By O Wolff
The fire triangle is simple enough, begin with a supply of fuel, then add an igniter and oxygen, and voila, you have fire. Now when was the last time you gave that any thought while driving your car? Most of us aren’t harkening back to Science 101, and why should we? The answer is because by making one straightforward change in the way your car gets oxygen, you can increase the heat of the engine fire. By intensifying combustion, you will be rewarded with improved engine performance.
When it comes to enhanced performance, science has proven that cold is good. Elite endurance athletes use a technique called ‘pre-cooling’ whereby they lower their body temperatures by icing or other means before a competition. A cooler core temp then allows them to maximize greater oxygen uptake for longer periods. When it comes to your vehicle that technique roughly translates into adding a cold air intake.
With a cold air intake the air filter is relocated away from the engine-heat, thereby allowing cooler air to feed into the engine. Cooler air is denser and carries more oxygen per cubic-foot, which generates a more intense and efficient explosion in the combustion chamber. A bigger boom translates to more power and torque.
But that’s just part of the fire triangle power equation. By tuning the air inlet pipe’s length and diameter to match the engine’s resonance, even more cool air can get fed into the cylinders, producing further power gains. Additionally, a cold air intake reduces air restriction so your engine doesn’t have to work as hard to pull in air. This also contributes to air being more dense and rich with oxygen. Thus, by replacing your vehicle’s stock air box with a cold air induction system, you do away with one of the biggest restrictions to your engine’s overall performance and wellbeing.
So the question that begs to be asked then, is if a cold air induction system does all these extraordinary things for your vehicle, why don’t they come as standard equipment from the factory? The answer to this question is that automakers design their vehicles to accommodate the greatest number of drivers and styles possible, or the lowest common denominator, depending on your view. That sort of logic produces vehicles tuned for the ‘average’ driver. They also have other design issues to consider like sound. Many drivers love the roar you get with a cold air intake when you hit the pedal hard but some like the quieter ride an OEM intake gives them even when they are flooring it. If you want your engine to live up to all that it can be go with a cold air intake, that’s a decision you will have to make.
Hovering at the top of anyone’s list of go-to cold air induction systems should be AEM. They began pioneering cold air intake systems for sport compacts cars back in 1994, and today their list of applications continues to grow to include most makes and models. This is a company that prides itself on first working out the science in their factory, then testing in the lab and on the road. If you’re looking to upgrade from ‘lowest common denominator’ to ‘why didn’t I do this before’ make sure you pick a reputable manufacturer in any case. Pick one that offers a lifetime limited warranty on all their cold air intake systems including the air filter. What are you waiting for? Perhaps it’s time to put some of those early science lessons into practice by stoking the fire in your engine and dialing up the performance heat.
About the Author: AEM is a manufacturer of
performance cold air intakes
AEM air intakes
are made in the USA and they come with a limited lifetime warranty. They are designed to add power and torque. Use
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