What Does a Cold Air Intake Do?


Quick Answer

A cold air intake is an aftermarket vehicle part that draws in the coolest air available to an internal combustion engine in order to boost the level of oxygen that it receives. This enhances the vehicle's performance by increasing the horsepower and efficiency of the engine.

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Full Answer

As the temperature of air drops, it becomes denser, meaning that there is more oxygen within a smaller volume. The increase in oxygen means more power for a vehicle engine. A temporary drop in temperature is easy to achieve by dumping ice on the intake manifold and intercoolers of a vehicle, which is what many racers do, according to Cars Direct. Installing a cold air intake system is a more viable option, because these parts drop the temperature coming into the engine, increasing airflow and oxygen levels.

Additionally, a cold air intake system features polished, tuned pipes that have fewer bends and wider profiles than factory parts that typically surround the air filter. These features reduce airflow resistance, meaning there is no undesired turbulence that could reduce the flow of air to the engine.

Cold air intakes are easy to install, and they actually help burn fuel more efficiently. This makes them one of the simplest ways to enhance the performance of a vehicle.

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