Technical Topic: Why Your Cummins Needs a Cold Air Intake
Your Cummins loves air, it NEEDS air, and the factory air box completely stifles the amount of airflow that its capable of ingesting. You may be wondering why your engine needs so much air. Well, that ... read more
Your Cummins loves air, it NEEDS air, and the factory air box completely stifles the amount of airflow that its capable of ingesting. You may be wondering why your engine needs so much air. Well, that answer is relatively simple, a diesel engine is essentially an air pump and in order to maximize its efficiency, it requires cool, DENSE air to create combustion at the right time. Without proper airflow, you end up having excessive fuel in the cylinders, causing heat, possibly even smoke. Remember learning about the Law of Conservation of Energy back in junior high that stated "energy can neither be created nor destroyed?" Well, here it is, being applied. If you can take better advantage of the diesel fuel's capability to transform into power energy through proper combustion, it creates efficiency. Otherwise, it will turn into a wasted byproduct, in this case heat energy.
Now, why wouldn't Ram install the best performing air intake right from the factory on your expensive truck? Well, that question has multiple answers. The biggest reason is that these trucks are built for the masses and the masses demand a quiet operating truck. The factory air intake features multiple baffles to quiet the incoming air charge so that you cannot hear any sound inside of the cabin. However, these baffles cause a great amount of air turbulence which slows the incoming air charge. This effect is very similar to hitting turbulence in an airplane. Your turbo wants smooth, tabulated air that it can then pass onto the engine. By delivering the turbo turbulence, it slows down the whole charge, disrupting efficiency. Nearly all aftermarket cold air intakes eliminate these baffles, which immediately speed up and smooth out air flow.
Next, the masses demand ease of use, and when we say "ease of use," we mean pulling into a dealership and having someone else service and repair their vehicle. The majority of repair facilities need to offer fast, relatively inexpensive regular service jobs. The fastest, least expensive option when it comes to servicing an air filter is to simply replace the original filter. By offering a flat paper filter, they can accomplish this. However, for those that don't mind servicing their own air filter, you can be served big gains by upgrading to an aftermarket cold air intake. The majority of cold air intakes feature cleanable, reusable filter media that can be reused for the life of the vehicle. Sure, this requires that you clean it, but you don't have to worry about purchasing new filters each time. But for those that don't want to hassle with cleaning them (and when we use the term "hassle," its used very loosely), S&B Filters has an option for a high flowing, cone style paper air filter that you merely replace. This is the best compromise for those that want superior airflow, but don't want to clean their filter.
Okay, we've probably argued our point enough. Overall, upgrading with a quality cold air intake delivers more air to your engine. This air essentially turns into efficiency, both in terms of fuel economy, as well as power. Remember, the more of that existing fuel you burn, the better off you are on all fronts.