Keeping Your Toyota Tundra Cold Air Intake in Top Shape
Aftermarket cold air intakes can significantly improve the performance of the Toyota Tundra, but they also require routine maintenance in order to work properly. In this guide, we've listed down key maintenance tips to keep your Toyota Tundra cold air intake in top shape.
- Wash the air filters with cleaners recommended by the manufacturer.
Aftermarket cold air intake kits are usually fitted with washable filters. These filters, however, need to be washed regularly with special filter cleaning solutions recommended by the manufacturer. These cleaning solutions are specially designed for the filter, as they will not cause the filter media to dry out compared with detergent. So while they might cost a bit, getting a filter cleaner that's recommended for your air intake save you money in replacement filters in the long run.
- Coat the air filter with filter oil.
After washing the air filter, it is also recommended to coat it with filter oil. This will help maintain the flexibility of the filters as well as protect it from wear. Simply squeeze or spray the oil evenly along the crown of each pleat, and let it wick for approximately 20 minutes.
- Check for and clean rust spots in the heat shield.
Cold air intake heat shields usually have a corrosion-resistant finish to prevent rust from occurring, but this coating tends to chip off easily when rubbing against another metal object and exposing it to rust.
When rust spots appear on the heat shield, let it soak on paint-safe rust remover solution overnight; this should remove corrosion from the surface. In addition, we also recommend repainting the heat shield to prevent rust from reappearing.
- Invest in a bypass valve.
If your cold air intake does not come with a built-in bypass valve, we suggest that you get one. Although it is not essential for the operation of your cold air intake, the air intake bypass valve serves as a secondary air filter that can serve as a backup in case the primary air filter gets clogged or fails. This is especially helpful if you frequently use your Toyota Tundra for off-road activities, as mud and water can quickly render the air filter useless. But with the bypass valve, air can still enter to the engine, ensuring continued combustion as well as preventing damage to both the air intake and engine components.
Tips to Make Toyota Tundra Cold Air Intake Installation Easier
Although there is still debate as to whether much extra horsepower it can provide, installing an aftermarket cold air intake in the Toyota Tundra will certainly improve its engine efficiency and performance. And what's more, unlike other aftermarket performance products, the cold air intake can be installed without the need for extensive modification and tune-up, making it the ideal choice for those who are new to modding their vehicles.
If you are planning on installing a Toyota Tundra cold air intake, the following are some tips that you might find helpful.
Tip #1: Make sure the intake is street legal.
Cold air intakes are covered under the emission laws of several states, so make sure to double-check with your local government offices to check if your new cold air intake is legal to use. California, for instance, considers adding cold air intakes or other aftermarket engine parts as an act of tampering and must require a special EO status in order to be allowed for use with your vehicle.
Tip #2: Let the engine cool first.
Although this might seem obvious, but you'll be surprised at how many people have burned themselves while trying to install a cold air intake on a hot engine. We also recommend disconnecting the truck's battery to prevent accidental shock as well as from the ignition to start while you are under the hood.
Tip #3: Install a bypass valve.
Although it is not essential, we do recommend installing a bypass valve along with the intake. The bypass valve is basically a secondary air filter mounted inline on the air intake system, which makes it a reliable backup in case the cold air intake filter fails due to clogging or being soaked in water, allowing air to enter the cylinders through the valve.
Tip #4: Check the new intake for play.
With the new intake in place, move the intake up and down and side to side. If the intake easily strikes any of the objects around it, tighten the mounting bolts. Keep doing this until the intake no longer hits anything. In addition, try and close the hood to see if the heat shield or any part of the air intake will prevent it from closing properly.
Frequently Asked Questions
If in the market for a cold air intake kit, what should the main considerations?
The device should be made of plastic for better insulation compared to metal. Since plastic has a lower heat capacity than metal, it is also more durable. Check a dyno graph to ensure if there will be effects on the engine's performance after the kit is installed. Buy only from reputable aftermarket manufacturers with a full research and design department to ensure high-quality and durable products. As for the price, a decent cold air intake kit costs around $250 to $400.
Will a cold air intake give a roaring engine sound to the engine of the Toyota Tundra?
Yes. Aside from the improved throttle response and fuel economy that a cold air intake can give, one of the remarkable changes after installing an aftermarket air intake will be a louder engine. While a louder engine is deemed to be more efficient, most of the truck drivers are impressed with the raspier, croaking sound that the engine makes. But if the roaring sound of the engine doesn't seem too impressing, might as well keep the factory air intake of the truck.
Will installing a cold air intake in a Toyota Tundra improve its performance?
Yes. It will add an approximate 5-10 horsepower to the truck, and also a 1-2 mpg increase in gas mileage. If the owner lives at higher altitudes, then a cold air intake is a must-have. The cold air intake improves the engine performance by allowing it to adjust even under a cold weather condition. With its mandrel-bent tubing and a high quality air filter, the device will help the engine suck in cleaner and cooler air--resulting to better combustion.