100% customer guarantee
join our newsletter Thoroughbred Diesel
brands performance stock parts apparel Wades Pick
customer guarantee
shop by diesel
shop by
read our low price guarantee
gift cards
diesel zone
Home > FAQ > AEM Cold Air Intake Systems
AEM logo

Cold Air Intake Systems

frequently asked questions

What Is A C.A.R.B. E.O. Number?

Most AEM intake systems either carry an exemption or have been submitted to the California Air Resources Board for an Executive Order (CARB EO) number, exempting them from the prohibitions of California Vehicle Code (CVC) 27156, which states that you cannot modify your car in the area of the emission control system. The C.A.R.B. E.O. number allows you to legally use the AEM intake system on your car.

What's The Difference Between A Cold Air System (CAS) And A Short Ram (SRS)?

In most cases a CAS will out perform a SRS. AEM emphasizes developing power in the lower to mid range of the power band, since this is the area of the power band typically used in daily driving. A CAS is typically longer and places the air filter outside of the engine bay to achieve ambient inlet air temperatures. A SRS places the air filter under the hood and uses a shorter inlet pipe than the CAS. In some cases, the SRS is preferred over the CAS due to inlet tract length tuning. The power advantage gained by using the correct diameter and length of tube negates the advantage of cooler inlet air in these cases. In these instances AEM only offers SRS because there was no advantage to using the CAS.

Will An AEM Air Intake Void My New Car Warranty?

NO. The only time this can happen is from improper installation that causes damage to a vehicle system. If a service technician denies your warranty claim ONLY because the car is modified with an AEM intake system and the vehicle system failure was not a direct result of the installation and use of an AEM intake, please refer him to the Magnusson Moss Warranty act.

What Does The Soft Mount Do And How Important Is It?

The majority of AEM air intake system designs mount to a vehicle in two locations. One mounting location is to the engine at the throttle body and the “cold" or filter end of the inlet pipe mounts to the body of the car. The movement of the engine on the engine mounts allows it to rock inside the engine bay, so we compensate for engine motion by using a soft mount that provides a flexible link for the inlet pipe between the engine and the body of the car. If you do not install the soft mount properly the inlet tube may break at the bracket weld and void the warranty on the intake system. Our instructions provide a detailed diagram of proper installation of the soft mount, and are viewable from the search results page for each application.

I Have An Engine Swap. Which Intake Should I Use?

AEM manufactures hybrid intake systems for some Honda and Acura models with popular engine swaps. These intakes are a direct fit and fully warranted. For cars with other engine swaps, we do not recommend using our intake because of potential fitment problems. If you elect to purchase an AEM intake for your engine swap application, we cannot guarantee proper fitment and any modifications to the intake system will void the manufacturer warranty.

What Is The Warranty On My AEM Intake?

AEM warrants that its intake systems will last for the life of your vehicle. AEM will not honor this warranty due to mechanical damage (i.e. improper installation or fitment), damage from misuse, accidents or flying debris. AEM will not warrant its powdercoating if the finish has been cleaned with a hydrocarbon-based solvent. The powdercoating should only be cleaned with a mild soap and water solution. Proof of purchase of both the vehicle and AEM intake system is required for redemption of a warranty claim. This warranty is limited to the repair or replacement of the AEM part. In no event shall this warranty exceed the original purchase price of the AEM part nor shall AEM be responsible for special, incidental or consequential damages or cost incurred due to the failure of this product. Warranty claims to AEM must be transportation prepaid and accompanied with dated proof of purchase. This warranty applies only to the original purchaser of product and is non-transferable. Improper use or installation, use for racing, accident, abuse, unauthorized repairs or alterations voids this warranty. AEM disclaims any liability for consequential damages due to breach of any written or implied warranty on all products manufactured by AEM. Warranty returns will only be accepted by AEM when accompanied by a valid Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number. Credit for defective products will be issued pending inspection. Product must be received by AEM within 30 days of the date RMA is issued.


What Makes The Dryflow Filter Better Than Oiled Cotton-Gauze Filters?

DRYFLOW filters have several features that make them better than cotton-gauze. Typical DRYFLOW air filters have a better filtering efficiency than cotton-gauze filters. Also the cleaning process doesn't include oil for DRYFLOW air filters. This removes the mess and question of how much oil to put on the filter.

What Is The Dryflow Filter Made Of?

The DRYFLOW filter is made from a single-layer of pre-pleated polyester synthetic filter media with a nylon-reinforced internal cage for added structural rigidity. For conical filters, the base and cap are made from polyurethane, which will not shrink or crack. Our Brute Force HD Diesel oval filters use deep pleats and Zytel 15% GF plastic for the cap and base. This construction assists in the overall structural rigidity (oval Diesel DRYFLOW filters use 12.5 square-feet of media for maximum flow, approximately 1350 CFM).

Will The Dryflow Filter Affect My Warranty?

DRYFLOW air filters will not void your vehicle warranty.

How Long Will A Dryflow Filter Last?

If you clean and maintain your DRYFLOW filter, it will last for the life of your vehicle.

Does AEM Make Panel Dryflow Filters For Factory Air Boxes?

Yes, DRYFLOW Performance Panel Filters are available for some models. Use our product search to find one for your vehicle.

I Have A Competitor Intake Or AEM Intake With An Oiled Filter. Can I Upgrade To The Dryflow Filter?

Whether you own an AEM intake system or competitor intake system, we encourage you to upgrade to the DRYFLOW air filter. The DRYFLOW delivers one of the highest filtration efficiencies available in an aftermarket performance air filter, and because you do not have to oil it, all the guesswork associated with servicing an oiled cotton gauze filter is eliminated. Click here for a list of DRYFLOW cone shaped filters with dimensions. To determine the part number of the DRYFLOW air filter on any air intake, enter the air intake number in our search by part application.

Where Can I Buy A Dryflow Air Filter?

Use our dealer search to find an authorized AEM dealer near you or contact us for assistance.

How Well Does The Dryflow Filter Flow?

We design our DRYFLOW filters to exceed the flow requirements for the size of the engine that we designed the air intake for. Rest assured that we have taken flow into account for all of our intake designs and our DRYFLOW filters will deliver more than adequate flow for your vehicle.

Does The Dryflow Filter Flow As Well As Cotton-Gauze Elements?

Our DRYFLOW filter flows nearly as well as cotton gauze elements. In order to increase flow we add more pleats that are ¼" deeper than much of the competition. Keep in mind that the DRYFLOW air filter typically has a higher filtration efficiency than a cotton-gauze air filter. It provides great filtering and provides air flow well beyond the requirements of your engine.

How Often Should I Clean The Dryflow Filter?

Frequency of cleaning for your DRYFLOW filter will depend on the conditions in which you drive. As a rule, we recommend that you clean your filter a minimum of every 30,000 miles, inspect it during oil changes and regular service intervals, and clean it if it appears to be reaching its dust holding capacity. If you live in particularly arid, dusty climates or venture off road, we recommend cleaning the filter every 3,000-5,000 miles.

How Long Does It Take To Clean The Dryflow Filter?

The DRYFLOW filter media is hydrophobic, which is a fancy way of saying it does not soak up water. Under normal conditions, cleaning will take about an hour. We recommend that you follow the instructions that are included in our intake systems and DRYFLOW filter replacement filter kits (CLICK HERE for air filter cleaning instructions).

Is It Necessary To Oil My Dryflow Filter?

NO! The DRYFLOW filter NEVER requires filter oil to trap dirt. It typically filters at a higher efficiency than oiled filters and blocks harmful dirt particles.

Will Frequent Cleanings Affect The Dryflow Filter's Longevity?

No. The DRYFLOW filter's polyester synthetic media can endure repeated cleanings without significantly degrading the media's filtration capabilities. If you clean and maintain it properly it will last for the life of your vehicle.

What Can I Do If I Am On The Trail And Need To Clean My Dryflow Air Filter?

DRYFLOW filters for all of our intake systems exceed the flow requirements of the engine for extended service and we highly recommend cleaning them per the instructions in our Filter Cleaning System (Part number 21-110). If you feel you must clean the filter and do not have a cleaning system available to you, we suggest hitting it several times to knock the dirt off of the filter pleats and servicing your filter per AEM specifications as soon as possible. If it is absolutely necessary, use fresh water to rinse mud or heavy dirt off the element from the inside out to ensure the dirt does not wind up inside the filter, and clean the filter per AEM specifications as soon as possible.

Can I Use A Different Type Of Cleaning Solution On My Dryflow Filter?

To ensure optimum performance and filtering capabilities, use AEM's Filter Cleaning Solution (part number 21-110) or a mild multi purpose cleaner and follow our cleaning instructions.

What Is The Warranty On My Dryflow Air Filter?

AEM warrants that its DRYFLOW Air Filter will last for the life of your vehicle. See our warranty page for details.

What Is A Dryflow Air Filter?

The AEM DRYFLOW air filter is constructed of gradient non-woven polyester fibers that are several layers deep, and as the name implies, it is a very efficient air filter that does not rely on oil to capture airborne contaminants from the inlet air stream. The DRYFLOW air filter is not a single layer barrier filter but rather a depth loading filter where the contaminant is captured through several layers of fibers. For more on AEM DRYFLOW Air Filters click here.

How Do We Perform Filter Efficiency Tests?

We use ISO 5011:2000 with ISO “A-2 Fine Dust" as the contaminant. Southwest Research Institute performs the testing and determines flow rate criteria based on the average flow requirements of a typical engine on which the filter to be tested will be used. The concentration of the contaminant introduced into the air stream is significantly higher than what would be encountered in normal use in order to perform the test in a reasonable time. Typically, 2 flow rates are used for testing. 160 CFM is used for smaller displacement engines. 240 CFM is used for larger displacement engines.

AEM Dual Chamber Induction Systems

My Dual Chamber Intake Does Not Route The Filter Outside Of The Engine Compartment. Why Is My Application An Underhood System?

Just as some vehicles respond better to Short Ram systems, length and diameter of the dual chamber piping in a Dual Chamber induction system plays a vital role in creating power. Because of this, not all Dual Chamber systems relocate the filter outside the engine compartment. AEM performs extensive R&D for every application (including Dual Chamber systems), both with respect to length tuning and inlet temperature testing. We will always manufacture the best performing product regardless of its configuration and do not subscribe to what the industry generally accepts as a “method" for manufacturing performance induction systems. We have manufactured air induction systems for 12 years, and over that time have developed a comprehensive testing standard that nets consistent results. In this regard, we develop Dual Chamber systems to produce maximum power, and this does not always mean that a Dual Chamber system will have a long runner configuration. We pay particular attention to temperature testing on Dual Chamber systems with short intake runner configurations. In cases where a heat shield is necessary for keeping inlet air temperature under control, AEM will provide a powder coated steel, heat shield with the system.

Can I Use An AEM Bypass Valve With A Dual Chamber Intake?

No. AEM Dual Chamber Induction Systems utilize a dual chamber to create multiple frequency sound waves. The installation of the AEM Bypass Valve would disrupt the tuning of these systems, and in many cases the tube diameter of Dual Chamber systems exceeds the maximum size of the AEM Bypass Valve making it impossible to install.

Where Should I Install My Nitrous Nozzle On My Dual Chamber Inlet Pipe?

If you must install a nitrous nozzle on your inlet pipe, make sure that it is installed on the smaller primary pipe close to the throttle body. If you install it on the larger secondary pipe the nitrous can get trapped in the chamber and may not enter the inlet air stream. Ideally, the best place to install a single fogger nitrous system when using a Dual Chamber intake is in the throttle body plenum.

BRUTE FORCE Induction Systems

What Is The Power Spacer And Why Is One Not Included In Every Brute Force Kit?

The Power Spacer is a plenum spacer that installs in between the intake manifold and the throttle body. In about 5% of our applications, we have found that increasing plenum volume increases power. We test each system we develop with various Power Spacer designs, and only include Power Spacers in BRUTE FORCE intake systems when they improve performance. AEM Power Spacers feature a smooth internal design that makes more power and does not whistle the way spacers with screw type inlets do. Because they do not increase performance on every application and are designed to work specifically with BRUTE FORCE intakes, AEM does not sell them separately and includes them in kits when they increase power. BRUTE FORCE applications in our search results indicate whether a system includes a spacer.

I Have A Throttle Body Spacer And Bought A Brute Force Intake That Does Not Include One. Should I Continue To Use It?

No. We highly recommend removing the spacer prior to installing your BRUTE FORCE intake, as it will negatively affect the fit of the system on your vehicle and will not improve your truck's performance.

Is The Brute Force Intake A “Cold Air" System?

Although it is not a cold air intake in the traditional sense (routing the air filter outside of the engine compartment), BRUTE FORCE intakes pull the air charge from the coolest source, making them in essence cold air designs. Because of the heavy duty and off road use many trucks encounter, we designed BRUTE FORCE intakes as under hood systems to protect them from potential damage. We use a steel heat shield when necessary to shroud the air filter from engine heat, and perform extensive temperature testing to ensure the vehicle is receiving an air charge of cooler outside air.

Why Do Some Brute Force Intakes Not Include A Heat Shield?

We perform extensive temperature testing during the development phase to ensure that the filter is in a location that will receive a cool air charge. For some BRUTE FORCE intakes, we found that there was no difference in inlet temperatures with and without a heat shield during our temperature testing. Since we do not want you to waste your money on parts that are not necessary, we do not include a shield with these applications.

Why Does AEM Use Aluminum For Its Intake Piping?

The issue of heat absorption with an intake system has a degree of validity; however we have found that too much emphasis is placed on material selection, instead of the real issue of tuning the system. Our systems feature a unique shape and diameter because this is what we found to make significant useable torque and horsepower in testing. We use aluminum to eliminate any chance of the system rusting, and it's lighter than steel. We limit our use of plastic because this material absorbs some of the sound energy we work to create in the inlet duct. The rate at which air travels through the inlet path under open throttle, when one is asking the engine for maximum power, minimizes the effect of material heat soak, regardless of the material.

I Have A Body Lift On My Truck. Will It Affect The Fit Of A Brute Force Intake?

Yes, a body lift will negatively affect the fitment of the intake unless an engine mount lift is installed to maintain proper geometry of the engine to the chassis. Most BRUTE FORCE intakes mount to the throttle body inlet and the chassis via a soft, flexible mount. If the body is lifted, the mounting points will not align correctly.

I Have A Suspension Lift On My Tuck. Will It Affect The Fit Of A Brute Force Intake?

No. Suspension lifts do not affect engine-to-chassis geometry and therefore will not affect the intake fitment. It will install the same as if the truck has a factory suspension set up.

AEM Air Bypass Valves

Quick Tips For Air Bypass Valve Installation.

Generally, the Air Bypass Valve installs along the upper section of the induction pipe, close to the throttle body. Do NOT install it too close to the Inlet Air Temp sensor, and NEVER install an air bypass valve in between a throttle body and Mass Air Flow sensor (MAF). Be sure to check for clearance for the width of the Air Bypass Valve during installation, and to use the provided template that comes with your Air Bypass Valve to remove the proper amount of material from the induction pipe.

NEVER use an Air Bypass Valve on a forced induction vehicle as it will damage the valve and could lead to engine damage.

Can I Use An Air Bypass Valve On A Forced Induction Engine?

Do NOT use an Air Bypass Valve on engines equipped with forced induction (turbo or superchargers). The increased flow demands created by the forced induction could damage the valve and lead to engine damage.

Can I plumb a nitrous nozzle into the inlet pipe before the Air Bypass Valve?

Placing a nitrous oxide nozzle before the bypass valve will lead to fuel contamination of the foam spring and filter, and degrade the integrity of the plastic valve housing due to the extremely cold temperature of the nitrous oxide. Nitrous CAN be used downstream of the bypass valve, either along the inlet pipe (room permitting) or plumbed into the intake manifold or throttle body.

When Should I Use An Air Bypass Valve?

The AEM Bypass Valve protects the engine from ingesting water and hydro-locking if the filter becomes submerged in water. Hydro locking occurs when the end of the inlet pipe is submerged in water and the water is sucked into the engine. Driving the vehicle in rainy conditions is not enough to cause a problem unless the vehicle submerges enough that the inlet end of the pipe is immersed in water. Rain impingement on the filter will not cause a hydro lock condition.

The distance of the filter from the road dictates the level of water that can cause damage. This distance varies with the vehicle ride height, which is why there are no published numbers for this measurement. We suggest taking this measurement and keeping it in a log book, so that in the event you encounter deep water you will know what your maximum allowable depth is before potential submersion of the inlet pipe. All AEM Cold Air Intake installations retain the factory splash shield (fender liner) for filter protection and performance. Removal of splash shield actually deteriorates performance by allowing air heated by the pavement to enter the filter and negates any positive pressure created in the air filter area when the vehicle is in motion. There are some instances where there is not enough room around the inlet pipe for adequate clearance of an Air Bypass Valve. In these instances, we recommend installing a Short Ram system if water ingestion is a concern.

Will The Air Bypass Valve Cause A Loss Of Power?

The Air Bypass Valve may cause a slight loss in power due to the interrupted wall section created by the internal shape of the valve. We have found that the typical power loss is minimal (depending on the application) in our dyno testing. The bypass valve offers great security against hydro locking the engine in rainy conditions. If maximum power is the requirement, we suggest that you use the Air Bypass Valve in the rainy season and replace the Air Bypass Valve with a coupler hose in the summer or when racing to make a smooth section along the inlet where the Air Bypass Valve normally installs.

What Is The Warranty On My Air Bypass Valve?

Advanced Engine Management Inc. warrants to the consumer that all AEM High Performance products will be free from defects in material and workmanship for a period of twelve (12) months from date of the original purchase. Products that fail within this 12 month warranty period will be repaired or replaced at AEM's option, when determined by AEM that the product failed due to defects in material or workmanship. This warranty is limited to the repair or replacement of the AEM part. In no event shall this warranty exceed the original purchase price of the AEM part nor shall AEM be responsible for special, incidental or consequential damages or cost incurred due to the failure of this product. Warranty claims to AEM must be transportation prepaid and accompanied with dated proof of purchase. This warranty applies only to the original purchaser of product and is non-transferable. All implied warranties shall be limited in duration to the said 12 month warranty period. Improper use or installation, use for racing, accident, abuse, unauthorized repairs or alterations voids this warranty. AEM disclaims any liability for consequential damages due to breach of any written or implied warranty on all products manufactured by AEM. Warranty returns will only be accepted by AEM when accompanied by a valid Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number. Credit for defective products will be issued pending inspection. Product must be received by AEM within 30 days of the date RMA is issued.

Thoroughbred Diesel logo glowing

Thoroughbred Diesel Performance and Repair Shop
4843 Rockwell rd.
Winchester, KY 40391
Call Toll Free: 1-866-737-4966
Copyright© 2003-2018 Thoroughbred Diesel All rights reserved.
Site Map

Customer Reviews
100% customer guarantee