Do Cold Air Intakes Really Work? Before and After Dyno Test

Street Speed717 dyno tests a new 2017 5.3 V8 Chevrolet Silverado before installing a Cold Air Inductions cold air intake. They install the cold air intake on the dyno and then retest to check performance gains. No tuning and no other changes. This is a true before and after test to show just the kind of engineering and performance that goes into Cold Air Inductions cold air intake systems. There is no long cool down period or reprogramming. Just an install on a stock, off the lot truck for more top end power and better throttle response.


Yes, it is a brand new 2017 Z71 Chevrolet Silverado, but it is worth it to have the best aftermarket parts if you are looking for the best performance from any vehicle. The Cold Air Inductions cold air intake system is built to perform and add power to any vehicle. The results are built into each system using dyno testing and thermal through the whole development process. With the majority of the airflow coming at a lower temperature and unrestricted, the engine management system can use OEM sensors to adjust the fuel mix for better engine performance. This means the throttle response will get a boost, the rear wheel horsepower will improve, and the fuel economy will be better since the air is better for the engine. The system has the OEM sensor ports built into the cold air intake to make installation easy and the cold air intake does not require extra tuning or programming. The sensor isn’t even disconnected. The sensor is just swapped from one port to the new system port. Everything is tested for the engine and vehicle specs to make adding horsepower and fuel economy as easy as a 20-minute installation.

Cold Air Inductions Camaro6 Dragstrip Comparison

Some people use a chassis dyno to test the difference a COLD AIR INDUCTIONS CAMARO6 AIR INTAKE SYSTEM, but the guys at BAD BOWTIE PRODUCTIONS have taken things a step further and put us to the test on a drag strip. This tests the true improvement in acceleration, which is one of the main reasons people buy a cold air intake system, along with the desire to have a throaty, performance air-intake sound, improved looks under the hood, and a lifetime, re-usable air filter.

The Bad Bow Tie 2016 Camaro SS test mule had no other modifications, not even a performance tune on the ECU. They took the car to Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis to do the dragstrip testing. Watch the video to see the car in action, and the quicker dragstrip results they achieved using a Cold Air Inductions system.

To baseline the Camaro, they made three back-to-back passes. The results were:

12.032 seconds at 116.54 mph

12.017 seconds at 117.87 mph

11.995 seconds at 117.72 mph

This gave the 6th Gen an average elapsed time (e/t) of 12.015 and average quarter-mile speed of 117.38 – good numbers for a bone stock Camaro.

After letting the car cool for an hour, the Bad Bowtie Productions crew got busy, and with basic hand tools install the Cold Air Inductions Camaro 6 system in about 15 minutes. Once finished, they took the car back to the starting line

The results:

11.919 seconds at 117.82 mph

11.948 seconds at 117.03 mph

11.932 seconds at 117.81 mph

The average e/t of 11.933 is nearly a tenth of a second quicker! If you’re not a lifetime drag racer, that may not sound like a huge improvement, but to give you an idea, you typically have to add 10 horsepower to the engine or remove 100 pounds from the vehicle in order to pick up a tenth of a second on the e/t. That’s a great gain, especially from something as simple as installing a Cold Air Inductions intake system that doesn’t require any other engine modifications, not even a performance tune on the ECU.

Which Cold-Air Intake Is The Best For Your Truck?

It’s easy to get confused when shopping for a cold-air intake for your Chevy or GMC truck. There are a lot of choices, and every company claims that theirs is the best. We know you care about your truck. You want to make the smartest purchase for every upgrade you make. That’s why we put together this list of facts that you should consider before buying a cold-air intake. Things that we know matter to truck owners such as true torque and horsepower gains, sound, quality and durability.

  1. Real Power Testing. First, insist on seeing the horsepower and torque curve for your specific model of pickup with the engine that’s in your truck. Without it, you can’t be sure that your application was thoroughly engineered and tested. Some companies advertise a generic power gain which isn’t really your truck and engine package. Cold Air Inductions uses a chassis dyno (in addition to a state-of-the-art flow bench and computer simulation) to develop every system. Cold Air Inductions Inc.’s dyno measures power at the tires, taking into consideration all the variables in a vehicle and drivetrain. The horsepower and torque-curve information provided by Cold Air Inductions Inc. is for the system for your specific model of vehicle and for that same vehicle’s engine.
  2. Real Power Gains. Even when another company does share its before and after power curve, you have to look at how the testing was done. All Cold Air Inductions Inc.’s kits are designed as closed systems. This means we don’t use the top of the hood to seal our air boxes. We think this is more precise for air and heat control, and it also makes a big difference in claimed power numbers. If a competitor tests its open system with the hood open (meaning the air box is not sealing against the hood, so it is able to suck in more cool air during the test), the dyno will record higher horsepower and torque numbers than you’ll ever see while driving. You don’t drive down the street with your hood open, do you? Cold Air Inductions Inc. tests vehicles in a way that ensures the power we claim is the power you will feel every time you drive your vehicle.
  3. Quality from Day 1. When you unbox a Cold Air Inductions Inc. air-intake system and lay your hands on the parts for the first time, you know you’ve made the right choice. Every part in our system is made from the highest quality material, and it is crafted with pride in the USA. The airbox and tube are made from durable aluminum. All of the TIG welding is done by hand. All of the aluminum parts are powder-coated for a durable finish that will last whether your truck sees duty in dry, desert regions or salt-laden Midwest winters. We provide new stainless steel fasteners for the MAF sensor. If there are rubber parts in the system, they are the same quality as what GM used originally, or better. We use ¼-turn fasteners to attach the filter inspection lid – making it easy and quick to remove and reinstall the lid if you need to service the filter. Quality in every component – and quality that will last a long, long time.
  4. The Power of Cold. The goal of a cold-air intake is to reduce the restriction of air flowing into the engine, resulting in increased engine power. We go a step further with our systems by keeping the temperature of the air as cool as possible as it enters the engine. You see, the cooler the air temperature entering the engine, the more dense it is, letting the engine breathe in more air with every revolution for even more power. We coat our air tubes with thermal protection and line our air boxes with heat insulation. This reduces the transfer of heat from the hot, underhood environment to the air flowing through the air-intake, keep the air inlet temperature as cool as it can be. Cold Air Inductions Inc.’s systems improve airflow and keep air as cool as possible for the best power gains.
  5. The Sound of Performance. The last thing you want after upgrading the air intake on your truck is some odd sucking sound every time you lean into the throttle. GM spends countless hours eliminating undesirable noises from the air intake, and we do the same when we engineer our systems. This is an area where assembling a bunch of parts used in systems for other vehicles simply doesn’t work. We design every system for the specific vehicle and engine combination. We test on the flowbench, and then we test in the vehicle under a variety of driving conditions to make sure that the sound you hear when driving is a pleasant, performance one.

We’ve been manufacturing cold-air intakes for more than 10 years. We pay attention to the things that matter to people who love their trucks because we love our trucks! We depend on them for work and play. And you can depend on us for the highest-quality air intakes in the industry, delivering real power and great quality.

Cold Air Inductions Install for 2016 Camaro by Farmtruck and AZN

Farmtruck and AZN install a Cold Air Inductions cold air intake on their 2016 Camaro. Watch as they unbox and go through each part before completing and testing a new install. They check the superior fit and finish on each part in the step by step installation.

Chevrolet Trailblazer SS Gets 14 RWHP in 10 Minutes

DiabloFormulaRacing adds 14 rear-wheel horsepower with a Cold Air Inductions cold air intake. He shows that good performance isn’t just for muscle cars and trucks. The performance and fuel economy gains makes any car better to drive.


Diablo Formula Racing does something nice for his girlfriend Steph’s Trailblazer. It is an easy install that he does on a snowy day. Once he gets the stock intake out, it was easy to just set the new Cold Air Inductions air intake right in. He then bolts the new system in place as the snow starts falling again. The whole thing takes about 10 minutes for him. The sensors are all the same and the vacuum hose just goes back into the valve cover. Once he does the intake, he goes through the parts and the finished install. The Trailblazer SS sure gets a lively amount of power at the rear wheels with a 14 RWHP boost. The fuel economy will also get some modest improvements. It is a go-to improvement for a simple 10-minute job.

This truck is also not a new, off-the-lot model. This has over 150k miles and already received a lot of TLC through a rebuilt transmission, small cam upgrade, rebuilt front differential, and upgraded exhaust. The whole package has been a project for DFR. The easiest part from his Youtube videos on the TBSS has been the cold air intake system. For a performance SUV like a Trailblazer SS, the wear and tear is one thing but the reason for ownership comes when the throttle is open. This is where the Cold Air Inductions cold air intake takes the performance above what it was over 150,000 miles ago for DFR and Steph.

With any Cold Air Inductions cold air intake system, the installation instructions are in the box and available online. The instructions (like the cold air intake system) are based on that specific vehicle make and model. The instructions are based on the stock set-up of the engine bay. If you have made additional changes to the engine bay, be aware of the fit and spacing around the airbox to keep the airflow open and airbox securely mounted.

Cold Air Inductions 2017 Camaro SS Intake Install

Hammerdown Motorsports installs a new Cold Air Inductions cold air intake on a 2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS. After an exhaust and long tube headers, this was the third mod on the list but a large change for the new Camaro SS. Hammerdown Motorsports goes over the whole install, testing, and reactions to the upgraded cold air intake system.

2017 Camaro SS Gets The Best Air Intake On The Market

2017 Camaro SS Cold Air Intake Performance For Hammerdown Motorsports

DiabloFormulaRacing installs a 2017 Camaro SS Cold Air Inductions cold air intake system. He gives part by part feedback based on his experience with other systems on the market. Also, he gives a thorough overview on what the installed quality is for the new 2017 systems.

Diablo Formula Racing is at it on a 2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS. Coming from the dealer with some power, he looks for a good way to add more to Hammerdown’s white double S Camaro.  Nothing is better than more rear wheel horsepower. DFR breaks down the system from the box showing each component. He replaces the spacer in the front of the intake manifold but aside from that, just uses the parts from the box for a seemingly instant performance upgrade. Having done a few Camaros with Cold Air Induction cold air intake systems, he throws the instructions right out of the box. The car already had headers and some other upgrades. During the latter part of the video, you can hear the air going into the engine. This is a 6th gen Camaro that will be higher horsepower and with more top end torque. The video doesn’t show the side by side before and after the cold air intake install but with the extra modifications, Hammerdown will most likely be dyno testing only after some more upgrades and other projects on a well tuned 6th generation Camaro like he has. DFR estimated Hammerdown is around 440hp at the wheels with the cold air intake and the other modifications.

Why Does My Camaro6’s Cold-Air Intake Whistle?

We’ve been seeing quite a bit of chatter on and other Camaro forums about a whistle people have mentioned has come after installing a cold-air intake on their new Camaro SS. Right now, all those comments are pointing at Cold Air Inductions. Since we were the first to market and we’ve shipped a ton of them, chances are if someone has a cold-air intake on their 2016 Camaro, it’s one of ours.

Here’s the truth about that whistle you may or may not be hearing: It’s not in the air tube or air box at all. It’s in the factory intake manifold. In the cars we’ve tested that have the whistle, we’ve heard it at part throttle (38% throttle opening, to be exact) under mild engine load. We take quality, including sound quality, very seriously. And we do our homework before we launch a system.

So, we did validation testing and videotaped it to show that the whistle is not part of our cold-air intake system. With the factory air box in place, we ran the car on our rear-wheel dyno. Then we removed the air box altogether and videotaped it again. In both cases, you can hear the whistle – even without the air intake attached to the throttle body at all!

You may be asking yourself, “Why didn’t I notice the whistle before I installed your cold-air intake?” Good question. The answer is that you could hear it before, but it was muffled and you didn’t know when to listen. The factory air box is designed to reduce the air-intake sound, so it also reduces how the whistle transmits forward through the system. The way, it reduces sound and also causes air-flow restriction. The factory air filter is more restrictive than ours, further restricting air flow and sound. Our air intake system removes those air-flow restrictions, which also allows the sound to travel better. The other difference is that the air inlet for the factory air box is buried under the box, very low in the grille. If you put your ear near the grille where the factory air box takes in air, you would faintly hear the whistle at that part-throttle position under mild load. With our cold-air intake, the air inlet for the box is opened up, drawing air from most of the area right around the air filter. That means the whistle sound is much less restricted (muffled) and will be higher in the engine bay, making it easier to hear.

The bottom line is that the whistle is part of the factory intake manifold, not part of our cold-air intake system, or even the factory air intake, for that matter, which the videos will help demonstrate. We focus on delivering a quality system that gives you more power, better fuel economy and a performance air-intake sound when you really lean into the throttle. You can learn more about our Camaro6 cold air intake system by clicking here.

Recent Article From GM High Tech Magazine 5th-Gen Camaro Bolt-On Mods

5th-Gen Camaro Bolt-On Mods – Mods For the Masses

When the 5th-generation Camaro finally hit dealer lots in 2009, it was clear that GM had designed a winner. Its brawny lines turned heads on the street, and new buyers bought them in droves. GM also delivered the goods when it came to the powertrain. The stock 6.2 V-8 in the manually-equipped LS3 SS model pumps out an impressive 426 horsepower and 400 horsepower in the automatic transmission-backed L99 version. That bump in power from the fourth-gen days comes in handy since these new models are over five hundred pounds heavier. Despite the Camaro putting on some weight, many owners have been able to click off low-13-second runs in the quarter bone stock with both combos.

Earlier this year we picked up a 2010 Camaro SS/RS packing the L99 engine and 6L80E automatic transmission combo. We looked for one with the slushbox because of all the time we spend in bumper-to-bumper Chicago traffic. New to us, but already sporting 6,800 miles, we just had to take advantage of the late spring weather this past April and made a bunch of bone stock passes at Great Lakes Dragaway. So just a week after purchase and armed with solicited (and unsolicited) advice on how to run strong times with this car, it took only 7 passes for us to click off an impressive 13.15 at 106.77mph, cutting a 1.95 on the stock Pirelli tires. Subsequent track outings netted similar times, but none better than that 13.15. And predictably the car slowed down as we headed into summer. Low 13’s were easy when it was 65F, but mid 13’s have become the norm now that’s it’s routinely in the 90’s. And once it got warm, our invincibility turned into apprehension when a C6 or other quick ride rolled up on us. More power was needed.