What are the Differences Between Intake Systems, and What are the Pros and Cons?

Aftermarket car parts are designed to enhance your car’s natural performance. Whether it’s more horsepower, a sleeker design, or just a better driving experience, there exists a part or accessory to bring it up a notch. But not all aftermarket parts are the same, and some are more suited for certain vehicles than others. We’re going to explore two different types of intake systems, and the pros and cons of using each.

Cold Air Intake

Cold air intakes are designed to keep the air filter as far from the engine as possible. Cold air is also more oxygen-concentrated, which creates more power.


- Cold air is denser with oxygen, allowing more fuel to be burned and power produced

- Keeps hot air from engine away from the intake filter

- Increase of air flow efficiency through the engine

- Smaller, lighter, lean and looks great


- They can be difficult to install and difficult to clean

- They are located where the most debris and moisture gather, leaving them susceptible to damage

- If the system takes in too much water from the collected moisture, the engine can hydrolock

Short Ram Intake

A short ram intake works by shortening the distance air has to travel to reach the engine. In doing so, more oxygen can be combusted and more power produced. This system acts as a functioning replacement, usually made up of an aluminum hard-pipe design, that replaces the resonator and filter box. 


- Higher quality short ram intakes are designed to maintain the stock air-fuel combinations; this won’t trigger the check engine lights

- Cheaper and easier to install than cold air systems

- Better throttle response 


- They produce less torque than a cold air intake, but still more than a warm air intake

- Generally noisier than cold air intake systems

- The air tends to pass through the engine bay, becoming warmer and less oxygen-dense than a cold air intake. 

Aftermarket intake systems can also add unique sounds to your engine, which is sure to turn a few heads. 

Why Stop There?

Your car deserves nothing but the best. That’s true for the wheels and exhaust just as much as the intake system. Fortunately we at JDMuscle carry parts of the highest quality from known and trusted brands like ESR Wheels and Invidia. Our team is dedicated to helping you find the parts you need at prices that can’t be beaten. To learn more about our incredible inventory visit our store online or in person.