A cold air intake reroutes the filtration of the air to outside the engine compartment. Shorter and smoother pipes are used to ensure that the airflow through the engine is uninterrupted. This helps your engine suck in air that is cooler for use during the combustion process.
Cold air is much more dense than hot air and so performs better during engine induction. This is used to reduce the temperature of your car and means that it is at less of a risk of overheating.
What are the benefits of a cold air intake?
Some cold air intakes claim to be able to increase the horsepower of your car’s engine by as much as 4 times. They can also help to increase your fuel economy, saving you money. This is because more oxygen is available which reduces the need for fuel.
Cold air intakes decrease the pollutants inside your car. This is because more oxygen is taken up and fresher air is circulated around the inside of your car.
They are believed to be more effective than disposable air filters, reducing the exhaust fumes your car emits. For this reason, some people may claim that they are more environmentally friendly.
They are a fairly cheap way to soup up your vehicle’s performance. They range from about $150 to $500 depending on the power and quality. Cold air intakes reduce the strain put on your car’s engine and can help to prevent future damages.
Most people are capable of installing cold air intakes themselves if they have a rudimentary understanding of car mechanics. This is one modification that you do not need to shell out on professional installation for.
If you enjoy the sound of your engine revving, you will love a cold air intake. The increased flow of air through the engine creates a loud and throaty growl as you rev.
The improved fuel economy means that it reduces the mileage. This is particularly useful if you are looking to sell your car on in the future. This means that your car is likely to be sold for a higher price.
How do you know if your cold air intake is failing?
If your engine performance begins to decrease, this is often a sign of a breaking cold air intake. This is likely due to the engine air filter being dirty and blocked. This reduces the fuel efficiency, acceleration, and power of your engine.
If your engine has a high idle this could be a sign of a vacuum leak. This is a waste of fuel, can cause a lot of unnecessary damage to your engine, and can potentially be dangerous. If you notice a high idle in your car we suggest checking the cold air intake.
If you see your car’s check engine light illuminate, this is often a symptom of a failing cold air intake. This is used to feed air into the engine and so if the intake fails, the engine will too.
It is important to take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic for a look over if you notice your check engine light is on. It may well just need a replacement cold air intake.
How often should your cold air intake be replaced?
This varies depending on the material your cold air intake is made from. They can be made of rubber, plastic, composite, or metal. You should look for one with an airbox the same size as the engine.
The cold air intake will need replacing when the filter becomes dirty and clogged. This will reduce the effectiveness of the intake, meaning that there is less air available to the engine for combustion.
It is likely to take many years for your intake filter to become so clogged it is ineffective. Pay attention to how your car’s engine is performing and use these factors to guide your decision.
How to Properly Maintain Your Cold Air Intake
You should clean it fully at regular intervals. The information supplied by the manufacturer will give you specific information for how often to clean and maintain your cold air intake.
Generally speaking, this should be done at a minimum of every 30,000 miles travelled. This will need to be done more regularly if you often drive through dusty areas.
Hold the filter up to a light and look through. You should not be able to see anything through it and there should be no visible holes. If you notice any, it is time to replace the filter.
Never use a metal brush to clean the cold air intake. This is because you could accidentally tear the filter media and the plates inside. We suggest using a brush with nylon bristles.
Check the positioning of the tubing and clamps every time you are cleaning.
We suggest using a pre-filter and hydro shields to increase the time period you can go between cleans. This will also help to prevent hydro-locking if water makes its way into the motor and damages the engine.
Does a cold air intake damage your engine?
If the air filter is over exposed, it can suck up water and feed it directly into your engine. This can cause serious damage and should be prevented. Luckily, installing a bypass valve almost always solves this issue and prevents it from occurring.
Some manufacturers have a warranty on the car’s engine. Many will state that by installing a cold air intake to the engine, you void this warranty.
If your intake filter is made of foam it gives you more horsepower to the engine. This filter material is prone to letting dust and debris into the engine which can cause damage.
If the angle of the intake bend is 90 degrees, this can cause air to roll as it enters your engine. This can lead to the mass air meter giving an inaccurate reading. This in turn, adjusts the fuel to air ratio, which can result in your car stalling.