While most people view cars as mere vehicles that take them from Point A to Point B, car enthusiasts see things differently. These people spend hours working on their cars until they become finely tuned, well-oiled performance machines. When it comes to modifications, these people know that installing a new air intake system is one of the many things that can drastically improve a car's performance. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, especially when a vehicle is fresh from the dealer, people who love cars know that a quality air intake system can take their automobile to another level. However, before making the decision to get one, first-time buyers should learn about the different air intake systems available on the market today. Being an intelligent buyer means arming yourself with information about the benefits of these systems. It is important to learn how they interact with your car before making an investment.
Overview of the Internal Combustion Engine
Before replacing air intakes, it is important to first understand its role in powering an internal combustion engine. To convert fuel into mechanical energy, air intakes are responsible for adding oxygen into the fuel mix. Just like how one cannot start a bonfire without blowing into the kindle, spark plugs cannot start the combustion cycle without oxygen. When there is not enough air, the engine uses up more fuel and cannot run at peak performance.
Most automobiles today are powered by internal combustion engines that turn fuel and air into mechanical energy. While all intakes help in increasing the amount of air that flows through the engine, some intakes have a better configuration than others. Air intakes are generally available in three types: cold, short ram, and stock air intake. Below is a brief table discussing their key features.
Stock air intakes, otherwise known as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) intakes, are the ones included in vehicles that are fresh from the dealer. These intakes are characterized by having multiple bends that muffle the sound of the engine. Additionally, they also make use of paper filters to capture fine particles that may damage the engine.
Cold air intakes are a type of ram air intake systems that work by drawing in cool air from outside and into the vehicle's engine. This type of intake often has minimal bends and has a long duct with access to cool air. With cooler air coursing through the engine, combustion requires less heat and fuel.
Short ram air intakes suck in large amounts of heated air within engine to help in efficient combustion. These short and wide pipes are often found on high-performance vehicles and aircrafts. Because it uses a shorter pipe than the cold air intake, it only has access to warm air near the engine. To make up for this, it sucks in more air than cold air intakes.
OEM air intakes are not upgrades but rather exact replacements of what is already in the engine. Buyers who need to replace a broken air intake may opt to purchase stock models, but those wishing to improve the vehicle should choose either cold or short ram air intakes. While personal preference plays a part, choosing between the cold air intake and the short ram air intake often depends on the vehicle's engine configuration. At the end of the day, the simple act of replacing the OEM air intake with an aftermarket model greatly improves a vehicle's performance.
Why Replace Your Vehicle Air Intake System
More often than not, car enthusiasts and expert mechanics recommend that you purchase an air intake as soon as possible. Even vehicles of the latest makes and models benefit from an aftermarket air intake system. Below are five of the reasons why an air intake system can improve an engine's performance.
1. Increased Acceleration
With the right air intake, vehicles can experience increased horsepower. While this varies from vehicle to vehicle because of the interplay of all the components, new air intakes can tack on about five to 20 horsepower to the current speed. Air intakes can also increase the engine's responsiveness when speedy acceleration is required. Because there is more air available and ready for combustion with aftermarket air intakes, the engine reaches your desired speed faster compared to the stock intake that come with a car. Those who enjoy racing cars or who like a quick acceleration as soon as the traffic light turns green should consider getting aftermarket air intakes.
2. Greater Fuel Economy
Engines rely on a mixture of fuel and air to create an explosion that powers the car. When there is not enough air pumping through the engine, the vehicle consumes more gas to compensate for the lack of oxygen. Because stock intakes that come with your vehicle are designed to be quiet instead of fuel efficient, they tend to use more gasoline as a result. Pumping in more air can reduce gas consumption and translate to savings on fuel expenses for the car owner. For those who are concerned about fuel efficiency,, new air intakes are a great addition to one's vehicle.
3. More Effective Filters
Stock air intakes that come with most standard vehicle models normally have disposable paper filters to catch debris. While these filters do their job in trapping particles that may potentially wreak havoc to the engine, the filters eventually require replacement. Aftermarket air intakes, on the other hand, are equipped with filters that typically have to be cleaned every 25,000 to 50,000 miles. This not only saves money but it also provides a more effective filtration method that not only keeps debris out but also lets more air inside.
4. Enhanced Sound
Those who like the aggressive sound of a roaring car engine should enjoy most aftermarket intakes. Because more air courses through the engine, it produces a sound that many car lovers find thrilling. For those who prefer the increase in engine efficiency without the sound, there are also intakes that can muffle noise out while still providing the same level of performance.
5. Better Overall Performance
With the simple installation of an upgraded air intake, car owners can increase the performance of their vehicle. Whether you decide to go for the short ram or the cold air intake, most of the time, these aftermarket air intakes can increase the vehicle's efficiency, speed, power, and sound. When choosing between a short ram or cold air intake, it is important to take a look at the vehicle's engine configuration. Purchasing a cold air intake is ideal because cold air requires less fuel to spark than warm air from a short ram intake. Still, at the end of the day, short ram intakes are better than OEM air intakes. Last but not the least, make sure that the intake pipe placement is above flood water levels if your area is prone to this problem.
Air Intake System Brands
Whether purchased from car shops or over the Internet, air intakes are available from a wide range of brands. Among these brands are K&N,, Injen,, Volant,, and Airaid.. Buying an air intake system online can be advantageous for those who looking for great deals. Many of those who offer these systems online normally do not have brick-and-mortar shops and can pass savings on overhead to their customers.
Purchasing Air Intake Systems on eBay
Looking for air intake systems on eBay is easy and hassle-free. Locate the Search field that appears on every eBay page, and type in "air intake.." In just a couple of seconds, eBay will return all product listings tagged with those terms. If you find this confusing because of the sheer number of products, add additional search terms to your query, such as "short ram air intake.." You may even include the brand in the search terms.
Another way to search through eBay is by using the Advanced Search option. You can specify the seller location, shipping options, category, price, and even the condition of the item. This helps the person to get to the relevant product listings immediately instead of having to go through search results. This is a helpful feature for those who do not have time to browse through thousands of product listings.
Buying Air Intakes With Confidence on eBay
The great thing about eBay is there is a wide range of air intakes sold at a variety of price points. Some of these products are even available from local sellers, which means that it could be possible to pick up the item directly from the seller. If local pickup is not possible, the seller will ship the item, and some may even offer free shipping to differentiate themselves from other sellers.
There are many reasons why people should buy a new air intake for their vehicle. This is why replacing the air intake system is often a no-brainer for many petrolheads. There are three main kinds of air intakes: cold, ram, and the stock air intake. All vehicles come with the manufacturer's stock air intake. The first benefit of replacing this stock air intake system is increased acceleration due to added horsepower and torque. Secondly, with more air in the combustion mixture, the engine uses less fuel to power itself. Next, aftermarket air intakes have more effective filters than the ones that come with OEM air intakes. More than this, these air intakes also offer enhanced sound that many car enthusiasts find appealing. Last, aftermarket air intakes simply provide better overall performance for the vehicle. Purchasing a new air intake online is a great way to take your vehicle to the next level.