What is Cold Air Intake? What’s the Benefits of Installing It?

Benefits of a Cold Air Intake for your Car’s Engine?

One hot topic in the car industry is the benefits of installing a cold air intake for your car. It’s an idea that has been around for years, yet people are still afraid to do it. There remains a discussion between those who have a cold air intake installed and those who do not. Here I have discussed what cold air intake is and what the benefits of cold air intake.

What is Cold Air Intake?

An automotive cold air intake is the first modification most car enthusiasts make. A cold air intake is an aftermarket product that takes in air from outside the engine compartment where it is cooler, thus creating more power. A typical factory or aftermarket replacement for a stock air filter uses an oiled paper element, which retains its shape despite significant amounts of use.

A cold air intake involves placing an air filter in a different location than normally found. It is exposed to colder and denser outside air, increasing volumetric efficiency (how much air each cylinder inhales. It allows for more fuel to be added, making more horsepower. It has been found that colder temperatures mean denser gases which mean higher volumetric efficiency.

What are the Benefits of a Cold Air Intake for your Car’s Engine?

According to Automohub.com, Installing a Cold Air Intake in your car can increase your car’s power and is a proven way to give you just that. Many people believe that cold air intakes only work on cars with forced induction (supercharged and turbocharged applications), but this isn’t always true.

  1. Improved Horsepower

An intake draws in colder air than the factory system, which allows for more oxygen per volume, along with more oxygen per mass. Because your engine needs to take in air, burn the air/fuel mixture with it, and then expel it, the flow characteristics of the intake system are very important.

The colder air is denser, which means higher volumetric efficiency (VOE). The amount of air entering the cylinder with each piston cycle is measured as an engine’s volumetric efficiency, which affects its power output and fuel economy. A slight improvement can be seen after one horsepower per cubic inch of displacement has been reached

  1. Acceleration Boost

A close second to power gains is that cold intakes increase the car’s throttle response because they allow for a denser intake charge to be drawn in and allow your engine to create more horsepower and torque at all RPM levels. Since cold air is denser than hot air coming out of the exhaust manifold, it also allows for a leaner (and therefore more efficient) air/fuel mixture.

  1. Improves Air Filters’ Durability and Efficiency

If the outside of the filter is dirty, it will reduce the amount of airflow, which affects performance. If you live in an area with many contaminants in your engine’s air intake, then installing a cold air intake is the best modification you can do for your vehicle.

  1. Betters Fuel Economy

Cold air intakes increase volumetric efficiency and decrease restriction, which helps boost fuel economy. In some states, laws have been passed saying you must install a cold air intake to replace your factory equipment, such as an exhaust system

A cold air intake is an easy-to-install modification that can increase volumetric efficiency (VE) by up to 10%, which has the most impact at high altitudes where there’s less oxygen per air volume.


Many car enthusiasts install cold air intakes to get the powerful acceleration, throttle response, and fuel economy that comes from a cooler air charge. This is not an expensive modification but can give you big-time gains in power while helping your engine run cleaner by trapping more dirt in your factory filter box.