Tap to Read ➤

How to Build a Cold Air Intake

Omkar Phatak
A cold air intake increases the efficiency of an engine. They are commercially available, but you can learn to build your own, by following some basic principles. Let us see how such an intake can be built to enhance engine performance.
This is a do-it-yourself guide on building a cold air intake. It will provide you with a generic procedure for building one.

How Does it Work?

A cold air intake does exactly what its name suggests. It introduces cold air into the engine and enhances combustion. The engine constantly burns fuel in the air, when in operation. This combustion creates the thrust, that ultimately drives the engine pistons and takes your car forward.
Normally, fuel combustion occurs in the hot engine air. It is a property of gases, that hot air expands and is less dense. The rate of combustion and how readily it occurs, depends on the amount of air. Cold air is dense. It has a greater content of oxygen than hot air.
Therefore, if cold air is supplied to the engine, the combustion of fuel will occur more completely, as the supply of oxygen will be more.
When more oxygen is readily available, the fuel burns more completely and forms less of carbon monoxide. Thus, the installation of an intake device also reduces pollution, by reducing emission of the highly poisonous carbon monoxide gas. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a menace and its major source is automobile exhaust.
Various factors contribute to the engine efficiency, but the air temperature and amount of oxygen intake is vital. This is taken care of, by the cold air intake. Manufacturers provide these systems in cars, but they are not sufficient. Adding one later is advisable for better mileage. By building an intake, you can effectively reduce pollution levels.

Building and Installing

Step 1

Remove the old intake device, provided by the car manufacturing company. For doing so, open the hood of the car and locate the air box. Then, disconnect the hose that lets in air, into the box. To do this, you will require a screwdriver. Remove all the mounting screws from the air box. Finally, remove the box.

Step 2

Next, you need to decide, from where you want to introduce cold air, into the engine assembly. The location will decide the length and kind of tubing that you will need. An ideal spot of entry for the cold air intake is the radiator base, behind the air dam.
This provides direct air input into the filter. If you fix this spot, then depending on the geometry of the engine compartment, you must decide how you are going to route air, using bendable exhaust tubing. Air from outside the car should reach the intake position.

Step 3

Mount the bendable exhaust tubing, using brackets and connect it to the new position, at the air filter. You can use metal strapping to secure the tubing in place. Ensure, that the air filter faces the end of the tubing and receives maximum air input.
With this new intake installed, your car engine will breathe better.