Cold Air Intake Pros And Cons – Why You Should Get A Cold Air Intake?August 4, 2021
So, you have been thinking of installing a cold air intake in your car. And you want to know the cold air intake pros and cons before you make the decision? Well, you came to the right place because we are going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to installing this aftermarket mod.
- What Is A Cold Air Intake?
- Cold Air Intake Pros And Cons
- Cold Air Intake Pros And Cons Summary
- Should You Get A Cold Air Intake?
Personally, I have a cold air intake on my Ford F-150 and everything I have to share are positive experiences. The cold air intake revived my F-150 and gave it a new life. The addition of this mod has resulted in an increase in performance by a big margin. So, much that you could feel it. I haven’t done a dyno, but I suppose that it boosted the horsepower by 20-30 horses, and that is enough for me.
Also, the sound that it makes is extraordinary. It sounds like nothing else on the road. This deep muscular sound will scare you when you hear it. It is that good!
Not to mention the look of my engine bay. Before this mod, I rarely opened it. Now with this mod, I always look to make it nice and tidy. I clean my engine bay more often than my own house, hah. That tells you a lot about me.
In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to cold air intakes from the basics to the more important things. We will discuss a lot about the performance, sound, and other benefits and also some downsides when it comes to legality and possible engine damage. We will learn a lot about cold air intake pros and cons and we will help you make the right decision of getting the right one.
What Is A Cold Air Intake?
A cold air intake is basically an air cleaner. But a cold air intake is not your regular air cleaner. The cold air intake is special. And how special if may ask? Very!
The cold air intake works in a way that it sucks cold air inside of the engine. This cold air makes all of the magic happen. If your engine sucks warm air or regular temperature air, your car will behave badly. But with the cold air intake, your car sucks only cold air. And this cold air is increasing the combustion inside of the engine. Making a lot more bangs in the engine and thus, gaining you a lot of power.
The cold air is usually mounted in the place of your regular air box. You just remove the old box and replace it with the cold air intake. But the different thing is that with the cold air you also have a special barrier that keeps your cold air intake safe from the heat the engine is producing.
Since the cold air intake is safe from the heat, it means that it only sucks cold air. This cold air rejuvenates your engine and makes it work much better.
Also, this cold air filter has a bigger capacity, what this means is that it sucks a lot more air into the engine and increases the combustion by a big margin.
When the cold air intake sucks air it also produces a magnificent sound like you never heard before. More on that when we are going to cover the cold air intake pros and cons.
Cold Air Intake Pros And Cons
Like with every other mod, so does the cold air intake has pros and cons. This mod is considered to be a stage 2 mod. That means that is not beginner-friendly and is more difficult to install on your car. In this chapter, we are going to discuss more about the cold air intake pros and cons. We are going to list all of them. In order for you to get a better picture of what you are getting yourself into. So, let’s begin.
Cold Air Intake Pros
There are many pros coming with the install of a cold air intake, and we are going to list them all in this chapter.
1. Performance Gains
Performance is one of the pros when you install a cold air intake on your ride. With this mod, you can easily hit 20-30 horsepower more compared to the stock airbox. All this performance will improve your engine’s overall work. Basically, the vehicle will going to have more energy to put on the wheels.
So, if your car was not making burnouts with the regular air box. Maybe this mod will give your car that extra edge to deliver a good performance on the tarmac.
Different engine means different performance. Some engines perform better when it comes to the cold air intake and some engines perform worse. It depends much also on the brand of cold air intake you want to add to your car. We are going to make a review on the best cold air intakes very soon.
2. Sound Gains
Another positive from installing a cold air intake is the sound. The sound that a cold air intake creates is incredible. This sound will make you tremble when you hear your car how it sounds.
The sound increase is because of the pure mass of this intake and the speed that it sucks the air with. It’s absolutely incredible in my opinion. The sound is deep and almost scary, and that’s the best part of it.
This sound also makes the cold air intake illegal in some places, but we are going to cover that in the cons section.
3. Cool Factor
The cool factor is also on the side of the cold air intake. This coolness is achieved by the incredible sound it makes. When you pass by with your car, a car guy will instantly know this guy has some badass cold air intake under the hood.
Even people who are not car guys will love this sound and will like to have a cool ride like you have. And that’s something we car guys dream of.
Also, at your local car shows you are going to be a star. This cold air intake will make your engine bay like no other engine bay around. Especially if you run some fancy K&N cold air intake. This mod is going to take your car to another level.
Cold Air Intake Cons
As we said we are going to list also the cons when it comes to installing a cold air intake on your car. There is still a lot to consider when you plan to get one of these mods.
1. Difficult To Install For Beginners
If you are a beginner in the car world, cold air intake may be a bit difficult to install. The cold air intake comes with a whole kit of piping, the filter, clamps, tune, heat shield.
The kit also comes with a manual that you need to follow in order to install the intake successfully. That’s why it is a good idea to read the manual first and start installing later. You have to figure out where each part is going and be sure that you didn’t make mistake.
Also, if you are not fit for the task, you can ask your friend who is more experienced in installing these mods to install it for you. Or you can take your car to a shop where they are doing this work and they will do everything for you. Not a deal-breaker, but it is good to note that the installation is not really simple.
2. Requires A Tune
Since this mod is considered to be more advanced, it will require a tune also. When you install the cold air intake the car computer will be completely confused when you make your first engine start. It can even pop a check engine light.
In order to solve this, you will have to install a tune. This tune is usually included in your kit. This tuner is a small electronic device that you usually plug in your OBD2 port. This tuner will install a tune that will inform the engine to adjust the fuel to air mixture based on the new cold air intake.
Remember that the cold air intake sucks cold air which increases the combustion. This will confuse the computer if you are running the cold air for the first time.
If you don’t get a tune with the kit, then you can take your car to a tuner shop. They will tune the cold air intake for you.
3. It’s Expensive
The cold air intake is also expensive. This intake is going to cost you more than $300. So, if you are ready to be set back for $300 or more, then you will not going to have a problem with this price. Even though it is not that expensive when you consider the performance and sound gains that you will get by installing this mod.
4. Voids Warranty
This mod also voids the warranty in some situations. It is not recommended to install on a car that is still under warranty. Make sure that you don’t have any warranty problems later with your dealership when you take your car to service, and this means that they have to approve this mod before you install it.
5. Can Damage The Engine In The Long Run
This cold air intake also can damage your engine in the long run. All this cold air that the cold air intake sucks inside of the engine can put a lot of stress on some engine components and can cause them to wear off prematurely.
So, before getting a cold air intake do research how this type of engine behaves when there is installed a cold air intake as a mod. This will make you sure that a cold air intake is a good option to get for your car.
6. Illegal In Some Places
Cold air intakes are also illegal in some places. This is because they are making a lot of sound. In some states, there are some strict laws when it comes to how many decibels a car can produce. And if your car is producing more sound than it has to you will probably going to get fined.
Also, the cold air intake as a mod in some places is put on the black list and even if you are running a cold air intake you are going to get fined.
The best thing to do in this situation is to learn the laws in your state and see if this mod is completely legal or if it’s black listed. Every state works differently, so that’s why you need to learn these things first before you install a mod like the cold air intake.
Cold Air Intake Pros And Cons Summary
Since we covered the cold air intake pros and cons, now let’s see if they are a deal-breaker. As we mentioned there are a lot of pros and cons. The pros were the horsepower gain, sound, and the cool factor. The cons on the other hand were the difficult installation, the tune that is required, the legal factor, and the possible engine damage.
As we said if the cons are not a deal-breaker for you then you should consider getting a cold air intake.
Should You Get A Cold Air Intake?
My personal take is to get a cold air intake for your car. I’m saying this because there is nothing that replaces the deep and muscular sound that the cold air intake makes. Also, the performance benefits are enormous. You just get what you pay for, especially if it’s a reputable brand. Always get reputable brands that have a long lineage in creating performance parts. Don’t go for some copycat fake names. You don’t want to burn yourself.
Also, make thorough research about your engine and how it handles more power. This is important because not every engine can handle more power than it came from the factory. Some engines will start to give up much sooner than you expected if you install a cold air intake.
Also, about the installation process consider visiting some experienced shop that focuses on installing mods. You don’t want some beginners to mess up with your ride and possibly damage it. If you want to install your cold air intake by yourself is also an option. But pay attention to the manual and follow the instructions.