For car enthusiasts, there’s nothing more satisfying than driving a high-performance ride equipped with an extremely powerful engine. While engine modifications may require an overhaul of your engine system, one way by which you can enhance your vehicle’s performance without having to make drastic alterations on your engine is by using a high-quality cold air intake.
To help answer any questions you may have about the cold air intake, I’m making this post a multi-section entry. Simply read through the sections which you’re interested in.
What is a Cold Air Intake?
The cold air intake is basically an air intake system designed to lower the temperature of the air that moves into your vehicle. By lowering the air, the cold air intake slightly increases the power of your engine. This device also increases the amount of oxygen available to your engine for better fuel combustion.
How Does the Cold Air Intake Work?
As I mentioned earlier, the cold air intake increases the amount of “cold” oxygen that is made available to your engine system. The intake is usually installed on a location where colder air can flow into the engine system—usually on the bumper or even hood of the car.
Cold air is usually preferable when it comes to fuel combustion since cold air tends to expand more once heated. It’s also a bit denser compared to warm air, thereby encouraging better fuel combustion.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Cold Air Intake?
As I mentioned before, a cold air intake can slightly increase your engine’s power. But aside from increasing power, this ingenious device also helps promote better fuel economy. While it may not lessen your engine’s fuel consumption, it’s a known fact that a well maintained engine eats up less fuel. And since the cold air intake supplies your engine with an abundance of oxygen, your engine doesn’t have to work so hard each time you drive, resulting in better fuel consumption and less engine damage.
Another advantage brought by the cold air intake is that it prevents engine problems, prolonging your engine’s life. Because the cold air intake introduces “colder” air into the engine system, it lowers the operating temperatures under your vehicle’s hood, preventing damage caused by overheating.
Lastly, the cold air intake is also a great way to increase your vehicle’s appeal. Cold air intakes come in different colors and styles. It also produces this cool, throaty noise each time the intake sucks in air, turning your car into a truly attention-grabbing ride.
What Are the Possible Disadvantages of Using the Cold Air Intake?
Since I mentioned the advantages or the benefits of using the cold air intake, to be fair, here are the possible disadvantages brought by this device:
- It increases the risk of the development of ice inside the air intake. Because the cold air intake lowers the temperature of the air that flows into your engine system, during the colder seasons—and since fall is just around the corner, followed by winter, it seems like the perfect time to bring this up—the air mixed with water vapor could cause ice to develop inside the cold air intake. When this happens, instead of increasing air flow under your vehicle’s hood, less air is let into the engine system, resulting in poor vehicle performance.
- It prevents the proper evaporation of fuel droplets.
The Different Types of Cold Air Intakes
Cold air intakes come in different styles and designs. It can be made using a number of different materials, including: silicone, rubber, metal, plastic and various composite materials—but since air doesn’t really spend much time traveling through the intake tubing, the type of material used in the cold air intake doesn’t really make much difference when it comes to the performance of this device
When choosing between various types of cold air intakes, pick one that has an intake snorkel or intake opening that is big enough to allow sufficient airflow into your engine. If, however, you’re looking at an intake kit with an opening without a filter or screen, then make sure the opening is not bigger than the inside diameter of your carburetor throat or the throttle body of your engine.