Knowing your Car: The Pros and Cons of Cold Air Intakes
September 5, 2014
In the past century, vehicles have become an essential part of the modernized world. There is convenience in its use and efficiency in its function. Not only that, they also provide optimum safety for both driver and passengers. Manufacturers have been diligent in improving its aesthetics and enhancing its performance through the evolution of certain car components like the engine, steel tubes, and basically every other metal part you can think of.
One component that has been subject to such innovation is the air intake system, which is what generates the power in engines required to make vehicles move. In boosting the endurance and lifespan of your beloved car, you can install a cold air intake, a modification most useful for those who frequently engage in long, hot drives. But still, no invention is without is flaws, so before running to the nearest auto shop, consider first its pros and cons.
When you have a cold air system installed in your car, you will have cooler engine, making more room for oxygen. The increased amount of oxygen will help engine burn fuel more efficiently, which will save you a lot of money in the long run. However, warmer air is preferred under cooler climates because it will allow engine timing. So remember to keep that in mid.
In terms of performance, cold air intakes only provide a small increase in horsepower (about 5 – 10 hp), but there is still a noticeable improvement with the performance according to the users of this system. Not only does it offer better gas mileage through decreased fuel consumption, it also prevents the nuisance of overheating. Couple that with a superior radiator, and your engine will stay cool til the Apocalypse comes.
One of the primary disadvantages of installing a cold air intake is that the chances of water entering the engine will be significantly higher. This can ultimately result in a hydrolock, a state wherein the engine stops spinning because its cylinders has been filled with water. Moreover, with the placement of this device, there is a threat that water from the road can splash up to the air filter, leading to more potential damages – and trips to the repairman.
The filter also has to be cleaned regularly to maintain the quality performance the cold air intake gives. Also, expect more expenditure, for installing a cold air intake requires some investment. The vehicle must often be modified and there are only a few dealers who offer installation of this device on trucks. Unless you’re an expert negotiator, the labor cost will be pretty high, so better bring your checkbook.
Sure, installing a cold air intake to your engine will lead to a couple of risks, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying its guaranteed benefits. Besides, manufacturers are probably working on an improved version as you’re reading this. So, if you’re a frequent driver who lives in a country that’s scorching hot for most of the year, consider utilizing the cooling features of cold air intakes. Drive safely, everyone!