IS A COLD AIR INTAKE SYSTEM WORTH INSTALLING?
Chances are, you’ve likely heard of a car’s air intake system before. But do you know what a cold air intake system is and whether it’s worth swapping your stock intake for one?
The entire purpose of an air intake system is to provide your engine with oxygen, which is essential for burning gasoline to fuel your car. More oxygen means more power from your engine, so improved airflow is an excellent way to increase the performance of your vehicle.
This is where a cold air intake system is extremely effective; improved airflow. This inexpensive mod can be exceptionally useful if paired with other vehicle enhancements.
Let’s analyze whether a cold air intake system is worth installing in your car.
What a Cold Air Intake System Does
The first thing you’ll need to understand is what a cold air intake system does.
Any air intake system is responsible for providing oxygen to your engine. This is necessary for combustion, which is used to fuel your car.
What makes a cold air intake system different is the placement of the air filter. This is shifted outside the main compartment of an engine.
As a result, cooler air is now directed into your engine’s combustion chamber. Cool air is denser than hot air, which means that more oxygen is flowing into the combustion chamber.
To simplify, a cool air intake system increases the flow of oxygen to your engine by pumping cool air into it.
When your combustion chamber has greater oxygen flow, it translates to more power being produced.
The best way to understand this is by picturing yourself trying to breathe with a stuffy nose versus breathing with clear nasal passageways.
Breathing is incredibly difficult with a stuffy nose, which means you breathe less air with each inhale. On the other hand, breathing with clear nasal passageways means that you can breathe a larger volume of air with each inhale, making each breath more effective.
Your stock air intake system is like breathing with a stuffy nose, while a cold air intake system is relatable to breathing with no obstructions.
With cooler air and more oxygen in your engine, three distinct benefits are produced.
First, you’re likely to see an increase to your horsepower output. This is because gas is being burned more efficiently.
Second, your acceleration will be much more responsive. It’s much easier for your car to get up speed when there’s a greater amount of air being supplied to your combustion chamber.
Finally, you’ll also experience a better fuel economy. When your engine is effectively combusting fuel, it requires less gas to do this, meaning you get better bang for your buck.
The Impact of a Cold Air Intake System Varies
While a cold air intake system is sure to bring you benefits, the actual effectiveness of them will vary.
On a stock car with no modifications, the increases to your horsepower and acceleration will be fairly minor. You’ll gain just a few extra horsepower and might not even physically notice a change in acceleration (although it is present).
Alternatively, a cool air intake installed in a performance car with multiple modifications will lead to greater advantages. Other modifications will typically result in a more efficient engine, which will make an airflow increase more effective.
Because of this, you may not notice much of a difference at all by installing a cold air intake system. There will be a slight increase in performance, but typically not enough for you to easily notice.
Is It Worth It?
To answer the question of whether a cold air intake system is ultimately worth it, the answer is yes. Even if you don’t notice the benefits, they are still present and are actively helping your car to run more efficiently.
Furthermore, a cold air intake system is one of the least expensive mods to install, often costing in the mid-hundred range. For your money spent, it’s a great investment that will pay dividends should you plan on making more mods in the future.
A cold air intake system is an excellent car mod that will improve the cooling capabilities of your engine. It increases the flow of oxygen to your combustion chamber by providing cool, dense air.
The primary benefits of installing one include an increase in horsepower, more responsive acceleration, and a boost to your fuel economy. These benefits will vary from car-to-car, but the impact is greater in a car with several mods already made.
A cool air intake system is well worth the money and will become a necessity if you plan on making additional modifications in the future.