In 1969, K&N introduced the reusable, high-flow cotton gauze air filter initially designed for racing, but they soon found their way into countless street cars and motorcycles
What Does a Cold Air Intake Do?
In 1969, K&N introduced the reusable, high-flow cotton gauze air filter. This revolutionary performance air filter was initially designed for racing, but soon found its way onto countless street cars and custom built hotrods. By the late 80's, fuel injection was becoming the industry standard, so K&N introduced the idea of bolt-on performance air intakes. Like its first high-flow air filter, its new cold air intake systems were proven to significantly increase horsepower and torque, and they quickly became the gold standard for custom car builders, off-roaders, racers, and performance enthusiasts across the globe.
Today, K&N cold air intake systems are the go-to performance upgrade for anybody wanting to increased horsepower and torque from their vehicle’s engine. These bolt-on performance kits are easy to install, and the reusable cotton gauze air filters are warrantied for 10 years or one million miles. But let's look at how they work.
How a Cold Air Intake System Works
Most vehicle manufacturers equip vehicles with a maze of sound baffling, turbulence causing flexible hosing, and usually a restrictive factory air filter box
The best way to explain a cold air intake system is to think of your car's engine like a pair of lungs. In order to make power, the cylinders have to inhale air to create the explosion that produces wheel-turning horsepower and torque. Since cold air contains more oxygen molecules than warm air, injecting a higher volume of oxygen-rich air into the cylinders allows the engine to burn fuel more completely during the combustion cycle. This "combustion efficiency" results in an increase of horsepower and torque, using roughly the same amount of fuel.
Put simply, if you add oxygen to a fire, you get a stronger fire. K&N cold air intake systems are designed to deliver more oxygen-rich cold air into the engine than a stock air intake tract. This results in a stronger 'explosion', which contains more force to push the piston down and turn the crankshaft. That extra energy/power is then transferred to the transmission and out to the wheels.
O2 = HP
Most K&N cold air intake systems are designed to replace restrictive factory components with an easy to install air intake tube, high-flow air filter, and application specific air filter heat shield
The resulting horsepower gain varies by product and application, but each K&N cold air intake system has been designed to increase airflow efficiency for specific vehicles and their engines. Each of K&N’s performance air intake kits undergo significant testing to ensure that the high-flow K&N air filter and intake tube is positioned to collect and deliver the coolest air possible. An engine bay is filled with low-performing warm air, and if the air filter placement is less than ideal (usually due to space limitations), K&N cold air intake systems will use application specific air filter heat shields to prevent warm air from entering the system.
Breathing in More Power
K&N performance cold air intakes include step-by-step installation instructions with photos, and many even have an associated installation video available online
Clean air is vital to the performance of not only the engine, but a cold air intake system as well. That's why each K&N performance intake system comes with a K&N high-flow cotton gauze air filter. These legendary K&N air filters are made with 4-6 layers of our proprietary cotton gauze material sandwiched between 2 layers of rugged aluminum mesh. When combined with the unique K&N filter oil, the cotton fibers are able to attract contaminants that are smaller in diameter than a human hair. This type of filtration is called "depth loading", and it keeps dirt particles trapped within the matrix of cotton fibers, while more air flows through to the engine. K&N air filters typically score 97%-99% filtration efficiency following the ISO 5011 Air Filter Test protocol.
Installing a K&N Cold Air Intake System
The K&N air filters used in K&N cold air intakes can go up to 100,000 miles before cleaning, depending on driving conditions, but can be easily cleaned with a K&N Recharger Kit
Thanks to extensive Research & Development, K&N engineers are able to create cold air intake systems that are extremely effective, yet easy to install. Most K&N performance intakes can be installed using the factory mounting points, so you typically won't need more than a few wrenches and a screwdriver. But regardless of which system you choose, it will come with a step-by-step instruction guide, complete with photos of each step, and a tool list. Plus, the K&N Technical Support team is just a phone call away.
Besides increasing horsepower and torque, a K&N cold air intake system will save you time and money. Every K&N air filter can be washed and reused over and over again. So, you won't have to buy a new air filter every 10,000-15,000 thousand miles. Just wash out your K&N air intake air filter every 100,000 miles (depending on driving conditions), then re-install it. The entire K&N cold air intake system is backed by the K&N 10-year/Million Mile Limited Warranty, so you get guaranteed performance and guaranteed quality.
Street Legal Air Intakes
K&N performs in-house dyno testing on each cold air intake to provide vehicle owners with an idea of the estimated increase in horsepower they might experience
Many K&N cold air intake systems are completely street legal in all 50 states, and will come with a California Air Resource Board (CARB) Executive Order (EO) number which guarantees that particular air intake kit has been tested to comply with the current emissions standards. EO numbers apply to the kit, as well as to the year, make and model of vehicle that it is being installed on. Intake systems without an EO number are street legal in most states, but cannot be installed on emissions controlled vehicles in the state of California, or other states that have adopted California emission standards. You can use K&N's search by part tool to learn which cold air intakes are CARB exempt, and for which vehicles.
K&N Air Intake Horsepower Gains
We can't guarantee that you will get a specific horsepower and foot-pounds of torque, because things like the mileage, modifications and condition of your exact vehicle will factor into the final number. But we can show you the dyno results for a vehicle just like yours, that's been fitted with one of our many K&N cold air intake systems.
Benefits of a K&N cold air intake include:
- Significantly Improves Airflow to the Engine
- Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower
- Engineered for Specific Make / Model / Engine
- Reusable Filters Can Go Up to 100,000 Miles Before Filter Servicing is Required
- Easy to Install, Usually in 90 Minutes or Less!
- Backed by a 10-Year/million mile limited warranty®
- Available for Many Popular Automotive, Motorcycle, ATV and UTV Applications
- You Can Order Your K&N air intake Factory Direct today!
- Fast and FREE SHIPPING with Minimum Order
Plus, K&N also manufacture lots of other racing and automotive performance parts like high-volume fuel pumps, oil filters, and carbon fiber hood scoops. So to check out what's available for your vehicle, use the K&N search by vehicle tool. Or, you can use the K&N dealer locator to find a K&N dealer near you.
Put simply, if you add oxygen to a fire, you get a stronger fire. K&N cold air intake systems are designed to deliver more oxygen-rich cold air into the engine than a stock air intake tract. This results in a stronger 'explosion', which contains more force to push the piston down and turn the crankshaft.What are the benefits of a cold air intake system? ›
Cold air intakes help surge a vehicle's responsiveness, as it can reach its intended speed more rapidly when a larger volume of denser air is carried to the engine. If you're looking for an acceleration increase, whether on busy highways or empty backroads, aftermarket cold air intake kits can help.Does a K&N cold air intake increase horsepower? ›
Does a K&N system really increase power? Yes, K&N intakes really do increase horsepower and torque; in fact, it's guaranteed. One of the fastest ways to add more airflow, horsepower, and throttle response to your vehicle is by installing a cold air intake.What's the difference between a cold air intake and a air intake? ›
A cold air intake is a type of air intake that's characterized by its placement. It's placed outside of the engine where it's able to funnel cool air from the vehicle's exterior to its engine. Traditional air intakes, including most factory air intakes, are typically placed inside of the engine.Does a cold air intake do anything for stock engine? ›
The Impact of a Cold Air Intake System Varies
On a stock car with no modifications, the increases to your horsepower and acceleration will be fairly minor. You'll gain just a few extra horsepower and might not even physically notice a change in acceleration (although it is present).
Cheaper Isn't Always Better - Get More Airflow with K&N
K&N filters offer exceptional airflow to your engine - and more airflow often translates to more efficient fuel burn. Disposable filters aren't typically designed with the performance enthusiast in mind; they are designed to be simple, cheap, and functional.
Yes. To put it simply, anytime you modify the airflow in an engine you will need a custom tune to compensate for the change. There are intakes that don't modify the airflow enough to where you need a custom tune so identifying which one you have is important.Does cold air intake use more gas? ›
Cold air intake - Cold air intakes will improve fuel efficiency, only to the extent that they are actually delivering colder air versus your stock intake. Air cleaners and filters - Air cleaners and filters generally don't produce much in the way of fuel economy.How much does a cold air intake improve performance? ›
Cold Air Intakes are said to improve your vehicle's performance by 5-20 horsepower. This number will vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle. While this isn't enough power to put you back in your seat, it will give your car or truck a little pep in its step.Does a K&N cold air intake increase gas mileage? ›
Depending on the way the driver handles the vehicle and the way the motor is tuned, these filters may increase horsepower very minimally (~5hp or so) and may also increase fuel mileage slightly as well.
The cold air intake does typically get denser air than the stock intake. However, since it is longer and more requires more complex routing, it is often more expensive. This increased complexity also leads to a more difficult and time-consuming installation.Which air intake gives the most horsepower? ›
What cold air intake adds the most power? According to the research conducted by our review team, the cold air intake that adds the most power is the Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit. This is due to the fact that this cold air intake offers up to 50 percent more airflow than factory box air filters and intake tubes.Is it better to have cold air intake open or closed? ›
If you're looking for style and performance, we suggest going with the open-airbox, and if you want nothing but performance, we recommend going with the closed airbox. Note that to get the most out of your cold air intake, most of them will need a tune to see rear-wheel horsepower results you desire.How do I force more air into my engine? ›
Install a Turbocharger
Torque is all about air intake and fuel combustion inside the cylinders of the engine. A turbocharger brings more air into the cylinders to produce more heat for better fuel combustion. It makes the engine more responsive and roll [faster], improving the torque.
While a cold air intake also gives you a boost in sound, it's nothing compared to what an exhaust system can do. Your exhaust notes will be loud, aggressive and powerful enough to catch anyone's attention while cruising the streets.Why are cold air intakes illegal? ›
The act of installing an aftermarket cold air intake on your vehicle is considered tampering with a smog-controlled engine and is against the law.Can a cold air intake mess up your engine? ›
1. Reduction in engine performance. One of the most common symptoms associated with a bad or failing cold air intake is a reduction in engine performance. The cold air intake also uses an engine air filter, which when clogged or dirty can cause a reduction in power, acceleration, and fuel efficiency.What is the lifespan of a K&N? ›
K&N High-Flow Air Filters™ are designed to last for the life of your vehicle, and are protected by a Million-Mile Limited Warranty. With normal use, they can go up to 50,000 miles before a cleaning is needed (the larger conical filters included with K&N intake systems can go up to 100,000 miles between services).How often do you need to clean K&N air intake? ›
K&N drop-in replacement High-Flow Air Filters™ typically require servicing once every 50,000 miles under normal highway driving conditions, and the larger filters included with K&N intake systems can go up to 100,000 miles before needing to be cleaned (under normal highway driving conditions).Does K&N filter size matter? ›
To provide an even greater volume of air to the engine, install the largest filter that will fit in the space allotted. Off-road conditions require additional filter surface area. A filter should be sized 1-1/2 to 2 times larger than normal for any conditions that could be considered severe.
A cold air intake is better because it brings colder air into the engine, allowing more fuel to be sent in and increasing power — hence why many turbocharged vehicles come with an intercooler as standard. In normal driving conditions, a high-quality cold air intake is superior to the factory one in almost every way.Can you just install a cold air intake? ›
Cold air intakes are an inexpensive modification (typically a few hundred dollars) and easier to install than most other engine modifications. No, they won't add quite as much power as those other engine mods, but they will help your engine in some other ways.What is the best material for a cold air intake? ›
Therefore, plastic tubes are better because cold air makes more power. The temperature theory is not necessarily wrong. However, the temperature difference is so small that it won't make a difference in most cases. The reason plastic (and rubber, and carbon fiber) tubes are generally better is because of their shape.What mods increase mpg? ›
- Fuel Economy Monitor. If you don't know what your fuel consumption and MPG is, how on earth can you make any changes? ...
- Eco-Friendly Tyres. ...
- Synthetic Oils. ...
- Aerodynamic Body Mods. ...
- Weight Saving Parts. ...
- Go Automatic. ...
- ECU Tune/Remap.
How Much MPG Does A Cold Air Intake Add? Cold air intakes may increase fuel economy by 3-5 MPG, but only if they produce cooler air than your vehicle's original intake. This may help you get better MPG; however, it depends on the component and your car.Do you lose mpg with cold air intake? ›
Not much. If the air cold air works as designed, it will decrease restriction a little and bring in cooler air than the factory inlet. Increase Mileage - The decrease in restriction (if it is really decreased) will decrease throttling losses a little.What are the benefits of upgrading the air intake? ›
Upgrading the intake will allow for increased air flow, helping your truck breathe better and more efficiently. You'll see a positive effect on horsepower, torque, and acceleration as well as improved fuel economy.Does cold air intake add torque? ›
Depending on the engine and model that's being modded, cold air intakes can add an average of 10-15 horsepower and 10-15 pound-feet of torque to trucks.How much HP does a throttle body add? ›
Gains from a throttle body can be dependent on modifications. Generally speaking, anytime a throttle body is added, there will be some added horsepower. The amounts can range from 5-25 HP depending on what other modifications are done to the engine.Which performance air filter is best? ›
- Editor's Pick: Wix Engine Air Filters. ...
- Best High Performance Engine Air Filter: K&N Replacement Engine Air Filters. ...
- Best Budget Choice: Fram Extra Guard Engine Air Filters. ...
- Purolator Engine Air Filters. ...
- Bosch Workshop Engine Air Filters. ...
- EcoGard Engine Air Filters.
Beyond the horsepower increase, cold air intakes can also provide better throttle response and improved fuel economy. When your engine has the ability to get more air, it has the ability to create more power.Will a clogged air filter improve engine performance and gas mileage? ›
There's a myth about air filters that dirty air filters will affect gas mileage. Well back in the day when cars had carburetors, like this old one here, well yes that was true but carburetors have been gone a long time now and modern cars they have fuel injection and a dirty air filter will not affect fuel economy.Is an expensive cold air intake worth it? ›
But as a stand-alone add-on, a cold-air intake system is probably not going to show much, if any, of a performance improvement. If, however, you're also adding other modifications such as a low-restriction exhaust system, an effective cold-air intake might do more good.Does a cold air intake hurt reliability? ›
It will have no affect on the longevity of the engine or components as long as you get one with a decent filter on it. You'll have to check reviews on different elements to ensure you are getting one which is good.What intake makes the most torque? ›
Choose a dual-plane intake for more average power and torque. Choose a dual-plane intake if you have mild gears in the rearend. Choose a dual-plane intake if you just want to run an out-of-the-box carburetor without spending a lot of time dialing in the carburetor for best driveability.How much horsepower does a K&N drop in filter add? ›
Best Answer. 1 - 3 hp max, and it does flow in lots more air, but it also flows in lots more particles. Stick with the factory style air filters, unless you're getting a decent WAI or CAI.What is the difference between Stage 1 and Stage 2 cold air intake? ›
A stage 1 cold air intake will replace the filter and can also replace the box its mounted in. A stage 2 system such as # AR300-237 replaces all of that and has additional equipment, usually a larger diameter hose or collar. The higher the stage number the better the air flow.Should fresh air intake be closed in winter? ›
Chilly air flows into your apartment through the intake vents. It feels tempting to close the intake vent in order to reduce uncomfortable draft. However, closing the intake vents will cause problems for the ventilation system of your house. It is better to keep intake vents open even in winter times.Can an engine get too much air? ›
There is no harm to the engine by having more air enter the system. It may make the engine run easier. Just make sure that the air is filtered.How can I add 100 horsepower to my car? ›
- Swap in a Performance Air Filter. Performance air filters are designed to increases air flow through your engine. ...
- Install a Performance Exhaust System. ...
- Install Performance Throttle Bod(ies) ...
- Implement Forced Induction. ...
- Remap your Car's ECU. ...
- Use High Octane Fuel.
Yes. To put it simply, anytime you modify the airflow in an engine you will need a custom tune to compensate for the change. There are intakes that don't modify the airflow enough to where you need a custom tune so identifying which one you have is important.How long does a K&N cold air intake last? ›
K&N High-Flow Air Filters™ are designed to last for the life of your vehicle, and are protected by a Million-Mile Limited Warranty. With normal use, they can go up to 50,000 miles before a cleaning is needed (the larger conical filters included with K&N intake systems can go up to 100,000 miles between services).What happens if you run a cold air intake without a tune? ›
Can A Cold Air Intake Damage Your Engine? A no-tune-required cold air intake, if properly installed and maintained, will not damage your engine. However, you have to be more careful with tune-required cold air intakes. Tune-required intakes use a larger tube diameter for increased airflow to the engine.Do I need a tune after exhaust? ›
That said, an ECU tune is required to maximize the performance potential of any given vehicle and exhaust combination. Most cars are detuned (restricted via software) or tuned conservatively from factory.Do air intakes decrease mpg? ›
Cold air intake - Cold air intakes will improve fuel efficiency, only to the extent that they are actually delivering colder air versus your stock intake. Air cleaners and filters - Air cleaners and filters generally don't produce much in the way of fuel economy.Does cold air intake make car louder? ›
While a cold air intake also gives you a boost in sound, it's nothing compared to what an exhaust system can do. Your exhaust notes will be loud, aggressive and powerful enough to catch anyone's attention while cruising the streets.Does K&N air filter affect sound? ›
K&N intakes are also designed to improve the sound of the engine, giving it a satisfying growl upon acceleration. K&N cold air intake systems are designed to maximize airflow for exceptional vehicle performance.How much faster will my car go with a cold air intake? ›
Cold Air Intakes are said to improve your vehicle's performance by 5-20 horsepower. This number will vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle. While this isn't enough power to put you back in your seat, it will give your car or truck a little pep in its step.How often does a K&N filter need to be cleaned? ›
K&N recommends removing and cleaning your filters once a year, every 12,000 miles, or when you notice a musty smell in your car's interior. Make sure you have a K&N Cabin Air Filter Cleaning Kit on hand before you need it.Do cars run better with a cold air intake? ›
In fact, a cold air intake system results in greater engine power and improved fuel efficiency. This happens because there's more oxygen found in cool air compared to warm or hot air. Therefore, by pumping colder air into the engine, this allows your car to breathe easier and run more efficiently!
The act of installing an aftermarket cold air intake on your vehicle is considered tampering with a smog-controlled engine and is against the law.