One of the simplest ways for any car enthusiast to get more power and better gas mileage out of his or her ride is to install a cold air intake system. Your intake system is the starting point of all modifications. Allowing your engine to take in air more efficiently produces extra power and performance. A cold air intake is designed to reduce the temperature of air entering a vehicle to maximize the engine's power. The result of the colder air is a vehicle that performs better, saves on fuel, and sounds better. Additionally, a cold air intake will improve the look of a vehicle's engine bay, by adding color or the chrome look. Plus, installing a cold air intake is not a difficult job at all for the novice do-it-yourselfer.
All cold air intakes operate on the principle of increasing the amount of oxygen available for combution with fuel. Cold air intakes typically do this by drawing air from a location in the car where colder air can be brought into the engine. This is usually within the bumper somewhere or sometimes even closer to the front of the car. The reason for cold air is simple. Colder air is denser than warmer air and will thus expand more when it is heated up. This causes a greater combustion in your engine resulting in more power and less fuel to burn. Almost all aftermarket intakes typically have larger piping and this also helps the flow of air into your engine. Intake systems come in many different styles and can be constructed from plastic, metal, rubber or composite materials. Due to the limited time air actually remains inside the intake tubing, the materials often do not impact a kit's ability to deliver cool air. After the intake is installed, regular driving noise becomes a lot louder, and one can expect to hear a whistle during normal driving, from the sound of the air being forced into the engine. So regardless of what type of intake you pick you should be getting better flow of air to your engine.
There are various kinds of Cold Air Intake systems available in the markets. Typically the main three air Ram Kits, Short Ram Kits, and Long Ram Kits. Long ram air intakes create more horsepower and better gas mileage by enhancing the efficiency by eliminating the limiting stock air boxes and reinstating them with bent tubes that allow smooth flow. As a result, the amount of air going into the engine as well as its velocity is increased. The air that goes inside the engine is much cooler. However, these kits sometimes will have the input tubing low to the ground where the colder air is, but also where rain and standing water may be causing hydrolocking. Hydrolocking occurs when any liquid is present in the engine's cylinder on the intake stroke and, due to the incompressibility of the liquid, makes the compression stroke impossible. You may want to check in to an air bypass valve. An air bypass valve is a filtered spacer that is positioned more into the engine bay, between two connected pieces of the cold air intake assembly. This prevents hydro-locking by providing an alternate route for air to come in, thus eliminating the vacuum that causes water to be sucked in from a puddle. Most of these kits are pretty water tight, but be careful if you drive though a lot of deep standing water.
Short Ram Air intakes are similar to Long Ram intakes. The only difference lies in the short tubing. These typically will stay in the engine bay, and may lead to the grill. Although, many people say that these are not as efficient as the Long Ram intakes because they are still bringing in the warmer air from the engine bay itself. This may be partially offset by an increase in the volume of air entering the engine. To counter intake heat problems, many short ram intakes include some form of heat shield. They also will argue that the Short Ram Intakes offer benefits over the Long Ram Intakes such as better MPG due to a more complete burning of fuel.
Ram air intakes utilize external air to force the air into the engine typically through a part in the hood, vents, or cut outs. It uses a scoop mounted in the front lower air dam to pull in cool air, and routes the intake charge to the throttle body. The air goes inside the intake with tubes linked to the scoop. The velocity of the air going into the intake allows more air and better quality air to get into the car which in turn boosts the performance of the car and MPG.
So how hard is it to install? This is a relatively easy do-it-yourself job. The vast majority is plug and plays so don't worry about having to modify your engine bay any more then swapping intakes.
For the best selection and lowest prices, shop with a reputable dealer such as Moose Pak LLC at www.MPCustoms.com
Author: Komaka Wilson
About the Author
Komaka Wilson had been in the automotive accessory and detail business for over 15 years.