Among numerous modifications added to vehicles, cold air intake (CAI) is the most common. It is an aftermarket product attached to customize your vehicle by delivering more acceleration & torque. Nowadays CAI is used much more commonly than before. Achieving more horsepower from your fuel consumption is the main idea behind introducing this product. Many of us believe that adding CAI is not going to make any difference for your vehicle`s high speed, the idea is not entirely wrong but adding a Cold Air Intakes certainly creates a significant difference. CAI doesn`t increase the speed drastically or give you an extra 20-30 horsepower, but it certainly helps to improve the health of your vehicle in the long run.
Deciding to add cold air intake is smart because it serves you with an additional 5-10 horsepower besides also ensures efficient fuel consumption. That`s why people have been using this more often over the past 3-4 decades.
It has not remained limited to racecars or offroad trucks only. Instead, it is available in large numbers in the street markets.
Stay with us as we break down the reasons for adding CAI in your vehicle & how they operate:
Where Are Cold Air Intakes Mostly Used
Cold air intakes are bought and sold as aftermarket parts. Initially, it was introduced among the racecars to achieve more speed given the same fuel consumption.
Day by day, it rose to its fame. Its popular features didn’t remain among the racecars, off-track trucks only. From the late ’80s, its presence was coming to light in automotive vehicles of all sorts.
Most of today’s customized vehicles have this equipment as they consider adding this will give the vehicle an extra mile.
Besides adding this as an aftermarket product, many vehicle manufacturing companies are supplying CAIs of their own. Why not take a quick look at the Parts Geek intake page to check out real-time prices of some amazing cold air intakes.
How Cold-Air Intake Works
The concept of developing cold air intakes is to provide cool air to the internal combustion engine of the car.
We all know that air is crucial for conducting the combustion process smoothly within a vehicle. So, the condition of this intake air is highly responsible for the proper function of the engine.
Cold air has its importance as it holds more oxygen due to the dense nature of air. Thus more oxygen is supplied as fuel. Overall, a good combustion cycle is completed.
Because it is a step by step process I will be breaking down the whole process of how it works in the following parts:
Impact of Temperature
The working principle of cold air intake is systematically organized, which starts with the temperature’s impact. Generally, the environment around a vehicle’s engine is hot.
As the hot air from the outside contains fewer oxygen molecules the combustion cycle becomes inefficient resulting in more energy losses with each completion of the combustion cycle.
If we somehow pass colder air as intake, fuel-burning will be a lot more efficient as cold air is comparatively denser & contains more oxygen molecules. Thus, cold air intake doesn’t do the same job of affecting the temperature of the intake charge instead helps better fuel usage.
More Oxygen Means More Fuel
The amount of oxygen input in the engine is essential for the proper combustion cycle.
Oxygen is directly proportional to fuel. That means if you can supply oxygen abundantly, you will get a healthy combustion cycle. Thus, the overall torque derived from the combustion will be higher & it will also increase the horsepower of the engine.
More horsepower means more acceleration. Overall, you will be looking at a vehicle that will be running comparatively faster than the usual ones.
To establish a cold air intake facility in the engines, the intake tubes & air filters are positioned further away from the engine & close to the outside environment. By doing so, you can ensure the variation in temperature.
Produce more power
Clean air is vital in ensuring the proper functioning of your engine. The cold air intake system comes with a unique filtration design. This design has a high-flow cotton gauze air filter.
This filter has the unique ability to attract contaminants that are smaller than a human hair. This unique process is called “Depth Loading.” It holds most of the dirt particles within the matrix of the cotton filter while letting the pure air pass.
In this process, 96-97% pure air is sure to be supplied as intakes. Cleaner air means better performance for your engine
Should You Go for It or Not?
Here comes the most important part. Some advantages and disadvantages are given here to help you decide whether you actually want a cold air intake or not.
The speculation about achieving tremendous speed is not entirely true. You can’t expect your engine to deliver an extra 30-40 more horsepower.
However, it slightly increases the horsepower if more oxygen molecules are supplied as fuels. It also ensures smooth airflow and drastically reduces hot air building up in the engine. Another beneficial part is having inlet tubes rather than large conventional air-boxes in the engine for better airflow.
The downfalls included by adding this in your vehicle may not always work because its performance depends on other factors, too, namely the model of your engine, condition of other parts & how you drive.
Though it can’t be guaranteed that you will get extreme horsepower & fuel efficiency, it can undoubtedly improve the performance of your engine. It will also need a lot of experience and customization to properly make air intakes work.
Replacing the standard and factory intake system of your car with a cold air intake system will cost you about $150 to $500 depending on the brands & vehicles.
Also, you will need an experienced mechanic. So, installation cost & service will be higher comparatively. But to be honest, the cost is worth it.
Cold air intakes are certainly not for beginners. These are more preferred by people who like to add a personal touch to their rides and experiment with it. If you are experienced enough and really want to take your ride to the next level then the price you pay will be worth it.