Air Intake Systems for Increasing Horsepower

Air intake systems can increase horsepower. Let's take a look at how air intake systems work and which types you might use.

What Air Intake Systems Do

An air intake system pipes cold air to the intake manifold. Without an air intake system, your engine only gets warm air intake. Since cold air is heavier and denser than warm air, the intake system allows the engine to receive more air. With more air, combustion in the engine creates a more powerful expansion of gas. The ultimate result is increased throttle and power output.

Types of Air Intake Systems

Different air intake systems increase performance in differing ways.

  • Short-ram intake systems: These air intake systems boosts performance by replacing the air intake box with a minimal amount of piping.
  • Cold-air intake systems: These systems use more piping and places the filter closer to the ground. Away from the heat of the engine, this system brings cooler air into the engine.
  • Open-element systems: They replace components of the air box. They allow access to the surrounding air of the engine and allow more air into your car.
  • Sealed-car air intake systems: These replace the stock filter and tubing to keep the air box from being exposed to the hot air of the engine.

Air intake system come in many different materials, from metal to ceramic, from plastic to rubber. When choosing an air intake system, keep in mind that metal conducts heat more efficiently than other materials; as a result, metal warms the air passing through it. Since you are trying to keep the air cool, you should avoid metal for any air intake system.

Advantages of Air Intake Systems

  • An air intake system can add as much as 15 horsepower to your engine.
  • You can improve gas mileage by installing an air intake system.
  • Air intake systems have no moving parts to sustain damage.

A Disadvantage of Air Intake Systems

Due to the quicker route from air intake to engine, water can more easily get into the combustion cylinders. Water in the cylinders causes hydrolock.