Alright, so maybe that’s a stretch. But if you’re thinking about a cold air intake for that special someone in your life, then you stopped at the right place. Did boy-toy nab a fancy new whip and is looking for a smidgen more performance? Well, this certainly is the upgrade to make right out of the gate. It’s quick, affordable, and rewarding in every sense of the word(s). But perhaps you’re slightly confused about some of the details. Not to worry, we’re going to line you up with all the info you need to get an intake system under the tree this holiday season.
Ok, so the first question you might be left asking yourself is “What exactly is a cold air intake?” It’s exactly that – an intake that is designed to bring cold air into the engine. Engines run on explosions, and a massively important ingredient to any explosion is oxygen. Colder air is more dense and because of this it can contain more of the big ‘O’. This makes for a better, more efficient combustion, which translates to better fuel economy and more power.
These units are nothing new within the aftermarket world. You’re likely at least familiar with some of the common brand names. K&N, Volant, Injen, BBK, Banks, and Airaid are a few of the heavy weights to keep an eye out for during that last minute shopping trip.
The next question (maybe even the first) that comes to mind is the price. These kits consist of an intake tube, an air box, and a filter that replaces everything from the factory. Typically speaking, expect to be in the ballpark of $250-$350 retail for one of these bad boys. We know, kinda steep. But just wait until your grease monkey’s eyes light up when stripping that festive wrapping paper…pure joy!
Most kits are very similar in design, but try to keep the filter type in mind when shopping because that can make a major difference. It’s not the shape we’re talking about, rather the difference between dry filters and oiled filters. Dry filters are reusable but only for so long (until they eventually need to be thrown away and replaced). Oiled filters can be reused for a much longer period of time, but they will require an extra step during routine maintenance.
The real difference comes down to the ability that these filters have to allow air to flow through them. Dry filters are denser and because of this, they can stop more contaminants from flowing directly into the engine. This also causes them to be more restrictive when it comes to air flow. Oiled filters are much freer flowing but can allow bigger particles to pass through them. This is what the oil is for, and it helps cling onto some of those contaminants.
To Make a Purchase
So, now that you passed the cold air intake crash couse, you’re going to have to do a little digging of your own before dropping a couple hundred bucks on said “black thumb”. A cold air intake is vehicle specific, so you’re going to need to know the year, make, model, trim level, and engine size before whipping out that credit card.
Just remember, don’t be afraid of the details. You can never know “too much” when it comes to this stuff. As far as the air filter goes, you’re going to have to base that decision on the giftee’s personal preference. Not to worry though since both are excellent choices. And knowing that you really can’t go wrong is the best gift receipt of all!