Air Intake Scoop
Fuel isn't the only thing that keeps the engine going and the vehicle all fired up and ready to go. Aside from well timed-out sparks, another crucial factor in combustion is air. With the right air-fuel mix, it's just so much easier to generate power. The only trouble is, even with constant drops of fuel and perfect spark timing, combustion chambers would still do better if fed with denser, cooler air, which naturally brings more oxygen to the mix. Unfortunately, inside the hood, scalding heat makes air temperature rise. To fix this little bit of a glitch, intake solutions include what we call the air intake scoop.
How does it work?
The air intake scoop may sit on top of the hood (near the windshield) or lie beneath the front bumper, in any high-pressure area. The opening in the scoop draws in cooler outside air to the engine's air intake. This is especially helpful to a warmed up engine since air temperature inside the hood could rise to up to 50° F warmer. Warmer air, which is less dense, can put limits on the amount of power that can be generated by the engine, as well as affect the vehicle's overall performance.
What are the benefits?
As the air intake scoop sucks in cooler air outside of the engine compartment, it allows denser air to get through the engine in a shorter span of time. The air scoop not only helps in reducing air temperature but also in maximizing airflow.by creating another pathway for air outside to go directly through the engine. Feeding the chambers with oxygen-rich compressed air is good for fiery combustion. This can lead to increased horsepower gains, more torque, and better throttle response, which all translate to improved vehicle performance.
What are the things to keep in mind when buying an air intake scoop?
Some air scoops are purely decorative. They have no opening for air to be funneled directly into the engine, and they may come with a metal mount or raised plastic. These scoops mostly give the vehicle a high-performance look and nothing more.
Functional air scoops may come with neat features for keeping the opening closed to outside air when the vehicle is parked or not in motion. These scoops may come with a lever or a switch. They may also be automatically closed or opened based on the difference in air pressure. These air intake scoop designs are especially helpful during cold temperatures when the vehicle could have difficulties warming up. Aside from keeping the noise down as the vehicle runs, these also help in keeping debris from getting inside the hood. To keep bugs and dirt from being sucked into the engine, air scoops may be equipped with a mesh insert or any similar feature. Some scoops may even come with their own water channels to keep water from flooding the engine in case of heavy rain or when it encounters a large puddle.
A slight increase in the vehicle's drag coefficient is common to these kinds of attachments. But, improvements in horsepower, torque, acceleration, and overall performance can usually outweigh this bit of a negative effect.
Air scoops are manufactured from ABS plastic or aluminum. Whatever material is used, your chosen air intake scoop should be built for maximum durability. Aside from their high-grade construction, air scoops should also be in a color or finish that best matches the vehicle's exterior. Most air scoops come in black or chrome finish or in a high-luster polish. Some are made to match the color of the vehicle for a more seamless finish. Apparently, scoops not only bring in much-desired performance gains but may also improve the looks of the vehicle. So when choosing a color or finish, make sure that it blends in with the exterior or upgrades the style of the vehicle, whether you want the retro, custom, or rugged look.
The best air scoops can be fitted easily to the vehicle. They should come with complete mounting hardware for quick and easy installation and match the existing fastening points. Some of them may be used with brackets and adapters or even an aluminum cover. The air intake scoop may also be paired with air cleaner assemblies and other aftermarket modifications for best results.