When trying to improve the quality of your car, cold air intake systems are the easiest choice for many drivers. There are two different forms of cold air intake device, known as the short ram intake kit, and the complete cold air intake system. These two products are very similar, and it can be a difficult decision to choose between them. If you are looking for a cold air intake kit for your car, then there are a few advantages and disadvantages to each system which can help you to decide between them. Whichever intake system you decide to use, you will need to remember that more air and more power will require more fuel to move, so make sure that your petrol tank can keep up.
Complete Cold Air Intake
The complete cold air intake system is a long tube which holds the air filter out in the cold, away from the heat of the engine. The end of the intake pipe is often found as far down as the wheel well, or by a fender. The length of the tube ensures that the air drawn in has not been heated by the engine, which is why it is called the complete cold air intake system.
Despite their advantages over the short ram, they also have some pretty big disadvantages, including the tendency to suck up water from the road if the car drives through a puddle. This water can be sucked directly into the engine, causing some severe damage, and even potentially destroying the engine. For this reason, many rally and stock-car drivers are reluctant to use the complete cold air intake kit, as they often hit muddy puddles during their races. There is a way to prevent that from happening, however, which involves the purchase of a bypass system. This, together with the fact that the complete system cannot be fitted by the car owner, but often requires the moving of the air box, and fiddly insertions into wheel wells, etc, by a professional, seriously bumps up the price of the complete kit.
Short Ram Intake
The short ram intake has a much shorter tube than the complete system, and is much more likely to be visible when you open the car hood. The short ram is the cheaper of the two, and is also easier to install, so that a car owner could fit it themselves, if they wished. It is also easier to reach, to maintain, and to remove the air filter. As the short ram is far away from the ground, it is much less likely to draw in water, meaning that users can avoid hydrolock and other water-related damage to the engine. This makes it more popular with cross-country car sports fans.
The shortness of the pipe means that your air filter is also subject to greater amounts of heat. Others suggest that, since the short ram is likely to suck up more warm air in the vicinity of the engine, you will lose the horsepower supposedly gained by using the cold air intake system in the first place.