Buyer's Guide to Cold Air Intake Systems

Buyer's Guide to Cold Air Intake Systems

Some people would argue that a car’s engine performance can only be as good as its air intake system, and they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. Vehicles coming off the lot are bound to have a pretty basic setup. While effective, they are by no means the best that you can get, and installing a cold air intake system can be a fast way to power up your car. But the first question you need to consider is: how do you know you’re buying the right one?

A Little Understanding Goes a Long Way

No matter how great a product may seem, it really doesn’t do you any good if you don’t know what it does and why you need it. The same can be said about car parts and modifications. To understand why a cold air intake system is important for improving your vehicle, we’re going to have to get a little scientific.

Today’s cars use combustion engines that pull in air and ignites it using fuel to create a bunch of powerful explosions in your engine that keep the whole thing running. This is layman’s terms, yes, but stay with us. The more oxygen in the cycle, the more energy per combustion, the more efficient and powerful the vehicle. But how can you get more oxygen into a confined space? The answer is in chemistry!

The colder a gas is, the more dense it becomes – or the more molecules per measurement of volume. A cold air intake system puts, well, cold air into your engine, providing more oxygen per cycle because the gas is denser than gas used in typical intake systems. Thus, extra oomph!

What Should You Look for When Shopping?

Most cold air intake kits are going to be affordable and easy for a professional to install. But slight variances between brands and makes could mean taking your car to the next level, or taking it to the next next level. Consider these questions when you’re buying:

  1. Is there a heat barrier? Other parts of your engine can rapidly heat the cold air your intake system is grabbing. That’s counterproductive! A thermal heat barrier on the system can help prevent warming up your dense oxygen accidentally.
  2. Is there an oil filter? Little particles of oil can wind up all throughout your engine without you even knowing it. If they get into your cold air intake system, this could ultimately spell the end of your upgrade. An oil filter element could be the solution you need.
  3. Does it rain a lot? Sometimes a cold air intake system can suck up water off roads or in the air if you are in a location with frequently wet weather. Check to see if you can get a kit with a safety system included, such as a bypass valve, that protects it from water damage.
  4. Does it care for the environment? The California Air Resource Board (CARB) needs to approve all sorts of intake and exhaust components in vehicles these days. Using one that isn’t approved could slam you with a fine, or worse, no car!

Of course, automobiles are complicated beasts when you start poking around under their hood. That’s part of what makes them so great! But for someone who does not have the time, interest, or energy to learn the specifics of car modifications but still wants to amp their vehicle, what options do they have?

The answer is simple. You can come to the friendly and knowledgeable high performance auto tuning specialists at HP Motorsport! For years, we have been helping the people of Katy, Houston, and more elevate and improve their cars, and we can certainly help you with buying and installing a cold air intake system. Just call (281) 231-9950 today and ask for a free estimate!

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