Did you know that a cold air intake has been designed to send denser air to the engine for combustion? A higher concentration of oxygen in such air allows for better performance.
Many people wonder does a cold air intake increase mpg or if a cold air intake is only meant for performance or makes a difference.
It is indeed true that an intake can help your vehicle consume less fuel. This is because better combustion helps in producing much higher energy while using less fuel.
This article will be focusing on the question, how a cold air intake improve gas mileage? If you are looking to buy one for yourself, it is recommended to read the article completely.
So, without any further ado, let’s get straight into it!
How Is The Fuel Efficiency Calculated?
Now, this is an excellent question. Well, let’s take a closer look at what happens inside the engine. Under the hood, the air intake starts working to bring in air.
The air contains oxygen, which is responsible for lighting up the fuel. If the air has a lesser percentage of oxygen due to a let’s say, moisture, the combustion process will not be that effective.
Although fuel will be burnt, allowing a vehicle to move, the process will be incomplete. This will lead to the ECU of the computer deciding to use more fuel to retain performance.
Can A Cold Air Intake Increase MPG?
On to the question that many of you have been waiting for; this was answered in the introduction, but this question needs to be elaborated on.
The simplest answer to whether a cold air intake can reduce fuel consumption is yes. There are other things to consider too. For example, if the newer intake is not as powerful as, the older one, you may lose performance and fuel efficiency.
You may also be wondering if the increase in mpg with a new intake is minimal or if it matters. Well, I have some good news for you in that regard.
If the intake is stronger than the stock one, you can expect a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 miles per gallon gain. This can help reduce your trips to the gas station.
What About A High Flow Filter?
Now, this is getting interesting. A high-flow filter is another excellent alternative to install under the hood. It does exactly what the name suggests, improving the flow of air to the engine, allowing it to breathe better.
And, to answer the question, yes, a high flow filter will improve performance and fuel efficiency. The difference may not be as good as a cold air intake because it has been designed to bring in more oxygen while a filter can only improve the airflow. Regardless, both will perform great over the stock configuration.
Especially, Who Needs A Cold Air Intake?
Cold air intakes are designed for all vehicles. As automakers don’t use quality hardware under the hood, whether your vehicle is brand new or a decade old, the performance will not be what it is supposed to be.
If you have an old vehicle that has been in use for several years, an intake can do wonders for it. With added HP, improved gas mileage, and overall, a more pleasant driving experience, you may be able to squeeze out a few more years with this major upgrade.
If you live in an area with temperatures that go very hot, your vehicle engine’s combustion chamber will certainly perform better with the denser oxygen flowing in.
How Do I Choose The Correct Cold Air Intake System?
Have you already been convinced? If you have finally decided that you will install a cold air intake on your vehicle, you need to determine which one is best for you. Well, you don’t have to worry about that because I will be telling you what exactly to be on the lookout for.
With air intakes on the market for quite some time, there have been brands that have made their name by manufacturing and selling them.
It is urged to go for a cold air intake that is only created by a well-known and reputable manufacturer. Choosing a company that is off the grid will lead to warranty and quality control issues. So, you should do your best to avoid that.
You must be on the lookout for some other things in a cold air intake. There has been cold air intakes so poorly designed that their intake tubes are not facing any grills. This seriously reduces the intake.
You need to verify that this is not the case with the product you are interested in. If you do buy it, you will not see the fuel efficiency possible with a cold air intake.
Are There Any Other Real Benefits Of Using A Cold Air Intake System?
Apart from improved fuel consumption, a cold air intake system has many other advantages. The system also works efficiently to ensure that dust and debris will not enter the engine.
These contaminants, when inside; can reduce the lifespan of the engine significantly. Well, you don’t have to worry about that anymore.
The filters used in a cold air intake are washable too. Unlike other options on the market, you can wash them, dry them, and then reuse them—no need to spend extra cash on a new filter every time they get clogged.
Let me talk more about the performance difference. You can expect the performance to be at least 20% more, with a high-quality cold air intake. Although it sounds too good to be true, proper combustion can yield unbelievable results.
The improved power means that there will be no lag while accelerating, and you will enjoy your rides a lot. A cold air intake will breathe new life into your vehicle in layman terms.
Can I Expect A Horsepower Difference With A Cold Air Intake?
Yes, you will. You can expect around ten more HP from your vehicle’s engine if you have installed a cold air intake the right way.
This additional HP means that the lag when you step on the pedal will no longer exist. There have been reports of vehicles that have seen up to 20 HP increase in their vehicles. That is certainly a lot.
All The Things Wrong With Stock Intake Systems
Stock intake systems are very poorly designed; there is no denying that. They pass the bare minimum to ensure consistent performance. But many people have no idea how much they are missing.
They do not allow your vehicles to use their full potential, making your rides less enjoyable. That is not all. They are also poorly designed, which will fill much quicker than aftermarket cold air intakes.
If you buy a used vehicle, it is advised to replace the intake with an aftermarket one from brands like the ones I have listed below. You will appreciate the performance difference and never want to return to the stock ones.
Continue reading to find the best brands out there:
The Best Cold Air Intake Brands On The Market
Before you start searching the internet for the best brands out there, let me sum up some of the top ones.
These brands have been checked out by me several times, and you will certainly not find ones better than them. These highly regarded manufacturers should be at the top of your consideration list.
No intake conversation can finish without the mention of this amazing brand. K&N makes the best cold air intakes on the market, period.
From cars to RV’s, their product line-up covers everything. Once you check out its website, you will feel compelled to order one for your vehicle.
The question arises, why are K&N intakes so good? Well, for starting, the manufacturer provides users with a 10-year/million-mile warranty. This means that you will be buying this product at no extra risk.
If there are any faults that originated from the factory, then you will be able to get a replacement product without any cost.
With some products, the manufacturer guarantees performance gains as high as 50% when compared with the stock intakes.
That is an insane number, and it also means that your vehicle will be able to utilize its full potential. With K&N intakes, thanks to the high flow, the manufacturer also promises an improvement in engine sound.
Another huge name in the cold air intake market is called Spectre Performance. The brand is another one that has been reviewed by me several times. Its products are high quality, and it comes in second place, just behind K&N intakes.
Many of you may not know this, but a few years back, K&N actually bought this company. Although some of their design ideas may be shared, the sub-brand creates completely different and unique products.
The manufacturer is known to not compromise on durability at all. Their intakes are mostly made up of aluminum, which means that they will be able to take a beating.
It does not end there. Spectre Performance has taken measures to ensure that the intake will not be compromised due to the high temperatures of the engine.
With an easy installation, thanks to them using stock mounting points, you are going to love the brand’s products. They have worked hard to make sure that the final product will improve your driving experience immensely.
Are Cold Air Intakes Even Worth It?
Yes, they are. There is no denying the fact that intakes can improve the performance and fuel efficiency in a noticeable manner when installed.
If the intake has a good design and is designed to take in cold air, you will certainly benefit from the 50% performance gain. Although they do not come cheap, they do prove beneficial in the long run.
You are not only getting an improvement in the driving experience but lesser fuel will be used too. If you ask for my recommendation, I advise you to install a cold air intake without a second thought.
You have no idea how poorly designed and restricted the original ones on all vehicles are. This includes high-end powerful vehicles.
Disadvantages Of Cold Air Intakes
If the cold air intake you are buying has an angle of 90-degrees, then you can expect idling issues with your vehicle.
This can become prominent when you are using your vehicle with other aftermarket upgrades too. This is something you must keep in mind before going ahead and purchasing one.
Cold air intakes can also cause problems when used in very cold temperatures. As they have been designed for warm temperatures only, where there the air is not dense enough, they will be pulling in too much cold air. This will affect the temperature of the car, which can lead to a sudden RPM increase.
The reason for this is that the car needs to warm up, which is not possible with cold air consistently blowing inside it. It must be noted that this is the only real disadvantage of a cold air intake.
If you are fine with this, then you are going to have a fantastic experience with it. You can also be sure that this high rpm while warming up will not affect the lifespan of the engine at all.
How Much Do Cold Air Intakes Cost?
The prices of intakes can start as low as $30 and can get as high as $300. As expected, you will not get mind-blowing products under the $100 price range. But when you cross that range, you will start seeing intakes that will compel you into buying them.
You have to navigate through and choose the best out of all of them. This is what this article has been all about. It has not only told you about the pros and cons of air intakes but which ones to avoid. This way, you will only have the best hardware under the hood.
Does a cold air intake increase MPG? It absolutely does. This was not only established during the course of this article but was proven too.
If you are a vehicle enthusiast and have still not installed an intake system in your vehicle, it’s never too late to jump on the bandwagon.
I can assure you that you will not be able to go back to the stock intake ever again. Improved performance, efficiency, and an overall better sound mean that you are going to fall in love with your vehicle.
This upgrade is one of the best things you can do for your vehicle. Whether it be old or new, the difference will be massive when compared to the stock one!
Hi there! I am Tahir Azam, and this is my blog. WVDOT Automotive is a website dedicated to creating high-quality content for car enthusiasts. I am also an avid car driver. I own and drive a Porsche for my daily tasks. It is the perfect vehicle for my family. I am a proud father of two boys. I spend my mornings and evenings catering to clients at my very own software hub. After getting home, I dedicate a few hours of my time to creating an article every day. Well, this is a short introduction about me and I am also a publisher on Amazon. I hope you enjoy reading through my articles, and I also hope that I may have helped you choose an upgrade for your vehicle.