Do Cold Air Intakes Increase MPG?
With the advancement of technology and modernization in today’s world, many people are running after the things that make their cars more efficient and reliable. This chase for comfort is the reason why manufacturers come up with good and productive aftermarket systems.
There are a number of modifications you can add to your cars, such as turbos, superchargers, or a different exhaust system. However, most of the aftermarket systems are highly expensive and takes time and effort to install them.
Cold air intakes are one of the aftermarket systems, which, unlike the other parts, are fairly affordable.
There is a debate as to whether cold air intakes increase a car’s MPG, which we will be discussing in this article. There is also a controversy regarding factory air intake and cold air intakes on which of the two systems gives more benefit while driving.
You may hear controversial debates where some people stand up for cold air intake systems stating that the factory air intake can be restrictive as they are mass-produced. While this group of people prefers the cold air intake, there is also another group of people who believe that cold air intakes are not necessary as the car manufacturers design their intake systems to its full potential.
To fully understand the debate, there should be a knowledge of the intake systems as well as their differences. A factory air intake brings air to the engine. A cold air intake also brings air into the engine but at a much larger quantity. A good amount of air is necessary for better combustion, which can also lead to a better horsepower in a car. It is important to know that efficient combustion also makes the fuel economy go up. In other words, cold air intakes increase a car’s MPG.
What is Cold Air Intake?
Basically, cold air intake is an aftermarket part that is installed in a car to produce more air and cooling effect in the combustion engine. It is believed to increase mpg, boost engine filtration, and give more horsepower.
What Does A Cold Air Intake Do?
The primary function of cold air intakes is to provide the engine with air so that the engine is cool enough for effective functioning. A cold air intake shifts the air gauze out of the engine chamber to let in cooler air into the engine.
Cooler air provides more oxygen to the combustion, which can lead to more power. The filters are positioned in such a way that there is easy access for cooler air to the engine.
A cold air intake not only provides cooler air, but it also boosts airflow. An aftermarket air intake features a large diametrical intake tube that has lesser bends. This larger tube is more smooth and wide than a factory air intake. Smoother tubes provide smoother airflow.
Do Cold Air Intakes Increase MPG?
While it does what it claims to do, that is, increase mpg, it provides a number of other benefits to the car as well. Apart from better gas mileage, cold air intakes by itself also increase the horsepower up to 5 to 20 %. When paired up with other aftermarket systems such as a new exhaust, it produces a more efficient working system of the engine.
Perfect combustion can be achieved by filling the engine with air in the ratio of 14:7. This is the standard ratio for an engine to acquire the best result. There are several variables that contribute to achieving this recommended ratio, such as the altitude, ignition timing, etc.
If there is sufficient air present in the combustion chamber, you can get good results when it is mixed with an adequate fuel amount.
Warm air bloats the particles and takes up more space than cold air. Cooler air facilitates a denser mixture, which adds efficiency to the engine.
Difference between a factory air intake and a cold air intake system
Cold air intake may increase the MPG of your car. It offers better gas mileage, which makes it worth installing.
A cold air intake allows more airflow to the engine. Installing the air intake to your car facilitates more fuel efficiency as more air is passed to the engine.
The factory air intakes are mostly used for minimizing the engine sound so that the cars do not give loud noises. It does not increase or enhance fuel efficiency while a cold air intake changes the ratio of the air to gas by drawing air from the underside of the car.
The increase in MPG depends on the car. Cold air intake can considerably increase fuel economy from 3 up to 5 MPG. This can help you economically in the long run.
It is recommended to consult a professional mechanic if you want to install a cold air intake system.
Not only does a cold air intake increase a car’s MPG, but it also provides other benefits to the car, such as;
- An efficient, reusable filter
The filters of factory air intakes are designed to keep bad particles away from the engine. The filters need to be changed and replaced over and over since they are disposable.
Unlike factory air intakes, you can clean the filter of cold air intake and reuse it after every 25,000 miles. This system is more economical and sustainable since you do not have the need to keep buying a new filter. The filter protects the engine from bad particles, which could damage your car and minimizes the chances of wear and tear.
- It offers more power
A cold air intake not only increases MPG and improves filtration but also gives your car more power. Cold air brings in more oxygen during combustion and can increase the car’s power by 20 %. This leads to a more stable and efficient engine and provides better acceleration to your car.
While installing a cold air intake system, you need to keep in mind some certain drawbacks could be possible. Make sure that the air filter is not so exposed to the surface so that it does not suck up the water. This would lead to leaks in the engine. In order to avoid this, you can always add a bypass valve to regulate the systems.
Before you go ahead and install a cold air intake system to your car, you need to consider the fact that the warranty of some cars turns null and void with the installation of aftermarket systems.
Apart from these couple of drawbacks, installing a cold air intake will provide the engine with better airflow while minimizing the sound produced by the engine. It also gives you the extra benefit of an increase in horsepower and a reliable filter. A cold air intake is one factor that influences your car’s MPG. A car’s MPG can be increased in several ways.
If you are looking for simple methods to increase your fuel economy, below are the top 7 steps you need to follow.
- Keep your car maintained
Rule number one is to service and maintain your car regularly and check whether your engine is working with full potential.
Do not neglect the tires. Low inflated tires can lead to an increase in fuel consumption by 3 %.
- Know your route
Have a clear cut plan and destination. You can save a lot more without going round in circles. A mile lost in the track is a mile of wasted fuel.
- Get rid of extra weight
According to The Guardian, your car can save 1 % of fuel with every 99 pounds removed from it. Therefore, it would be wise to leave behind the heavier loads before driving.
- Conserve electrical items
Electrical items such as air conditioning, heater, etc. can slow down the engine and increase fuel use, especially at lower speeds.
- Leave your car aerodynamic
Your car can get less aerodynamic with the roof box and the bike racks and the roof racks. While not in use, remove them from the car to preserve fuel while driving.
- Change gear often
The recommended time to change the gear in a petrol car is before reaching 2500 revs while it is 2000 revs in a diesel car. Following this pattern can benefit you with a 15 % fuel saving.
- Drive slow
Slow driving is still in trend. A slow car consumes lesser fuel. The higher your mph gets, the higher the fuel consumption rate. Therefore, slow down your car to a standard pace to increase mpg.
Cold air intakes increase airflow and MPG and are considered great aftermarket choices. With a lot of researches and tests with proven results, it is safe to conclude that cold air intakes do provide benefits to your car as such in improving mpg and providing better horsepower.
For those who are looking to increase mpg along with better airflow and power, I would recommend installing a cold air intake system to your car to give you an enjoyable driving experience.