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Cold Air Intake

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Cold Air Intake

Cold Air Intake – What Is Its Function?

Vehicle enthusiasts are always looking for a method of enhancing their vehicle’s power and performance. One of the modifications that are very popular among car lovers is the cold air intake. Some of the aftermarket car parts manufacturers boast pretty lofty claims for such an inexpensive component.

Manufacturers claim that it will increase horsepower, improve throttle response, and increase gas mileage with simple and quick installation. For the driver who thinks this is the best feature for their vehicle, in-depth research and examination can prove these supposed benefits. Wondering what cold air intake does? This article will give you in-depth detail about the advantages of this effective aftermarket mod.

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How Does a Cold Air Intake Work?

In your vehicle’s engine, your pistons are fired by what amount of a controlled explosion. Fuel is either petrol or diesel, and combustion happens due to an ignition source (a spark plug in a gas engine, compression itself in a diesel).

There is oxygen in the air surrounding your car, but it is kept out of your combustion chambers because of the enclosed hood. An air intake is a simple tube through which the vacuum of the engine pulls air into the engine to mix well with fuel and fire it. Now, the actual question arises: How much air it can pull?

Even though OE model air intakes work just like most stock parts, they also have their flaws. Because it’s cheaply constructed to keep costs down and the development was not targeted toward performance. After all, how would car manufacturers get to know if you will buy their machine to commute to work or not? Secondly, because consumers tend to prefer a quiet, noise-free cabin, intakes are often designed to be quiet, which, like exhausts, causes them to be very restrictive.

However, there are two main reasons why a typical stock unit is not operating correctly. Firstly, its design is not optimized to flow as much air as possible (or as much CFM). The second reason is that it allows air to pass quietly and efficiently to the engine that the driver can not hear in the cabin. Typically, OEM intakes have a restrictive filter box and ductwork.

For air to reach your engine, it must pass through the box, the mesh of the filter, and through the restrictive tube. This problem would be worse if your car or truck has a low-flow air filter. Additionally, the intake that’s too close to the engine, draws hotter air, which will decrease performance.

It causes the intake point to be farther away from the engine, allowing it to take in cooler air. Some offer a high-temperature shield to reduce the heat radiating from your internal parts even further. Even, you can create a more efficient intake system by getting rid of the air box, reducing the restriction in the ducting, and eliminating the paper filter. This will allows more airflow per minute to the engine.

The air that your car is using to run your engine has now become colder and denser. When air is denser, there is more oxygen in the engine. This allows it to operate more efficiently, which in turn helps it perform better.

How Does a Cold Air Intake Work?

Advantages Of Cold Air Intake

Do cold air intakes work? We have already discussed how does cold air intake work. Now the answer to the do their work is: According to the product you buy and the engine you own, you can gain between 5 and 20 horsepower from the increased oxygen flow. While you will get better performance with higher quality intakes, they can’t turn a 4-cylinder into a V8. So, be realistic about expectations.

Aside from the horsepower boost, cold air intakes can also enhance throttle response and lead to better fuel economy. If your engine can produce more air, it can also have the power of creating more power.

Another advantage of an aftermarket air intake is not using low-quality paper filters. Installing a high-flow filter is not only cost-effective but also means you won’t have to replace it every 15,000 miles. Most of the cold air intake filters can be taken apart and washed for cleaning. Just make sure to keep the filter clean and make it an important part of your regular maintenance as a dirty filter won’t function.

Also, you may want to add a few additional modifications to your machine so you can maximize the benefits of your installation. Intake is only one aspect of oxygen. As a result, spent gases may stifle your engine, resulting in less cold air being drawn in. With a performance exhaust system, you can remove a significant amount of these gases, allowing the combustion process to run more efficiently.

For the best performance out of these components, an ECU tuner can provide a better fuel/air mixture. Tuning and modification companies generally refer to combining all three components – air intake, exhaust, and ECU tuning as “Stage 1”. It represents the very first and most basic step to improving performance.

It doesn’t mean that you need any of these additional components to get the benefits of a cold ait intake. You still get more oxygen by having denser air. This additional modification will just add to the advantages of the component.

Cold Air Intake

Effects Of Cold Air Intake

Cold air intakes have many positive aspects, but they also have their drawbacks. Now, most new cars come with complicated components. Also, vehicle manufacturers generally restrict modifications to prevent possible liability. As, when your vehicle is equipped with an aftermarket air intake, this could void the warranty. So, it is better to check the warranty beforehand to see if this is right for your car or truck.

Moreover, if there is no box, there is a higher possibility that intake is sucked up with water. The small amounts can lead to misfires, ruined spark plugs, and reduced performance. An engine will be damaged if a large volume of water gets into the combustion chamber and does not compress under the piston. So, when driving in wet weather, you should install a bypass valve at the air intake to prevent water from entering the engine.

Furthermore, the shape of the air intake also causes problems. Compared to OE models, the air is coming from a different angle, which can affect the idle of your engine. Moreover, it throws off the fuel/air mixture by sending incorrect readings to the sensors. Fortunately, this problem is fairly rare and can be often resolved through some tuning.

Finally, just like performance exhaust, cold air intakes fail to consider the fact that additional sound can be problematic for drivers. As soon as the cold air intake is installed, you will hear sounds you never heard before; the sound of air flowing or sucking through the intake. This sound is usually much more audible on turbocharged vehicles. Some owners love this sound, like a well-tuned exhaust with a throaty sound, while others considered it too much.

Effects Of Cold Air Intake

Wrap Up

Well, the final answer is that the cold air intake is beneficial. Even though there are a few points that may be problematic, the benefits you will receive far outweigh any inconvenience. So, rather than waiting for the weekend to install some aftermarket parts, a new cold air intake can be best for your vehicle that can be installed in just a few hours. Moreover, a couple of handy tools and solid experience are all you need to complete the job yourself.

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