Why You Should Install a Performance Air Intake
It seems like every improvement to your vehicle is a compromise. If you want more speed, you lose fuel economy. If you want to be more fuel efficient, you say goodbye to acceleration. A performance air intake can improve speed, acceleration, fuel usage, and even make your truck or jeep sound better. These units achieve such a dramatic effect on your engine that it can seem like magic and give you that extra hp upgrade you have been looking for. For something that bolts on in less then one hour this is one item you have to have.
How Performance Air Intakes Deliver So Many Benefits
You may be wondering if performance air intakes are so much better than standard units, why doesn’t every vehicle come with one? The reason is that most people aren’t willing to pay for it. Automobile manufacturers are forced to play to the widest audience possible. The general population favors low cost over high performance. For people who emphasize performance, these intakes are a godsend.
Cold air intakes deliver so much performance enhancement because your engine isn’t getting enough air. Oxygen and a spark combine in your engine, burning fuel to create rapidly expanding gasses that move the pistons. Aftermarket air intakes deliver more oxygen, fanning the flames of your performance. The reasons they’re able to do this are:
- The air filters are larger. Smaller stock filters are cheaper to make and designed with inefficient shapes. This creates a tiny opening that makes it difficult to take in air. Performance intakes use rounded shapes that expose a greater surface area to the air. They are also larger, further increasing the amount of oxygen they can take in.
- The tubing is wider. Taking in extra air from the filter means nothing if it can’t get to the engine quickly. Larger diameter tubing provides unrestricted airflow to your engine. Stock tubing is cheaper to make and quieter during operation.
- The tubing is designed for good airflow. Straight, smooth tubing gets the oxygen to your truck much faster. Corrugated factory tubing muffles the intake sound, but traps and restricts air.
- The design maximizes air speed. In addition to not slowing the air down, the intake speeds the air up. Design features including wider openings and cone-shaped pipes force the air the air to travel faster than it would through a normal pipe.
- The intake has a computer. Some intakes feature electronic tuning systems or work with performance programmers to manage airflow. These give your engine more oxygen by removing limitations that would be necessary without computer intervention.
Cold Air vs Short Ram Intakes
Performance air intakes come in a few varieties with slightly different features. Short ram intakes use a short, smooth pipe to greatly increase air volume to the engine. While the air is still taken from within the engine compartment, the sheer volume of air overcomes its warmer temperature. They’re easy to install, increase throttle response, and produce a unique intake sound.
Cold air intakes draw air farther away from the engine where the air is cooler. Hot air balloons fly because they heat the air in the balloon, causing it to expand. This warmer air is less dense, making it rise about the colder air around it. Cold air intakes use the opposite of this principle to up your vehicle’s performance. Colder, denser air means more oxygen in the same amount of space.
Oiled vs Dry Filters
Modern filters have improved to the point where there’s very little difference in performance between the two. Oiled filters tend to provide a little better airflow overall. There’s a small possibility that oil could damage your MAF sensor if you apply too much oil to your filter. Dry filters are easier to clean, don’t require the hassle of oiling, but restrict airflow a bit more than their oiled counterparts. Ultimately it comes down to preference and what works with your air intake.
Savvy gearheads always make sure their aftermarket adjustments are legal. Some intakes can increase emissions or move emission sensors in a way that renders them less effective. For a few states, California Air Resources Board (CARB) laws can render untested or nonregulation intakes illegal. Check your local regulations to avoid the hassle of paying for a part you can’t use.
Finding the Best Performance Air Intakes
The benefits of performance air intakes for your truck, jeep or SUV are enormous. There are few parts that can have such an impact by themselves. Taking a closer look at different models can help you find the features you want at a reasonable price right here at TuffTruckParts.