Air intake systems, there is so much you need to know

When it comes to anything on the shelves of the feminine hygiene aisle, ignorance is bliss. The same cannot be said for your vehicle’s systems. For example, the components found in the air intake system are responsible for providing performance and fuel efficiency by optimizing air delivery to your engine. Of all the performance upgrades, it provides the most noticeable power increase. But to get the most out of your car or truck, there’s a lot more you need to know.

Intake manifolds supply the air-fuel mixture to the cylinders, evenly distributing the combustion mixture to each intake port on the cylinder heads. This uniform distribution system optimizes the efficiency and performance of your engine. Simplifying this process further, an air intake increases the power and overall efficiency of an internal combustion engine by drawing in cold air.

The difference between a stock system and its aftermarket counterpart is huge. Original systems focus primarily on eliminating engine noise and are often very restrictive in terms of performance. They are built with numerous twists, turns, and chambers that dampen sound, greatly restricting airflow in the process. In contrast, performance-enhancing cold air intake systems, such as the AFE and Volant air intake systems, provide an increase in the amount of oxygen used for fuel combustion. Similar to the human body while under stress, think of your engine as a combination of heart and lungs. The more air your body receives, the more optimal performance you will achieve.

Intake systems are available in many different styles and sizes and are relatively simple to install compared to other performance upgrades. The components of a cold air intake system completely replace the original components, providing an average increase in power ranging from 5 to 11 hp. Additionally, a cold air intake can be mated with throttle body spacers to produce an even higher level of performance by placing high speed spin on the incoming air, further improving the air/fuel ratio.

While the installation process differs considerably from vehicle to vehicle, most installations can be completed in about an hour and some are assembled and ready to roll in as little as 10 minutes. Intake systems come complete with step-by-step instructions and parts that are made specifically for your unique make, model, and year. Many can even be installed using just a set of sockets and screwdrivers, making them the ideal performance upgrade for do-it-yourselfers.

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