Saturday, November 04, 2006

Cold Air Intake – A Performance Upgrade You Can Do Yourself

by: Stefan Rockhaus

The cold air intake system was launched in the late 1980s. This system includes intake tubes which are made up of molded plastic, and a cotton-gauze air filter. A cold air intake system is used to increase the power of your car, truck or SUV’s engine, by reducing the temperature of the air going into it. These aftermarket parts are available in different colors and sizes, as another objective of this system is to enhance the look of your vehicle’s engine bay and also to create an attractive intake noise. Installing a cold air intake is an inexpensive way to increase the performance of your vehicle.

A cold air intake system is responsible for increasing the amount of oxygen, which is necessary for combustion along with fuel. It provides cold air to the hot engine and protects your vehicle from mechanical imbalance.

While purchasing a cold air intake, you have to take notice of the following points:

• The diameter of the air intake should be big for free flow of air.
• Interiors of tubes should be smooth to reduce the blockage of air.
• Air filters should be efficient.

Different materials like plastic, metal, silicone, fiberglass or carbon fibers are used to make cold air intakes.

A short ram air intake is the alternative to a cold air intake. It comes with a short metal or plastic tube with a conical air filter, and is fitted inside the engine bay. Because it increases the airflow to the engine, a short ram air intake is more effective than the stock air intake. In some cases however, the hot air from around the engine can reduce performance, but the use of a heat shield will solve this problem.

Carbon fibers can replace metal for piping, as this reduces weight and insolates air at a higher speed.

Most cold air intakes come ready to install, and you can quite easily fit one yourself. It’s simply a matter of removing the stock air intake system from your vehicle and installing the new cold air intake. The air will enter from an external source - from the front bumper, fenders or a hood scoop. By providing increased airflow at a suitable temperature, the cold air intake can prove its credibility.

These cold air intakes are not as effective in rain as in other seasons. This is because during the rainy season, the flow of air is not proper. There is also the problem of your air intake being exposed to water. Too much water ingested into the engine will cause serious damage. To bypass this problem, you can install a water shield or relocate the air intake so that it is inside the engine bay.

In upshot, it is a good idea to use a cold air intake in your car or truck, as it will result in improved performance and better gas mileage also.

About The Author

Stefan Rockhaus is a contributing author for - For more info visit


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