel economy. But you don't have to wait till winter just so you could experience a superb vehicle performance. Simply use a cold air intake in your car, and you can get cold air for your engine the whole year round.
Installing a cold air intake system in your car is one of the easiest ways to improve its performance. Cold air intake systems are fairly easy to install and most are made for particular makes and models, so fit won't be a problem. Once installed, this system increases cold air flow into your engine, which simultaneously cools the engine parts and provides oxygen for the air/fuel mixture necessary for combustion. This way, your engine can achieve the ideal fuel/air ratio and thus leads to better fuel burning and lesser toxic emissions. And because your engine maximizes every single drop of fuel that it burns, you save up on gas expenses and increase mileage, too.
So do you want to boost engine power? Try using a cold air intake. Rain or shine, winter or summer, you're out to get superb vehicle performance.
Cold Air Intake: Just the Facts
Cold, dense air is something that can improve how your vehicle's engine works. And to constantly feed your vehicle's engine with this kind of air, your vehicle needs a premium cold air intake. This device ensures that your vehicle's engine gets an increased, steady supply of cooler air from outside the engine bay. This air (usually oxygen), when mixed with fuel, helps create a more easily-combustible mixture. This helps the engine burn the fuel more efficiently, resulting in increased horsepower and torque for your vehicle. Today, cold air intakes come in various colors and sizes; there are even intakes with paintable surface for customization purposes. So if you want the added benefits this device can bring, click through our catalogs at CarParts.com. For high-quality parts within your budget, our store is just right for you. Here, we prove that not all quality parts are expensive!
• Ensures entry of cooler air to your vehicle's engine compartment
• Boosts engine performance and increases horsepower and mileage
• Can be customized to match the look of your vehicle's engine bay
Cold Air Intake: What Every Car Owner Should Know
If you think your car is too slow to keep up with others on the road, then it may need a little modification. Ask any performance freak out there about easy and affordable modifications available in the market, and most of them will probably tell you the same thing - a cold air intake (CAI). It's an easy do-it-yourself project.All you need is a CAI tube kit plus a cold air intake filter. To really appreciate a CAI, you have to know how it works. As its name suggests, a CAI feeds cold air into your engine. This lets your engine burn more fuel and thus produce more horsepower.The system, however, needs a free-flowing filter because of the huge amount of air needed. Stock filters, made of paper, won't cut it. What you need is a cold air intake filter made of cotton. It'll let the CAI suck in more air to boost engine horsepower.You'll find plenty of these here at CarParts.com.
• Our cold air intake filters let your engine suck in more air at a faster rate.
• We offer you only filters that are completely washable.
• Our cold air intake filters fit all engine types.
Which Cold Air Intake is Right for You?
With the right cold air intake, you can get strong horsepower surges, nonstop torque boosts, quicker throttle response, and throaty engine sound. This modification is perfect for drivers who want an effective upgrade without the need of shelling out more bucks and spending lots of time for installation.
If you're on the hunt for the system that matches your vehicle perfectly, here's a quick guide to help you out in your search.
How does a cold air intake work?
The cold air intake is designed to make things a whole lot easier for your vehicle, specifically the engine. It helps minimize restrictions and interfering parts that rob the engine of its horsepower. This component places the air filter far from the engine to keep the air cool.
This system works under these principles:
- Cooler air within the engine helps produce greater horsepower.
- Increasing airflow aids in maximizing fuel combustion efficiency.
What are the different types of cold air intakes?
There are no specific types of cold air intakes; the main differences lie on the design, appearance, material and price.
- Design and appearance: Some companies provide longer piping with a few bends, and others offer shorter pipes with a single bend.
- Tube (pipe) and air filter material: Low-end air intakes feature tubes made of plastic while pricey ones typically have tubes crafted from aluminum. Some products feature oiled air filters and some possess cotton gauze air filters.
- Price: Cold air intake prices range from $40 to as much as $1000, depending on the manufacturer and added features.
How much horsepower or torque increases will a cold air intake provide?
Installing a cold air intake on your vehicle provides no specific amount of horsepower or rate of torque level increases. Manufacturers usually claim that power boosts range from 5 to 20 hp; however, these rates are not just influenced by the product. It may be different for certain vehicles because it is also affected by the following factors:
- Engine specs
- Cold air intake design
- Cold air intake placement
Most aftermarket cold air intakes (especially those provided by known brand names) are customized to fit specific makes and models. The important thing to remember before you purchase any air intake product is to know the specs of your engine and check if the cold air intake's design suits the said specs.
Also, make sure that the component is street legal in your state or else, you won't be able to benefit from the installation.
How to Upgrade Your Cold Air Intake
If you're looking to add a massive kick to your ride's performance, there are plenty of options. You can get superchargers, turbochargers, exhaust mufflers, and many more. But in spite of all the modifications available, lots of auto enthusiasts still choose a cold air intake because of its low price and DIYer-friendly installation.
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Things You'll Need:
- Owner's manual
- Cold air intake kit
- Hose clamps
- Socket wrench and sockets
- Pliers (needle nose)
- Screwdrivers (flathead and Phillips-head)
- Remove your stock air intake system. Start by detaching the tube between the air box and the throttle body. Afterwards, detach the clamps holding the vacuum hoses.
- Once you're done, loosen the clamps holding the attach tubes to the stock box and the clamps that connect the intake tube to the throttle body. Take out the air intake tube.
- Remove the mass air flow sensor and other components that block access to the stock box's bolts.
- Unscrew the bolts and detach the stock box from the engine bay.
- Get the new air filter and attach it to the end of the pipe using a hose clamp.
- Count the number of vacuum hoses in your auto and see if it equals the number of hoses on the cold air intake pipe. If not, use the grommets to cover the extra holes.
- Attach the silicone coupling to the throttle body and tighten it at the end using a hose clamp. Place a clamp on the other end, but keep it loose.
- Carefully slide the intake tube into the silicone coupling. Check if there are obstructive parts-the pipe should be connected to the throttle and located far from the engine bay.
- Secure the other clamp on the silicone coupling and the brackets on the tube. Reattach the mass air flow sensor.
- Perform an engine check; make sure that the engine is operating smoothly while on idle.
Cold air intake installation may take around 1 hour (60 minutes) for an experienced DIYer.