what is proper maintenance of cold air intake ?
July 27, 2006 12:51 AM   Subscribe

Installed a cold air intake on my car. How does one maintain a CAI?
posted by donmayo to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
On a simple intake, other than regularly cleaning/replacing the filter, there isn't much maintenance to do. Polishing the pretty, shiny tubing, maybe?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:40 AM on July 27, 2006

As Thorzdad mentions, you will need to regularly clean (and possibly oil) the filter, and eventually replace it. Is it a large cone-type filter? Usually they are made of oiled foam for high flow. If it is a paper element, you will need to replace it every 30 000 miles, approximately, and you will not need to wash and oil it. Make sure that it is in fact taking in cold air- many unshielded "cold air" intakes actually suck in hot under-hood air. You may be losing power relative to the stock intake! (It's a bit of a pet peeve of mine.)
posted by wzcx at 9:55 AM on July 27, 2006

Some advice: be very careful of heavy rain with a CAI. Since it sits so low, if the water levels swamp the intake, it will probably total your car.

My friend made a grating shield (similar to what you would see on a bathroom fan) on his CAI in his car.

Goodluck, clean it once in a while.
posted by stratastar at 11:25 AM on July 27, 2006

If you're concerned about hydrolock, some manufacturers sell bypass valves for their CAIs. I have an AEM intake on my Nissan, but it sits very high in the fender well, and I'd have to try to ford a foot of water for it to be dangers -- by which time, I'd have other problems.

Other folks I know have not been so fortunate.

One thing to be careful of, if your tubing passes through any holes in the stock steel, is that you don't have steel rubbing against aluminum, or whatever other metal your intake may be made of. Steel is harder than aluminum, and will eventually wear a hole in your tubing, giving all the dirty air a nice way to bypass your filter.

Aside from that, as the others said, make sure it's shielded from engine bay heat. Clean and oil (or replace) the filter regularly. And that's about it.
posted by jammer at 2:19 PM on July 27, 2006

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