Beginners Guide to Modifying a Car: Air Intake

October 31, 2012

If you’re serious about modifying your car, one of the best places to start is with the car air intake. It will give you an immediate boost, which is gratifying. Among possible modifications, it’s one of the simplest to do. It can also be very complex if you choose to make it that way, although you’ll probably only go that far if you want your car to be a racer.

Tools and Materials

  • Car air intake
  • Performance air Filter
  • Tubing

Step One - The Role Of the Air Intake

Your car engine works on a mixture of fuel and air. Those two combine with the spark in the piston to propel the car forward. The more air you can take into your engine, the better it will run, as long as the air/fuel mixture is correct. Most cars use a box car air intake. This isn’t the most efficient system, but it does cut down on noise, which is important to car manufacturers. It also helps cut down on emissions.

Step Two - What You Need

Rather than a standard car air intake, you will find a cold air intake to be much better for your engine. It contains more oxygen, so it will burn a great deal better. The oxygen sensors will detect more oxygen and more fuel will be released into the engine.

So you need to bring in the coolest possible air through a wide pipe to your air filter. Forget those muscle cars with the air intake on top of the hood. You’ll find colder air if you draw it in from the bottom of the engine. All you have to watch out for is water. If you draw that into the engine, say in wet weather, it can cause hydrolock and your engine will die.

Step Three - Equipment

There are many makes of cold air intake, such as the Injen intake. Look for one with a wide mouth, such as a bell mouth or a trumpet mouth. This style of car air intake will draw in more air. It’s fine as a Honda air intake or for most models of car you might want to modify.

You will need a suitable place to install it under the car, and you might also need a filter to keep water from entering the car air intake. You’ll also need tubing, as wide as you can fit, that can run from the car air intake to the air filter. You’ll achieve the optimum performance by replacing the standard air filter with a performance air filter. This has a greater area over which the air can flow into the engine.

Step Four - Installation

You are going to need space in the engine compartment to install a car air intake. To create that space, some people move the car batter to the trunk. The design of modern engines means that things do fit closely.

If you follow the manufacturer’s instructions you should be able to install the cold air intake without any problem. The actual installation will vary from make to make. With the pipe, use the largest diameter that will fit, and try to keep the sections as straight as possible. This will stop the air from heating up.

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