You may have heard of the term cold air intake or CAI but mayhap you were not sure what this really meant . Your car engine produces power through the mixing and burning of oxygen and fuel in the engine . The ratio of the oxygen and fuel is carefully restricted by other devices in your car. The wrong ratios can waste fuel or hurt your engine, but increasing the right ratios can give you more power.
One way to increase the horsepower is to increase the amount of oxygen that the engine receives. If you can increase the oxygen in the car’s system will increase the amount of fuel and you will generate more horsepowerhorsepower and torque . Air contains oxygen and if you can get more air into the engine you will thereby increase the power yield. Denser air will contain more oxygen and that’s one of the keys to getting more horsepower with a cold air intake system.
When a manufacturer builds a car they are interested in many trade-offs. One of these is balancing the noise that is made by air entering the engine and the power that the engine will produce. By decreasing the noise they have also decreased the power. The car manufacture normally creates a restricted airflow path from the outside atmosphere into the engine.
A cold air intake system is configured with several things in mind. One of these is to put the inlet for the airflow as far away from the heat of the engine as conceivable. This is how a cold or cold air intake system received its name. By reducing the incoming air by 10 degrees you would receive a 1% increase in horsepower and torque. Typically a cold air intake system will have the inlet either behind the front bumper or in one of the wheel wells. Air in these locations is much cooler than the air inside the engine compartment, where a stock engine receives its air from.
The second design criteria for a cold or cool air system is to minimize the restrictions in the airflow to the engine. The tubes that conduct the air in these devices are designed with smooth interiors and gentle curves so that the airflow is not unnecessarily slowed down. Usually these systems while also contain a replacement air filter for the stock air filter that came with your car. This newer filter is also designed to minimize the restrictions of airflow in the stock filter will have.
Restrictions in the air flow will lessen the sound level, which is why they are there in stock systems. However, they also steal horsepower.
So by increasing the density of the air and thereby the amount of oxygen it contains and minimizing the restrictions of airflow a cold air intake system will increase horsepower that you will receive. However, there is a down side. Your car will make a lot more noise than before.