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Cold Air Intake Systems

K&N Engineering is the first company to bring the air intake system to the United States in the 1980’s. The intake systems, at that time, were round molded intake tubes made of plastic and had cone shaped cotton gauze filters. In the 1990’s Injen, Airaid, AEM and Volant brought their intake designs to the forefront followed by the overseas manufacturers. The overseas market added to the already popular Japan domestic market (JDM) that were using intakes in the sport compact models. Along with other companies, K&N has designed an intake system made of metal tubes. This enables a higher customization. And, the tubes can be powder coated or they can be painter to match the car.

With a cold air intake you can increase the amount of oxygen to be used for combustion with the fuel. Those of us that paid attention to our high school science teachers will remember that cold air has more density per a certain amount of volume that hot air. The cold air intakes remove cold air from outside of the hot engine bay. The term “cold air intake” is used even though the oxygen brought to the engine may increase the temperature of the air coming to the engine.

civic air intake

Here are some designs of cold air intakes:

· The diameter of the air intake is increased to allow increased airflow;
· The air intake is made smooth on the inside in order to reduce resistance ;
· The air intake has a direct route to the air intake;
· To provide the most airflow at certain RPM’s the length of the intake is tuned; and
· By using a more efficient and less restricting air filter.

Can you gain power from an air intake system? Power can be gained by an air intake system but it is dependant on a number of things. If you have a small ram intake a small amount of power can be lost. You can also have a decrease in power if the air outside is warmer than the air the intake is bringing in. However, if you have a cold air intake you may gain a minimal amount of power. There is a huge increase in power in the Honda Civic; in the range of 20-25 hp at the wheels. What is perfect for the Honda is a large increase at a high RPM. Injen and AEM have perfected their cold air intakes to suit the Honda Civic.

K&N Engineering has been on the forefront of the auto sports industry’s intake systems from their inception and they now bring the K&N Typhoon. The Typhoon is a system that increases horsepower to the car’s engine. It replaces the air box, filter, and inlet tract for the compact sport car. The vehicle’s performance is improved by increasing the airflow to the engine. There are three types of Typhoon systems available.

· The short ram intake that pulls air from inside the engine compartment;
· Cold air intakes that pull air from the outside of the engine compartment; and
· The cold air intake system that can change from cold air to short ram for the winter.


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