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Facts and Myths About Aftermarket Air Intake Systems

Facts and Myths About Aftermarket Air Intake Systems
There are a lot of myths and assumptions out there about aftermarket intakes. The goal of this article is to provide you with an enhanced understanding of aftermarket intakes and their many benefits.

Installing an aftermarket intake system on your vehicle is one of the most simple, as well as most beneficial modifications you can make. A quality performance air intake system can provide many benefits, including: Increased horsepower, increased torque, increased fuel economy, more aggressive engine sound at higher rpms, and enhancement of the appearance of your engine bay.

Cold air intake, cool air intake, short ram intake, mega ram intake, aftermarket intake, cai, cone intake, and intake are some of the common terms used, but they all come down to the same basic idea: Remove your overly restrictive stock (factory) air box and filter and replace it with an aftermarket system.

Some strategies used in designing cold-air intakes are: Increasing the diameter of the air intake, allowing Increased airflow.
smoothing the interior of the intake to reduce air resistance.
Providing a more direct route to the air intake.
Tuning the length of the intake to provide maximum airflow at certain engine speeds (RPM).
Using a more efficient, less restricting air filter.

Injen Technology also has some patented technologies that they implement into their intakes:

The Injen PowerFlow Intake features a patented Power Flow Box, which contains an air inducer, an air stabilizer, a velocity stach, and an air filter all contained within the Power Box (which also acts as a heat shield.
Injen also has designed and implemented their patented MegaRam (MR) Technology into many of their intake systems, which maintains ideal air fuel ratios for the vehicle.


It is a common misunderstanding that any aftermarket intake will do the same job. This could not be further from the truth. A lot of companies have an "if it fits, use it" attitude, and fitment is only one small part of an aftermarket intake. Some of the higher end brands, such as the Injen air intake system, or the Volant cool air intake system spend a great deal of time researching and designing their intakes in the usa, in house and with extensive dyno testing. The result is higher horsepower gains throughout the powerband, no check engine lights, and maximum performance. Injen has actually patented a technology called Mega Ram (MR) Technology that maintains factory or close to factory air fuel ratios to protect your engine and maximize performance.

Now lets explain some of the myths and rumors floating around about cold air intakes:

1. Will an aftermarket intake set off my check engine light? The answer to this question depends on what kind of an intake you buy. If you buy a quality air intake, such as an Injen Air Intake, or a Volant Air Intake, your check engine light will not come on. These high end intake systems were designed specifically to work with your vehicle and when installed properly will not activate any engine codes whatsoever. On the other hand, if you buy a cheap low quality intake, like many of those floating around on ebay and from other no name companies, you need to know that all those companies care about is fitment. If it fits, they will use it. They don't care about air/fuel ratios and they often cause your engine to run lean. This would cause a check engine light to come on. This is one of many reasons that these cheap low quality intakes are not street legal. This is also why we don't carry cheap no name intake systems.

2.If i drive my car in the rain with a cold air intake, will it will ruin my motor? The answer to this question is probably not. Driving through basic rain is not going to be anything at all to worry about. Hydrolock (getting water into the engine and basically ruining it) is extremely rare, but it is possible when driving through deep standing water. In order for your air filter to suck up water, it has to come into contact with large amounts of water. The fender, inner fender, and other plastic pieces typically protect the area where the filter is from any water splashing onto the filter. If these pieces are damaged or missing however, in a heavy rain or standing water, it would be possible to expose your intake system to enough water to cause damage to the engine. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself against this rare situation. Injen sells a product called the HydroShield . This product goes over your cone style filter and is made of a special material that looks and feels similar to a windbreaker jacket. There is no horsepower loss by using this product, as air passes through it just fine, but it repels water. We tested it by tossing a 5 gallon bucket of water onto the air intake while the vehicle was running and it did not suck up any of the water. It retails for around $25.00 and is a small price for peace of mind if you live in an area that gets very heavy rains and or snow. Bypass valves are also available, though they are more expensive than the HydroShield , which in our opinion does just as good of a job.

3. Are aftermarket intake systems legal?The rules are different in every state. If you are in California for example, any aftermarket part must be CARB certified, otherwise you can be cited by a police officer and will not pass a smog inspection. The brands that we carry typically are fully legal in all 50 states. All Injen Intake Systems are either CARB certified or pending certification. Many of the Volant systems also carry certification. Most of the no name companies out there are not street legal. I think we've already given you enough other reasons to avoid the "brand x" no name intake systems already though.

4. How hard is it to install a cold air intake system? The difficulty level of the installation of an air intake varies quite a bit from vehicle to vehicle. Some installations of short ram intakes can be completed with basic hand tools in as little as 10 minutes. Typically only a basic socket and screwdriver set is all you will need to do the job yourself. The nice thing is that most of our intakes come with extensive instructions, complete with photos of your vehicle and photos of which bolt to loosen, etc. making the job doable for even someone who knows extremely little about cars.

Hopefully this short article answers some of the questions you have about modifying your air intake system. If you have any questions that still aren't answered, please give our customer service department a call.

If you're ready to buy an intake now, we strongly recommend our Injen and Volant intake lines. We are an authorized dealer for both companies and offer some of the best pricing available.

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