If you are looking to off-road your vehicle or add some torque and power, there are several upgrades you should consider. One of those upgrades is the new best cold air intake. When you install it, a cold air intake can add a number of high performance enhancements for your engine. The most integral performance upgrade you can expect is the ability to increase combustion. This is because of the increase in cool air that is pushed into the air/fuel mixture.

  • The ability to do this gives you some low end torque as well as high end horsepower. Your engine configuration will dictate whether the power is spread across the engine’s RPMs or if it will be split and concentrated on either end. If you enjoy rock crawling, towing, or other activities that demand quick bursts of immediate acceleration, low end torque is for you.
  • On the other hand, if you are more into racing and off road driving, the high end horsepower an upgraded cold air intake can provide is more your style. This article will give you an overview of the benefits and applications that come along with the best cold air intake system.

best cold air intake

How Does a Cold Air Intake Work?

In order for your engine to produce more power, the cylinders need air to create the combustion that will push the horsepower and torque. There are more oxygen molecules in cold air than in warm or hot air which makes it richer in oxygen. Pushing that cool air into the cylinders allows to engine to burn more fuel, more efficiently and completely during its combustion cycle. The added efficiency ends up giving you more horsepower and torque while using about the same amount of fuel.

In a nutshell, if you increase oxygen in a fire, you get a stronger fire. Stronger fire- stronger explosion. With a stronger explosion you get more force pushing the pistons and turning the crankshaft. That power then goes to the transmission and then to the wheels. The amount of horsepower and torque you can achieve varies depending on the product and application.

Most of the best cold air intake systems that have upgrades include a filter that helps keep the incoming air clean. Clean air is essential to peak performance of the engine and the cold air intake system too. These filters commonly consist of cotton gauze layer which you can find between aluminum mesh layers. They are then sometimes coated with a special oil. This has the role of increasing its ability to catch and attract even the tiniest particles and contaminants. The dirt and particles caught become trapped within the cotton layers. So they only allow the cold oxygen to pass through.

General Specifications

  • Increases horsepower and torque;
  • Comes with upgraded filter to trap contaminants allowing only clean, cool air to flow through to the engine;
  • Many are made for specific makes, engines, and models so that you get a customized system that is fully compatible with your vehicle;
  • May include a reusable filter that can be cleaned and reused saving you money;
  • Easily installed usually taking no more than 2 hours to replace your stock cold air intake;
  • Increases oxygen rich air to provide better air to fuel ratios that more efficiently burn fuel.

PROs and CONs of Upgrading To the Best Cold Air Intake

PROs

  • Longer Engine Life: Using colder air can keep the internal temperatures of your mechanical components, such as the engine and radiator, lower. This results in less wear and a longer lifespan.
  • Faster Throttle Response: When you try to accelerate from a complete stop, the intake responds by pushing air into the engine for combustion. Because this air is warm on a stock intake, it produces a slower response. An upgraded cold air intake will push cooler air into the chamber creating a faster throttle response.
  • Greater Horsepower: Cooler air has more oxygen in it. More oxygen allows more fuel to burn more efficiently and will create more horsepower as a result.
  • Better Gas Mileage: More efficiently burned fuel by using a cold air intake means that you get more power with the same amount of fuel. This can translate into more mileage.
  • Money saving: The best cold air intake will often come supplied with air filters. You can clean and reuse them a number of times before you replace them.

CONs

  • Expense: A cold air intake is relatively less expensive than other upgrades. But it is still an investment.
  • Modification: Sometimes the intake will force you to modify other things under the hood so that it sits in the proper position. Sometimes because of this, if you try to go to a dealership to install it, they either will decline to or charge you a considerable amount.
  • Possible Water Damage: One of the most risky aspects to adding a cold air intake is the possibility of water from the road splashing up into the filter. Passenger cars are more susceptible to this issue. If water does enter in through the filter, it makes its way to the engine and can cause severe damage.

Examples of the Best Cold Air Intake

Spectre Performance Cold Air Intake Systems 9000

Spectre Performance has decades of experience under its belt. They have been making innovative parts that are resilient and are designed to perform. Their intakes and exhausts have become a household name in upgrades.

Most reviewers are surprised at how much horsepower, torque, and acceleration they experience after installation. They say it is more than expected. The price point is also a benefit with it being a little less expensive than popular name brands.

kn cold air intake

K&N 63 Series Aircharger High Performance Air Intakes 63-3082

K&N is one of the most popular and recognized names in cold air intake upgrades. They are state-of-the –art and have been perfected over time.

Customers always rave about the easy install, increase in power, and the growl they get from the engine.

Airaid SynthaMax MXP Series Cold Air Intake Systems 451-328

Airaid is a top name in high-tech filtration technology. Reviews reveal that though their intakes are a little more expensive, they are worth every penny.

The power and efficiency are more than noticeable and they have no regrets spending a little extra for this product.

Cooling Up

When upgrading your rig there are many componenets that will help you gain horsepower and torque. Do not over look the cold air intake. This more modest upgrade can give you great gains. What are your experiences with how your vehicle functions after a cold air intake upgrade? Leave your comment below.

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