Cold Air Intake FAQ Questions

Questions & Answers

Does A Cold Air Intake Actually Help?

Most cold air intakes will claim that they add an extra 15 HP. This may be true but with our testing, we have not seen consistent enough numbers to encourage us to back up this claim. This does not however mean that cold air intakes don't work. Where cold air intakes pay off are in engine longevity. By adding a cold air intake, especially in conjunction with a programmer, you are increasing the amount of air that your turbo can take in. This does two things. First it improves the fuel to air ratio which can lead to better MPG's . Second, it lowers the EGT's which can be very detrimental to an engine if allowed to get too high.

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Do I Want An Oiled Or Dry Cold Air Intake System?

When you think about cold air intakes, there are two main components to consider. First is air filtration. When comparing oiled filters to dry filters the oiled will always filter out more particulate than the dry filter will. The added oil allows the cotton fibers in the filter element to trap more particulate matter as the air passes through it. The downfall is that in dusty environments the oil filters tend to get dirty quicker than the dry filter will.

The second component to consider on a cold air intake is performance, or how much air flow it allows. From the tests that we have seen, there is no difference in air flow between an oiled filter or a dry filter, if they are both clean. However, as we stated before the oiled filter will catch more particulate and become dirty quicker than the dry filter will. As a filter becomes dirtier, its performance decreases due to excess particulate matter restricting the air flow. Therefore, a dry filter will provide more performance over a longer period of time than an oiled filter will.

For daily driven trucks we recommend oiled filters, unless the truck is driven in an extremely dusty environment. We feel that the extra filtration power added by the oil is worth sacrificing the 1 or 2 extra horsepower you might get from using a dry filter.

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How Much Horse Power Will I Gain From A Cold Air Intake?

Over the years we have seen outrageous horse power claims from cold air intake manufacturers. From our experience you can generally gain a maximum of 15 HP from adding a cold air intake. We aren't saying that those manufacturers didn't actually get those numbers, however we have thus far been unable to duplicate them.

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Can Cold Air Intakes Cause Problems To My Engine?

There are very rare cases where adding a Cold Air Intake to your engine can sometime cause issues with the MAP sensor in the truck. However, when this happens it is usually a result of human error such as over oiling the filter or damaging the MAP Sensor during installation.

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How Do I Clean My Cold Air Intake?

To clean your cold air intake properly you should always precisely follow the directions included with the cleaning kit produce by the manufacturer of your intake. Generic filter cleaning kits purchased from a local auto parts store will clean and oil your filter effectively. However, most of our customers have a hard time estimating the appropriate amount of oil to use on their filter. When using a generic cleaning kit take caution to not accidentally over oil the filter. This excess oil can cause problems with sensors and can get into your turbo.

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When Cleaning My Filter Element, Why Can't I Spray It Off Or Blow It Dry?

You should never use compressed air or high pressure water on your intake. Using either of these high pressure elements can cause damage to the fibers of your filter. Damaged fibers will not hold oil properly nor will they capture all of the particular matter passing through the filter. If your filter is extremely dirty you should simply repeat the cleaning instructions provided by your manufacturer.

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Should I Get An Open Or Sealed Cold Air Intake System?

When you talk about the performance of a cold air intake, you must consider its effects on the turbo. A turbo's main job is to compress air before pushing it to the intercooler. Air is much more easily compressed when it is cold. With that in mind an open intake allows the turbo to draw in more hot air from the engine compartment than a sealed intake would. A sealed intake is designed in such a way that it draws air through the fender well of the vehicle instead of through the engine compartment. Therefore, a sealed intake is the preferred option for performance reasons.

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Will Adding The Air Scoop Give Me Better Performance?

Theoretically, yes the intake scoop will give better performance because it allows the filter element to draw in cooler air than normal. However, from our experience adding an Air Scoop actually causes your filter to become dirtier at a faster pace. This means you can actually loose performance due to the filter becoming clogged. We also strongly recommend against Air Scoops if your truck is driven in areas with high accumulation of snow.

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Can't I Just Clean My Dry Filter?

No! Unfortunately at this time there is no such thing as a dry cleanable filter.

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Can I Clean My Filter With Any Oiled Cleaning Kit?

No! Each company designs and tests its filter to run with a particular amount of oil on it. Therefore, if you purchase a cleaning kit from a brand, which is different from the filter brand, you take the risk of putting too much or not enough oil on the filter. Both of which can cause problems to your intake or vehicle.

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Should I Get a Filter Wrap For My Cold Air Intake?

It is not necessary to purchase a filter wrap for your intake. We however, highly recommend the use of filter wraps. Filter wraps help to keep the larger debris from ever coming in contact with the actual filter element. When large debris begins to collect on the filter it begins to have a snow ball effect, which in turn causes the filter to become dirty much faster. Using a filter wrap helps to prevent this issue.

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Will a New Cold Air Intake Have a Spot for My Mass Air Flow Sensor?

Yes! All cold air intake systems sold by Thoroughbred Diesel are equipped with a bung designed to hold the Mass Air Flow Sensor.

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Is It True That Oiled Filters Can Damage a Mass Air Flow Sensor?

Most Mass Air Flow issues we have seen have been due to user error. During the cleaning process the owner has usually applied to much oil (usually due to purchasing a generic oiling kit) and that excess oil has leaked through to the MAF Sensor.

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Are Cold Air Intakes Required with Turbo Upgrades?

Most of the time CAI's are required with turbo upgrades. If you are unsure, you should check with the manufacturer of your turbo. Most turbo manufacturing companies require that you have a performance cold air intake in order for them to honor your warranty. Thoroughbred Diesel always recommends that you upgrade your intake system when upgrading your turbo to provide optimal performance and reliability.

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I just installed cold air intake on my 06 dodge 5.9 and the rubber coupling that came with kit to connect to turbo housing is be sucked in on one side. Why is this? It’s a cheap air intake I guess that might be reason

Hard to answer without knowing the vehicle set-up. You should contact the manufacturer of the air intake.

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