The world of car mods is enormous. From celebrities showing of super modified cars in movies, to the massive turbochargers people put on their drag cars the world of car mods just seems to keep getting bigger. And faster. And more powerful. Among the thousands if not tens of thousands of performance car modifications out there, the easiest, cheapest, and most efficient of them all is likely the cold air intake. It is surely the starting point for any thrill seeking man or woman who wants to take their car to a new level. And today, I’m going to dig into why this is the best first modification for any car.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The Cold Air Intake (CAI) is a piece of metal, or some other but similar substance, curved it an unusual shape and capped off with a performance air filter. The point of this piece is that it should deliver air to the engine that is colder, and therefore denser. This makes sure that more air gets into the engine that was getting in with the factory intake. The factory intake is designed to keep the engine as quiet as possible, and if that means keeping some air out, then that is what the standard intake will do. Some benefits of Cold Air Intakes are that it increases horsepower and torque and it will likely increase your car’s fuel economy. Those specific figures depend on what kind of car or intake you buy. A brand name intake like K&N, S&B, and AEM will cost you more than say your typical eBay intake. A good place to buy a CAI is carid.com. They allow you to pick the Year, Make, and Model to find universal or personal fits for your car. Some of the intakes on the site also give you how much horsepower the intake could and as well as torque. Installation of this part is fairly simple, and new versions don’t require any welding whatsoever. However I do recommend welding you intake, simply because it is safer and sturdier than a clamp on model. As far as a brand recommendation goes, the brand Injen (injen.com) makes some of the best and most efficient intakes out there. The Injen intakes are also usually cheaper than their competitors. That being said, typically a cold air intake can cost anywhere from $200-$350. This number is variable of course and the cost depends on the make, model, and year of your car. It also depends on what brand the intake is and what website you buy it from.
Bottom Line: The CAI is cheap, effective, simple, and the first mod that should go on your car. However the intake does have its pros and cons, so be sure to research before you buy.