If you’re thinking of changing the air intake system in your vehicle, you should be aware of the different types of air intake systems produced by different manufacturers. Depending upon the manufacturer, air intake systems are designed to work in different ways.
Companies like K&N, AEM and BBK are well known for their cold air intake systems; a cold air intake system is used to replace the standard intake system and provides for more horsepower and performance. Cold air intake systems allow larger volumes of cooler air to in the car’s engine, thus creating better combustion and more horsepower.
Companies such as Injen and Ralliart produce short ram intake systems. Short ram air intake systems also allow better airflow than standard intake systems; however, these system designs use a much more direct approach for air intake and often allow warmer air to enter the engine because of its proximity to the engine block. While this does help performance, warm air is of a lighter density and usually doesn’t assist in combustion as well as does cold air. In order to help decrease the temperature of the air that passes into the engine, you should always consider a heat shield if using a short ram air intake system.
Air intake systems are also made by the major car manufacturers. Companies like Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and others all produced air intake systems for their vehicles. However, these air intake systems are primarily designed to filter out contaminants and reduce the amount of engine noise. Unlike cold air intake systems and short ram intake systems, standard manufacturer systems are not designed for high performance.