Today I would like to talk about the cold air intakes. From what I can see in some threads in this site there is some controversy on whether they are worth it or not.
What are Cold Air Intakes 🤔
How to pick a good intake 🤩
Where can you buy one 🤑
What to expect from Cold Air Intakes
In my opinion they are worth it, however, not all cold air intakes are made equal, you will get different results based on the design of the particular intake you choose. But let's back up a little to understand what cold air intakes are:
What are Cold Air Intakes 🤔
Think of a factory air intake system as like having a cold that clogs up your head and restricts your breathing. Now go running. It's not going to work very well is it? A cold air intake allows your engine to finally breath. Cold air intakes move the air filter outside of the engine compartment so that cooler air can be sucked into the engine for combustion. Cooler air brings more oxygen (denser air) into the combustion chamber and that means more power. The filters are usually moved to the upper wheel well area or near a fender where there is more access to free flowing, cooler air and less hot air from the engine. Not only does a cold air intake reduce the air temperature, but it also increases airflow. Aftermarket intakes remove the need for a box surrounding the air filter and instead use large diameter intake tubes that are smoother, have less bends and are often wider than the original factory ones. Removing the air box and using smoother tubes gives the engine uninterrupted airflow.
See the example below, this is the stock intake of a Jeep, look how restricted it is!, all stock intakes regardless the car model are meant to be restrictive on purpose, why? - Well, it really has to do with reliability and making sure no dirt enters the engine, the problem with this approach is that the engine is always working with lower oxygen levels than with a cold air intake.
2. How to pick a good intake 🤩
In order to look for a good design you need to make sure you move away from the stock design, this means you should look for a less restrictive design, in my opinion these two below are bad options because there is not much difference between the stock and these two, I am not say you will not see some benefits, but you will not be taking as much advantage as you would with other designs.
In my opinion, the simpler the better, the less restrictive the better, you should be looking for similar designs with exposed filter like these two:
The filter type (dry or wet) does not matter as much as the intake design as this will make sure constant cold air goes in the engine.
3. Where can you buy one 🤑
There are many places in the UAE you can buy them, it will all depend on your vehicle and budget, here are some options:
I usually buy from the US from carid.com or rockauto.com because they can ship to the UAE with no issues and the prices after shipping tend to be very similar to the UAE prices, with the advantage of getting a far more superior product than the limited selection in the UAE.
4. What to expect from Cold Air Intakes
Be realistic, don't expect to have a 500 HP beast after installing one of this. The typical HP gain is around 6 - 15 HP depending on the weather conditions etc. (If you see them advertising more than 15 HP they are cheating you).
5. Personal choice
For my Jeep I picked the Injen cold air intake, the reason I picked it was that it is a well known brand for performance parts, and they had the perfect design for my particular application.
Since I was going to go off-road and a lot of sand is in the air, I needed something that was not restrictive and yet had extra layers to filter the sand. So I picked this design, this is not a closed design like the ones I showed you above, but instead the walls are made of filtering material (see last picture).