One of the most popular aftermarket parts for vehicles are air intake systems, especially for late models, or even brand new cars and trucks. It may seem strange that a vehicle manufacturer did not use the best parts available in building your vehicle, but the truth is that many aftermarket parts really should be considered modifications that customers want, not necessarily standard parts for all vehicles.

Basically, an internal combustion engine is, at its heart, a glorified air pump - which for the most part is true. The idea behind the engine is to bring in as much air as possible to help the fuel combust properly. The exhaust removes the excess gasses from the engine, but the air intake is key to the overall performance. This is because any restriction on the intake of air hampers the overall performance of the engine itself. However, the introduction of foreign particles into the engine will quickly clog and shut it down.

This is why the air intake system is one that balances the need for clean air with the volume of air that is being drawn into the engine. The engineers who designed your vehicle were thinking about balancing not only the intake of clean air, but the overall noise and simple maintenance that many people enjoy when driving their car or truck. The idea of the vehicle making more noise even with the gain of better performance is not universal.

The two items that can be changed on your air intake system is the tube which brings in the air and the filter which removes the incoming particles. Aftermarket air filters are generally much better than the disposable paper filters that so many people use. This is because aftermarket filters cover a wider area, by providing far less restriction of air flow. The aftermarket intake tube generally has fewer bends, twists, and turns which lessens the overall restriction of airflow.

You can choose from the standard, cold intake and ram air intake systems to modify your vehicle for better air intake. Choosing between these systems will depend on the make and model of your vehicle and how much performance gain you will experience. Overall, each of these systems will have recommendations as to what make and model of vehicle they will best affect.

Overall, choosing the best aftermarket air intake system will provide greater engine performance and a bit more engine noise as well. Still, the improvement in horsepower, torque and even gas mileage is usually more than enough to satisfy the average car enthusiast.

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