What Does a Cold Air Intake Do, And Is It Worth Buying For Your Vehicle?

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Typically all vehicles come with a factory-installed air intake system. This system supplies the engine with the air necessary for the combustion process. And the cold air intake is its advanced version, bringing cold, dense air into the engine’s combustion chamber. In this article, we’ll take a look at what does cold air intake do to give you more information about this aftermarket product.

Cold air intakes are more useful than restrictive factory air intake functions. Factory air intakes offer less performance. However, this is not the case with cold air intake.

They offer you a loud sound that you like to have in your vehicle. Cold air intakes are also useful because they change where the engine “breathes”. Most factory air intakes exhaust air from the engine compartment.

On the other hand, CAI supplies cold air with high oxygen content to the engine. That means the engine gets the option to burn more fuel. The cold air intakes add some horsepower that way, too.

Here are the typical benefits of installing a cold air intake kit on your engine: So what does a cold air intake do?

What Is Factory Installed Air Intake System?

We’ll first tell you what the stock air intake system is before we find out how the cold air intake works. The purpose of the air intake system is to allow air to flow to your car’s engine. Oxygen in the air is one of the main components of engine combustion.

A decent intake system allows for a steady, clean flow of air into your engine. This will give you higher mileage and more power for your car. A modern system consists of three main components.

These are the engine air filter, mass flow sensor, and throttle body. The system is located just behind the front grille and draws in air through a long plastic tube. That then goes to the air filter box. It will eventually mix with the fuel in your car.

At this point, the air flows to the intake manifold, which supplies the engine’s cylinders with the air/fuel mixture.

Discover The Main Parts Of The Cold Air Intake System

Typically, an air intake system consists of 3 main parts: an air filter, a throttle body, and a mass flow sensor.

Newer cars are now equipped with mufflers to reduce noise. Now let’s learn the principle of operation of an air intake system by seeing how each part works.

– Engine Air Filter

An air filter is an important part of a car’s air intake system. Because the filter helps the engine to breathe easily. The air filter remains in a plastic or metal box. Its function is to prevent dirt and other airborne foreign particles from entering the system.

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This dirt and particles can damage the engine. The typical air filter can filter out 80-90% of particles down to 5 µm in size. The air filter is usually located in the airflow to the throttle body and intake manifold assembly.

– The Throttle Body

The second important part is the throttle body. This is the section of the intake system that controls the amount of air entering the engine’s combustion chamber. It contains a perforated housing that has a choke plate.

The disk rotates on an axis. Once the accelerator pedal is depressed, the plate is allowed to open and allow air to enter the engine.

– Mass Flow Sensor

A mass air flow sensor is main task is to control the flow of air in the engine combustion. Usually, it is placed on the intake manifold. The mass air flow sensors are two types.

You are the impeller meter and the hot wire. The impeller meter is used to push hot air. As more air is drawn in, more flaps are pushed back.

The hot wire uses a series of wires stretched in the airflow. As the wire temperature increases, it limits the electrical current that can flow through the circuit.

Working Of Cold Air Intake: How And Why They Work

Generally, not all cars feature a cold air intake system. So let’s talk about how it works so you can understand if it’s right for you. Vehicles without a cold air intake use the already warm air under the hood to supply air to the engine.

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Instead of recycling this hot air, cold air intake systems draw air from outside your vehicle. Vehicles draw air from the top of the hood, the front bumper, or even other parts of the interior.

In addition to reducing air temperature, a cold air intake also increases airflow. With an aftermarket intake, the box surrounding the air cleaner can be removed and large-diameter intake tubes can be used.

These are smoother, wider, and don’t have as many curves. In cold air intake instead of the airbox, we use softer tubes to offer full airflow to the engine.

Here Are The Top Advantages Of A Cold Air Intake System

Professionals and auto mechanics often suggest that owners install a cold air intake system in their cars. If your vehicle is a newer model, you can certainly benefit from this modification. Below are some of the benefits of having a cold air intake for your vehicle:

1. Improved Acceleration

Depending on your vehicle’s current setup, a cold air intake can really improve throttle response and performance. Most intake kits advertise 5-20hp gains, but beyond that, they increase engine response.

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Your car will appear faster due to the reduced delay between the accelerator and accelerator pedal.

2. Fuel efficiency

Because cooler air contains more oxygen, it can actually give your engine more power. This extra power comes from your engine burning the fuel more efficiently due to the added oxygen. Therefore, a cold air intake system can improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

3. Great Sound

Well if you love the roar of an engine it will do a lot more for you. A factory air intake system is naturally quiet. Conversely, a cold air intake is said to offer more power.

As more air is drawn through the system, the intense airflow results in a much harsher growl. Many car fans love this sound.

4. Increased Horsepower

We’ve already mentioned the only factor that determines an engine’s power output: the amount of air used in the combustion process.

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Cold air allows the fuel to burn more efficiently than hot air, automatically improving the oxygen burn rate. Because of this, adding a cold air intake to your car can increase performance.

5. Less maintenance

Finally, cold air intake filters require much less maintenance than typical intake filters. You should replace your intake filter regularly to maintain the best overall performance of your vehicle. Cold air intake filters do not need to be replaced as often as regular intake filters.

Top FAQs About What Does A Cold Air Intake Do For Your Vehicle

How is cold air intake different from the standard intake system?

The main task of an air intake system is to deliver oxygen to your engine, which is essential for burning gasoline to power your car. On the other hand, the cold air intake provides better airflow to the engine by pumping cold air in.

Also, your factory-installed air intake system offers restricted breathing to the engine, on the other hand, cold air intake system offers unobstructed breathing to the engine. For an unmodified production car, the power gains and acceleration are quite small.

Alternatively, a cold air intake fitted to a multi-modified performance car brings greater benefits.

Do cold air intakes really make a difference in performance?

Yes, you will see a real difference in performance when you use a cold air intake system. You get higher performance and better driving with cold air because it offers cooler air that contains more oxygen.

As a result, the combustion in the cylinders works more efficiently. The air-fuel mixture ratio is stable and complete combustion occurs, resulting in fewer emissions and more power.

Do cold air intakes actually increase horsepower?

Yes, a cold air intake will help increase performance. However, the effectiveness varies from vehicle to vehicle. Finally, swap out the sometimes restrictive stock air filters for one that allows cooler air to flow into the engine.

The cooler air allows the fuel to burn more efficiently, improving the burn rate. Therefore, you will surely see an increase in performance, even if it’s just a small one.

How much power is added to the car with cold air intake?

Whether single or dual, installing a cold air intake will add anywhere from 5 to 20 horsepower to your car. The number of horsepowers may change according to the make and model of the vehicle. That won’t be enough force to get you back into your seat, but it will add some speed to your car or truck.

Is cold air intake better than a filter?

Yes, in comparison, the cold air intake offers more power and better sound improvement than air filters. Typically, the cold air intake can deliver an additional 20 hp and a unique sound during acceleration.

While air filters can deliver up to 10 horsepower with minimal sound improvement. However, cold air intake is much more expensive than air filters, but it is worth it.

Are cold air intakes worth it?

Yes, there are many benefits to installing a cold air intake system on your vehicle. Some of the most common benefits include increasing miles per gallon, replacing disposable filters with filters that can be cleaned, and increasing your car’s performance.

Install this cold air intake and hear the glorious sound of cold air flowing freely into your engine and enjoy some extra horsepower too. Maybe it’s just what your engine needs.

Final Thought

The cold air intake is a great addition to your vehicle or an added benefit if you’re looking to buy one. Consider adding this to your vehicle if you want the highest possible fuel efficiency and lowest intake filter maintenance.

It is really an affordable and easy-to-use option for every car owner who wants to improve the performance of their vehicle.

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