Installing a K&N cold air intake into your car is a guaranteed way to make more horsepower!
Cold air intakes are an extremely easy way to add horsepower, torque, and throttle response to modern and classic imports. Engines get their power by sucking in air, mixing it with fuel, and combusting that air/fuel mixture. To make more power, add more air, to which the ECU adds more fuel. Most engines responds very well to the addition of extra air. A cold air intake helps get that much-needed air into the engine. Thanks to companies like K&N Engineering, your engine can breathe easier and is protected from harmful impurities that could damage your engine.
K&N cold air intakes offer increased airflow while maintaining excellent filtration. At the heart of the K&N intake is an oiled cone or cylinder shaped air filter. These pleated filters feature several layers of cotton that is sandwiched between aluminum mesh for rigidity. The cotton is then coated in a special grade of oil to make the cotton fibers extremely tacky. This means that even though it allows more air through it than a typical paper air filter, it effectively traps dirt, dust, and other contaminants that may cause damage to your engine. Another benefit is that once it is dirty, it doesn’t have to be thrown away, like OE paper air filters. It can be washed and reused over and over again. In fact, K&N guarantees their kits to last with a 10-Year/Million Mile Limited Warranty. So you may never have to buy another filter for your car again.
The next piece of the K&N cold air intake system is either an enclosed air box or self-sealing heatshield. The amount of air getting into the engine is only one part of the horsepower equation. Another part is the quality of the air, specifically the temperature. Hot air contains fewer oxygen molecules than cold air. The heatshield or air box helps keep hot engine bay air out of the intake, allowing cooler outside air to get to your engine. This provides more oxygen molecules for the fuel to bond with, creating a bigger, more explosive burn, resulting in more power.
Plumbing the filter and heatshield to the throttle body is an air tube. K&N makes several different styles of tubes. From powder-coated aluminum to plastic, these tubes all provide one common thing: a large, smooth, less restrictive path to the engine. This allows the engine to not have to work as hard to get the air it needs. It also lessens the turbulence of the air. The smoother, or more laminar the flow of the air, the better it will mix with the fuel. You can see where this is headed. Basically it comes down to more air and a better quality of air results in bigger horsepower numbers.
K&N tests all of their cold air intakes before they go into production for fit, style, and function. They also install the kits on test vehicles to confirm they install easily and to test the power gains. These dyno numbers are available for each intake and can be found on the product page for the intake. This allows customers to see the estimated increase that they will see with a K&N intake.
K&N cold air intakes typically consist of a filter, heatshield, intake tube, and hardware