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Customer Discussions > Automotive forum

Cold Air Intake

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Showing 1-25 of 409 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 21, 2011 5:36:47 PM PDT
Haidee Cruz says:
I'm interested in a cold air intake for the extra ventilation it gives the engine. I have a 1998 4.3l V6 C1500 with 250k miles. Is it a bad idea for some reason? and if I do get one, will I need to get a new mass airflow sensor?

Posted on Jul 21, 2011 8:13:44 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Aug 6, 2011 4:35:44 AM PDT]

Posted on Aug 4, 2011 11:28:33 AM PDT
A cold air intake couldn't hurt. Are you sure you want to start modding a 98 w/ a quarter million miles?

Posted on Aug 7, 2011 5:27:54 PM PDT
silver says:
Typically, the filters included with these kits allow more dirt to enter the engine than a standard filter. So, theoretically, you're damaging your engine.

You don't need a new airflow sensor just because you get a cold air kit - you'll eventually need one because the oil off the filter will damage the one you have now.


That engine has absolutely no need for greater breathing. Absolutely none. Zero benefit.

Posted on Aug 9, 2011 10:35:48 PM PDT
HVAC Doc says:
I add the aftermarket air filters kits to every car I own, increases horse power & mileage. They are easy to clean and most are reusable. I gained 2mpg on my car and 1mpg on my truck. With the built in computers registering your average mileage its proven that they do help. If your not looking to spend alot try the partial kits which just replace the box...tend to keep the full throttle noise to a minimum otherwise at wide open throttle some of the complete systems make it sound like a race car. As long as you take care of your truck it may go another 100K so it may be worth the cost...something you will have to way! ;)~

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 7:37:51 AM PDT
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Posted on Mar 15, 2012 12:23:11 PM PDT
E. Wilper says:
cold air intakes are a complete lie, they pull hot air from the engine bay not cold air from outside the engine, think of it this way the manufacturer already spent millions designing the intake for your vehicle. do you really think a $30 cold air intake is going to superceed millions in engineering ?? best bet is a less restrictive filter in your stock intake box.

Posted on Mar 16, 2012 6:00:54 AM PDT
Fidel Amaya says:
I have an 05 Subaru LGT and ive been adviced not to get an aftermarket CAI. Unless your have a bigger turbo than you Stock and other heavy mods in your car there is really no need for an Aftermarket one, unless you just want it for the noise they make.

Posted on Mar 16, 2012 5:34:43 PM PDT
G.Rendon says:
MPGs... One of my beloved toys is an 83 datsun 280zx that I was, for a while, using as a daily driver. I could count on about 27.5 mpg on the car with the factory air box mounted in the factory location behind the front grille. I installed an msa cold air intake and my mpgs went up to 32.2mpg averaged over 1500 miles... This is about - 5mpg increase, quite significant to me...
POWER... There are plenty of independent tests out there that prove power increases with objective dyno testing. It's common sense that less restrictive designs combined with cooler, denser air will deliver more air to the engine. More air does not always guarantee more performance but it usually will. the guy referencing hot air from under the hood is probably thinking about a short ram system. True cold air intakes relocate the inlet out of the engine bay and filters the air at the inlet, whereas a factory intake has a narrow inlet, that opens up to a much larger airbox where much turbulence can be added, then passed through the filter and channeled back down into the throttle body. Don't expect a nitrous level boost in performance but there are usually provable gains in hp/torque
RELIABILITY... If you are worried about getting dirt in your engine, be more worried about running cheap fuels than a oiled cotton element filter. The particle sizes that a cotton filter pass through are typically not significant enough to cause any major damage... On my 08 Tacoma I have had a k&n cai (technically a short ram) for about 70k miles and I have one case where I over-oiled the inside of the filter and eventually some oil got on my airflow sensor, a $7 can of mafs cleaner and a few sprays later I was on the road again... CRC 05110 Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner - 11 Wt Oz.
The biggest gains I have personally experienced when using a cai are mpg and sound level gains. Power gains are usually modest and at the top of the power band. That's my $.02

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 11:14:46 PM PDT
Bruce Doxey says:
You will almost always get more noise. You may get a small increase in fuel mileage. You will need to research the exact CAI kit to determine any real gains and the effectiveness of the filtration. They are NOT alike. One thing that is fairly clear, they are seldom worth the price.

Most vehicles will NOT gain 5mpg. 1983 was early days for Datsun's fuel injected engines and may be the exception They were strggling with emissions at they time too which may have had some influence on the intake design.. Your fuel mileage gain will more likely be in the .02 to 1 mph range.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2012 10:35:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 22, 2012 10:42:16 PM PDT
Real217 says:
Even though what you just said is completely absurd, you are referring to Short Ram Intakes, which are different from Cold Air Intakes. And there's no aftermarket intake that costs $30, unless you're talking about the one YOU built yourself. Cold Air intakes have a pipe that goes under the engine bay to aspirate the coolest air , which is right above the ground. Cold Air Intakes will give the most noticeable change in horsepower, not a lot (but they have issues you might want to check before you buy one).Short Ram Intakes sit in the factory intake area. (they are safer and would give really minimal increase in horsepower).Most companies selling "Cold air Intakes" are actually selling 'Short Ram Intakes",(K&N does this a lot). its a misnomer that most people dont seem to realize. YOur factory intake is designed to be the safest for the engine,(and for optimum performance) thats why its the way it is, most things in a car that come factory are actually cheap( this is about saving money, you think its a game for these companies?). Every time i change a part in my car, very RARELY do i put back factory parts, i upgrade. Nevertheless, some factory parts are more superior than anything you'd get aftermarket. Know your car and know what you're buying.

To the OP, i wouldn't advise you to put an intake in a 98. Drive the car to the ground, get a new car then start modding it.

Posted on Mar 22, 2012 10:48:43 PM PDT
Real217 says:
I just read what Gabriel Rendon wrote, pretty much accurate.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2012 6:25:57 AM PDT
Daisy says:
you will not need the new mass airflow sensor or any other changes to your vehicle. I installed a K&N system along with a cat back exhaust (Flowmaster) on my 2004 Hemi Durango and found very little difference over stock equipment - other than cool sound.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2012 11:15:20 AM PDT
Intakes have no real function except for looks. They are a waste of money if you are trying to spend to increase performance. The most Hp gain comes not with an intake and a cat-back stainless exhaust but with a super charger or a turbo. Unfortunately most people have no idea what they are doing when it comes to their cars, that is why these companies make a ton off of selling useless bling.

Posted on Mar 26, 2012 10:31:17 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 26, 2012 10:34:08 AM PDT
There's no one size fits all answer to this. There are many variations to cold air intakes and performance gains aren't similar from vehicle to vehicle. Furthermore, you won't necessarily see a true gain if you change just in the intake and not exhaust (or vice versa).

If you take the application of a CAI to a logical conclusion, it makes more sense. Yes, depending on design it will take in colder than ambient engine bay temperature with more of a laminar flow. Further, the surface area of the inlet is larger, so you'll be able to take in more air. Just based on how engine combustion works, it will also require more gas to mix. However, a change in efficiency may increase MPG, but a change in driving style may decrease MPG as well. By placing the intake in a place where it has less shielding from the elements, there's a greater chance of debris or water being sucked in (though for the latter, it would need to be a rather large pool of water). If you increase the opening in one end and not the other, performance won't increase significantly or at all.

Generally speaking, the MAF doesn't need to be replaced if you're using a drop in kit.

My recommendation is to find a few intakes you like, see if there are any dyno results for them, and then check out posts by enthusiasts on the subject (there's no lack of them). Some intakes are junk, just as some turbos / superchargers advertise much but deliver very little. Your mileage may vary.

Just PLEASE don't go buying a CAI based on anecdotal evidence here.

There is only one truism when it comes to producing more power: "There's no replacement for displacement."

@hardworkingman a turbo or supercharger kit may cost at least 10x more than a CAI. Why not suggest buying a new car while you're at it?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 2:39:11 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 27, 2012 2:42:52 AM PDT
Real217 says:
@hardworkingman a turbo or supercharger kit may cost at least 10x more than a CAI. Why not suggest buying a new car while you're at it?

I wish i came up with that first. When i said most noticeable change in HP, i was comparing the two intakes. When putting an intake, i'll advise a SRI, sometimes not nociteable change, sometimes a little, but i would not be putting one in a 98.

"There is only one truism when it comes to producing more power: "There's no replacement for displacement."

However true that is, i'm pretty sure that any engine can be tuned to produce more power,(ask Dale Earnhart) but a bigger engine would be safer for tuning.

Posted on Mar 28, 2012 11:41:03 PM PDT
Jack Angel says:
I have a 2000 Toyota 4Runner with 195,000 miles on it. I get an average of 19 - 21 mpg on the highway with AC on low with an average speed of 65 to 75 mph. I am contemplating purchasing a Volant or K and N Cold Air Intake for my vehicle to improve fuel efficiency and acceleration during when overtaking vehicles. Would it actually improve fuel efficiency and add horsepower as many advertisements claim?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 7:38:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2012 7:41:13 PM PDT
@Fidel Amaya

It is more of a case by case basis. Some vehicles benefit from less restrictive than stock intake plumbing, others do not. There is no absolute rule, because all others things are not equal.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 7:45:24 PM PDT

There is a replacement for displacement: boost, nitrous, plenty of $$$$ or any combination of the three...

Posted on Mar 29, 2012 8:18:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2012 8:24:55 PM PDT
just me says:
HVAC Installer "NOT SO" Displacment will win out. As for a case by case basis yes this is true. The cold air intake as for say is to cool the incoming air and make it denser thus an increase of fuel load can accompany denser air in to the cylinders. In most cases if the vehicle is tuned for the cold air it will have more power and econ. Your beloved turbo has the same problem on a much larger scale with out an intercooler. Do cold air intakes work again case by case but aftermarket has spent way more money than I will ever see on the research to if any thing come up with a less restrictive faster responding intake. As for the filter K&N will argue the wet filter will trap much more particulate matter and smaller than a dry paper element. Again much more money spent on this than I can imagine.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2012 6:08:36 AM PDT
Fidel Amaya says:
You seem to know about this kind of stuff.
OK so im thinking about getting a Cobb short ram intake for my Legacy GT. My purpose is to clean up the engine bay, i dont like the look of the stock intake, but would I gain anything significant besides the look and sound?

Posted on Mar 31, 2012 10:15:19 AM PDT
DAR says:
I put a intake on my dated 1985 toy supra and made a really cool intake nacelle at the pass side lower air dam area my concerns with this was that the thing was so down by the ground that it could very much scoop up water and hydro my motor @bent rods....time for MAJOR O/ on the fiberglass intake nacelle that i made out of glass an fits w a y down there on the ground i made some cool baffles that air breezes right throw but water gets blown out the side.....Haven't hydro d yet and yes on a cool morning don't think it don't make power because you can bet you ass it does Cold ram air at 76mph+ does wonders.....NO LIE
can boost VE 10 percent

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 1, 2012 12:14:27 AM PDT
Real217 says:
My point exactly.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 6:18:31 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 3, 2012 6:22:03 AM PDT
Lots of good answers, a few bad ones.... I have an 86 L98 Corvette I've owned since '87 (yeah that's 25 years now) and did some mods around '96 using advice and parts from Mid America Corvette. One WAS going to be a cold air intake kit but I passed on that as it placed the air intake directly in front of the radiator above the air dam, sucking up all the water and road debris in its path. HOWEVER one thing I did similar was to place a jump switch across the A/C head high temp sensor, which then tells the cooling fans to ALWAYS run when the engine is above 160 degrees and speed is below 45 mph. Previously the car ALWAYS ran around 212-220 degrees coolant temp. I had the heavy duty cooling package, after this simple mod it usually ran at 175 degrees, more in summer, less in winter. Many days stayed pegged at a cool 160 degrees. In conjunction I got from MAC a newly calibrated manifold absolute temp sensor and a kit which relocates that sensor from the manifold to the air cleaner, along with a "throttle body airfoil", K&N filter, and a cat back Walker SS exhaust, I probably picked up a good 40 horsepower. Moreover I stopped eating alternators from underhood heat, and the car was much quicker off the line sitting at stoplights, etc. The downside? You may eat a cooling fan motor here and there, at $27 I can handle it.
This is also relevant to the guy who implied you can't outdo the manufacturer's million dollar engineering staff.
Well they are engineering with compromises in mind- like people operating vehicles in conditions not relevant to yours, or more toward emissions standards that hurt performance (MAC says GM runs the Corvettes at just under the boiling point for more complete burning of fuel, lowering emissions) and they don't want your car to last forever either. High underhood heat eats wiring harnesses you know.
But as many point out each instance will vary. I wouldn't modify your vehicle if it only flogs it to death, in my case lowering the underhood heat was a good thing for my car and made it a bit quicker. All the other mods together was about the same effect as putting in a performance chip- lowered the operating temp, and (the new MAT)adjusted the timing to advance it when appropriate.

In the end I'm sure you will find better advice in an owners forum of those with similar vehicles. My Corvette tips may not help your truck.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 7:35:35 AM PDT
SpiderWebb says:
I just looked at a newer Mustang with a cold air kit. The kit itself looked fine but the path the air had to travel to get to it was difficult to say the least. There was sheet metal and wiring and a horn etc. I don't see how the kit could possibly be effective with the tortuous path the air has to travel before entry.
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Discussion in:  Automotive forum
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Initial post:  Jul 21, 2011
Latest post:  Mar 4, 2016

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