Air Intake System
Automobile Maintenance

Vehicle Components Demystified: The Air Intake System

If you have some knowledge of what’s under the hood of your car, you might be familiar with well-known parts like the transmission or the radiator. Most people, however, have no idea what the air intake system of their car does.

The reality is that the different air intake parts play a critical role in helping your car to run. But how does it work, and what exactly is it?

Whether you want to modify your car or just want to learn more about how it works, keep reading to learn about your vehicle’s air intake system. 

How Does the System Work?

In order for the engine combustion process to occur, your car needs oxygen. This is where the air intake system comes into play.

Newer and more powerful air intake systems provide a steady amount of vehicle airflow. This helps the engine of your car run better, allowing you to enjoy more miles and more power. 

There are three main air intake system components that manufacturers like AEM Intake make.

The Air Filter

The air filter is like the face mask of your car—it filters out particles that you don’t want getting into your engine. These are often things like dirt and pollution particles.

If these particles find their way into your car’s engine, they can harm the entire system. For that reason, the air filter’s job is one of the most important. 

The Mass Flow Sensor

The mass flow sensor of your car’s air intake system allows air to pass through before making its way to the throttle body.

There are two types of mass flow sensors that cars can have: the hot wire or the vane meter. While they operate a bit differently from one another, both allow measured amounts of air to pass by. 

The Throttle Body

The final part of the system, the throttle body’s job is to control how much air makes its way into the combustion chamber of your car’s engine. 

When you press on the gas pedal, the throttle opens, allowing air to pass through. This allows your car to accelerate. When you step off of the gas pedal, the throttle closes, stopping the flow of oxygen and causing you to decelerate.  

The Value of a Cold Air Intake  

More and more people are coming to see the value of a cold air intake. As the name suggests, these are systems that take cold air in as opposed to warm air.

Colder air has a greater density, which therefore allows more oxygen to reach the engine of your car. In theory, this can increase its power, as well as let you enjoy more miles per gallon. 

Understand the Air Intake System of Your Car

If you’re looking to upgrade or maintain your car, it’s important to understand all of the different parts of it. Many people might not know much about their car’s air intake system, but as this guide explains, it plays an essential role. 

Do you now have a better understanding of air intake components and how they work? If you do, make sure to take a look at some of our other posts for more guides and tips.