Understanding Air Intakes

Air Intake

There are various kinds of air intakes to choose from, but if you are not aware of how each type works, you might get confused about which one is the best choice. Among the most popular air intakes are cold air intakes, short ram intakes, and ram air intakes.

Cold Air Intake Systems

Cold air intake systems replace the stock airbox, which is usually quite restrictive. These intakes replace it with smooth mandrel-bent tubing to increase its efficiency. The velocity of air that is flowing to the engine and the amount of air also increases.

With this kind of air intake, the air that goes into the engine becomes cooler and denser. This is due to the fact that the air being pulled into the intake is further from the engine and has not yet been heated up. The air filter is also larger, allowing more air to enter the intake.

Short Ram Intake Systems

These are similar to their cold air counterparts, but with much shorter tubing. Typically, short ram intakes are not as efficient as cold air intakes since they pull in warmer air near the engine. Most short ram intakes will still significantly out-perform the stock intake system however.

Short Ram Intake

Ram Air Intake Systems

This system forces air into the vehicle’s engine by making use of high-speed air outside the vehicle. The volume of air that enters the intake increases as the vehicle’s speed increase. This system provides cold, dense air for your engine and can provide a very small amount of boost at high speeds and consequently create more horsepower.

Some ram air systems try to capitalize on this kind of induction by force. They position the air intake so that it will reach the high-speed air that comes through the vehicle’s bumper, grill, or even headlights.

Ram Air Intake
Photo Credit: superstreetonline.com

If you are wondering how you could get the best air intake system and the differences between the brands and designs here are several tips:

  1. Look for the dyno-proven results of the particular air intake system you are considering buying. You will then be provided with an accurate or correct representation of how it will work on your car.
  2. Do not fall victim to the running myth that when it is about air intake systems — what is bigger is better. In some cases, this may be true but not in other circumstances.

Cold Air Intake vs Short Ram Intake Engineering Explained