Air intakes are a frequent performance upgrade primarily because of the amount of horsepower that can be gained. They’re a great first upgrade, too, because they’re relatively easy to install, giving truck owners the perfect project to get to know their engine that’s complete with a noticeable power upgrade. But just how much HP can you expect from an air intake upgrade? Let’s find out.
How Much HP Does a Cold Air Intake Add?
When upgrading your air intake, truck owners can expect an increase of between 5 to 15 horsepower, though this number can be higher or lower depending on your make, model, engine size, and type of intake.
This change can be credited to several factors, including the location of the upgraded air intake. Cold air intakes typically move the system from it's stock location so that it breathes in denser, colder air near the fender well, rather than lighter, hotter air over the engine, promoting better combustion. Ram air intakes utilize a large air duct placed at the front-most part of the engine bay, sending air into the system before it gets heated by the engine.
The intake tube is wider, too, which allows more air into the system and also supports unrestricted air flow.
Finally, the air filters in upgraded air intake systems are usually larger than stock, supporting increased air flow. The materials used increase filtration, with greater advantages in cotton rather than paper, and oiled rather than dry.