What’s a CAI (Cold Air Intake)/ Ecoboost System / Performance Air Intake and how does it work?
Cold Air Intakes or Ecoboost Systems even Performance Air Intake as they are sometimes called are an after market modification that improves performance with faster acceleration plus economic running of your engine and are reasonable easy to install within 90 minutes using basic tools.
Ok we are not talking Formula 1 performance but the new K&N EcoBoost for the 2015-2016 F-150 pickup truck can improve the 2.7L engine by an estimated 19 hp and 34ft-lb of torque.
The principle is that it aids the air intake to the engine by placing the air filter further outside the engine compartment usually nearer the bumper or over the wheel arch reducing and shielding the inflow of heated air coming from the hot running motor.
This allows cooler air, which is denser and richer with oxygen to be sucked into the combustion chamber giving more power. A Cold Air Intake filter also benefits by being left uncovered rather then tucked in a box so it has better exposure to breath in more air and with larger smoother pipes there is little to slow down the airs passage. Whilst there are claims of better fuel efficiency sadly there is no hard evidence to substantiate this to date probably because everyone is enjoying that extra power and engine noise to be bothered about recording the economy improvement.
If you’re a water wader then be aware as dunking a CIA in water will drown an engine so fit a bypass valve to be on the safe side.
Kits and adaptors are available for most modern and older vehicles with a wide range of prices and styles.