My high school transcripts prove that I wasn't the guy with the pocket protector who aced chemistry. However, I did learn a few things and those tidbits of knowledge have served me well over the years.
I know that when I'm out fishing after a long heat spell, the trout aren't going to be near the surface. Why? Because they like colder water and colder water is denser and settles below the warmer water. If you've been swimming in a lake you might’ve felt the "thermocline" as you dove down a few feet.
What Do Intakes Do?
By now you're wondering what my fishing has to do with the discussion of cold air intakes vs. stock intakes. It goes back to density. Just like water gets more dense as it gets colder—at least until it turns to ice—the same thing is true for air. Colder air is denser than hot air...and a lot less common I might add, as I reflect on my local politicians.
So, in our examination of which are better stock intakes or aftermarket intakes, we need to look at the source of air. A stock intake that draws hot air doesn't promote combustion nearly as well as a cold air intake and that's why upgrading a CAI pays off with increased power.
The Best Intake System Brands
Over the years, the K&N cold air intake systems have won over legions of drivers and for a lot of good reasons; these are top quality products that come from a company with a long history in the racing industry.
Of course, they aren't the only players in the game today. The Airaid cold air intakes have their fans too, as do AEM cold air intake products. Check these out and you'll see that they are designed with bigger bore piping and with minimal twists and turns. This gives the fresh cold air a straighter shot to your intake manifold.
Less resistance equals a greater flow of air, which is exactly what you get with products like the Airaid intakes and Spectre cold air intakes. This is another reason why drivers experience gains in horsepower and torque.
Choosing the Perfect Cold Air Intake
Along with the brands we've discussed so far, you'll want to take a look at Injen cold air intakes and aFe cold air intakes. You'll find that installing a CAI is one of the easier projects for the shade tree mechanic who has his eyes set on increased power. Just check out the various cold air intake reviews to get the inside story.