How To Install Cool Air Intake On Your Car?

Aftermarket air intakes can improve a car’s performance and sound. If installed properly, they can even pay for themselves with the boost in gas mileage. You can even do additional work to upgrade the throttle body after installing a new air intake system to see even more impressive results. Though each air intake comes with its own set of manufacturer’s instructions, there is a basic method to installing most systems. To know the basic method follow how to install cool air intake below.

Choosing The Right Intake Brand

How To Install Cool Air Intake?

Once you choose the right brand of cool air intake, here’s how to install cool air intake. Don’t bother spending a fortune to have the dealer or a body shop install it. You can easily complete the installation yourself by following the steps below.

1. Materials Needed

There is some necessary material required for how to install cool air intake.

  • Adjustable pliers
  • Air intake kit
  • Screwdrivers and flathead.

2. Prepare Your Car

Park your vehicle on a flat surface and apply the parking brake. Next, prop open your hood and allow the engine to cool for a while.

3. Remove The Air Filter Cover

Using the correct screwdriver, remove the air filter housing cover bolts and lift the cover out of the way.

4. Remove The Air Filter Element

Lift the air filter element out of the air filter housing.

5. Loosen The Air Intake Tube Clamp

Depending on which type of clamp is in place, loosen the air intake tube clamp at the air filter housing with either a screwdriver or the pliers.

6. Disconnect Any Electrical Connectors

To disconnect the electrical connectors from the air intake, squeeze the connectors until the clip is released.

7. Remove The Mass Air Flow Sensor

Remove the mass airflow sensor, if applicable. If your vehicle is equipped with a mass airflow sensor, now is the time to remove it from the air intake tube.

8. Remove The Intake Tube

Loosen the air intake clamp from the engine to be able to then remove the intake tube.

9. Remove The Air Filter Housing

To remove the air filter housing, pull it straight up on it. Some air filter housings will pull right off of their mounting, and some will have bolts holding them in place that needs to be removed first.

10. Install The New Air Filter Housing

Install the new air intake’s air filter housing using the mounting hardware supplied by the kit.

11. Install The New Air Intake Tube

Connect the new air intake tube to the engine and tighten down the hose clamp there until it is snug.

12. Install The Air Flow Meter

Attach the airflow meter to the air intake tube and tighten down the clamp.

Airflow meters are designed to be installed in one direction, otherwise, they will read incorrectly. Most of these will have an arrow them pointing in the direction of the airflow. Be sure to install yours in the proper orientation.

13. Finish Installing The Air Intake Tube

Connect the other end of the new air intake tube to the air filter housing and tighten down the hose clamp.

14. Replace Any Electrical Connectors

Connect any electrical connectors that were disconnected previously to the new air intake system by pressing on them until you hear them click.

Does A Cold Air Intake Really Make A Difference?

The good news is that although claims of actual horsepower and even increased fuel efficiency may vary. Cold air intakes will in fact help increase your car’s performance.

By itself, you will probably notice an increase in power when the throttle is fully open. Some manufacturers claim as much as a 5 to 20 horsepower increase for their system. But if you team up the cold air intake with other engine modifications, like a new exhaust, you’ll create a much more efficient system.

There are a few drawbacks to consider when installing a cold air intake though. If the air filter is too exposed and sucks up water. It will go straight into your engine and you will be up a creek. Look into adding a bypass valve to keep this from happening.

Also, installing a cold air intake on some newer cars may void the engine manufacturer’s warranty. So look into this situation before starting, or at least understand that it could become a problem later on.

Other than that, install that cold air intake and hear the magnificent sound of free-flowing cool air to your engine and enjoy a few extra horsepowers as well. It may be just what your engine needs.

Video Guide To Install Cold Air Intake

Below is a detailed video guide to installing air intakes on your ride.


Just like all air filters, the filters on aftermarket intakes will need to be periodically cleaned or replaced. Follow manufacturer instructions to properly care for your filter. Several quality manufacturers make products for a variety of vehicles.

If you install a cold air intake, your vehicle will now be getting air from outside of the engine compartment. Virtually all accomplish this by placing the filter around the front fender or bumper. This is much closer to the ground than stock intakes. And if the vehicle travels through water high enough to reach the intake, it may suck water into the engine. This causes what is called hydro-lock, and may damage the engine. Be careful when approaching standing water to ensure this doesn’t happen. Installing a bypass valve will prevent this, but cost more money.

The battery should always be disconnected before you start work. Performance air intakes are not simply large tubes. Each is carefully designed, with the diameter, bend angles, and connections experimentally determined to provide consistently, maximized airflow. Using homemade improvised intakes could negatively impact performance, and in some cases be very dangerous.

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