Cold Air Intake Vs. Stock Air Boxes

An upgrade of a cold air intake helps improve your vehicle's overall performance. It is a quick and convenient solution for choked-up injected cars by replacing the factory air filter setup with an aftermarket piece known as a cold air intake. The majority of the cold air intake features an exposed conical filter. These air filters are engineered to draw more air than the factory air filter. 

Hence, the primary difference between a cold air intake and a stock air box is their filtration capacity and the intake air flow rate. While both the filters capture the unwanted air contaminants, stock filters are more likely to get choked with solid particles due to high pollution and debris. 

How do cold air intakes work?

A cold air intake upgrade boosts your vehicle's horsepower while improving gas mileage. The colder air enhances your vehicle's performance by allowing less turbulence in the fast-moving air, containing more oxygen than stock systems. Therefore, this well-engineered system accelerates the horsepower, torque, and increased fuel mileage of your vehicle. 

Here are some common differences between a stock air box and a cold air intake to help you decide the best option for your vehicle.


The elements of a stock air filter are constructed from a particular grade paper capable of catching dirt/ dust and other particles. However, cold air intake systems are available in different styles made from different materials, including metal, plastic, rubber, silicon, or other composite materials. 

Filtration capacity

Due to the high pollution levels, most stock air filters get choked with solid particulate matter, further resulting in restricted airflow or a decreased oxygen supply to the engine. Thus, this stock engine calls for regular cleaning and maintenance or replacement during every general servicing. 

The cold air filters have multiple layers of cotton gauze placed between the aluminum wire mesh sheets. This holds the specially designed oil to ensure a robust filtering mechanism. This allows the filter to catch smaller dust particles, thus, assisting in maintaining the standard flow of air to your engine. 

Efficacy in dirt/ dust holding

The stock air filters come in both oil and dry filters. However, the effective holding rate is not higher. On the contrary, the cold air intake systems are engineered with multiple layers of fiber that are more effective in catching the dirt and debris off your vehicle.

Intake air flow rate

Stock filters are also restrictive as they collect dust and dirt particles while choking the pores. This eventually results in further restriction of the air pressure rate. However, the cold air intake filters achieve comparatively high and visually unrestricted air pressure, along with extra oxygen.  

Cost and replacement

One of the central plus points of a stock air box is that they are available at low cost and offer easy replacement. However, cold air filters are comparatively costly, and the replacement process can be tricky.

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