Top 4 Best Cold Air Intakes for Chevy Silverado HD/GMC Sieraa HD (2550HD/3500HD) – Buying Guide

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Top 4 Best Cold Air Intakes for Chevy Silverado HD/GMC Sieraa HD (2550HD/3500HD) – Buying Guide
9 Total Score
  • Best Buy for buck
  • Top Pick
  • Impressive Performance increase
  • Easy to Install

It’s time to boost performance fo your Silverado/Sierra HD truck with induction of one of the most curcial upgrade in your truck..that is Cold Air Intake.

Being a proud owner of Silverado, you should already knew about the importance of having cold air intake installed in your truck.

It’s not only boost up the performance of your engine but also, it enhances the look of your truck along with giving that growling note and impressive increase in towing power to your beast.

So, if your truck is still missing out on one of the most important performance upgrade,..then you must think of having one!!

And if you already decided to buy one but confused in chossing the best one then this is the right place for you to decide which one is better and what all the point you need to consider before buying any cold air intake.

Before moving towards the best cold air intake list let’s discuss some of the important points to take into consideration before having a CAI.

Let me first tell you how you can increase your power and MPGs with the performance Air Intakes.

The Cold Air Intake replaces your stock intake and boosted the flow rate and increase the horsepower and performance as more air means more oxygen and combustion.

The Cold Air Intake System relocates the filter outside of the engine compartment to deliver the coolest air inlet temperatures possible.

Cooler air carries more oxygen, which translates into a more intense explosion in the combustion chamber to create more horsepower and torque. But that’s only part of the power equation.

Tuning the inlet pipe in length and diameter to match the engine’s resonance helps move more air to the cylinders (think of your engine as a big air pump), and this tuning allows us to deliver the maximum power gains throughout the entire RPM range.

All the Cold Intakes has similar functions (according to vehicle) with little change in efficiency and power output but the difference is in the shape,size,material and in the cost.

You have just to choose which parameter you want to upgrade according your need.

Benefits of Using Cold Air Intake

#1 Power/Hp Gain : This is one of the most obvious benefits of using Cold Air intake in your vehicle. More air or oxygen means good combustion which allows good fuel rich air/fuel mixture to ignite properly hence increasing horsepower of your vehicle.

#2 Increased Throttle Response : With the time you will come to find that your vehicle will be performing bit slow and lagging in the performance during tough paths. By increasing air flow and combustion in your engine you will be adding more throttle response to your vehicle. As performance air intakes gives your vehicle more throttle response whenever you press gas pedal.

#3 Boosted Mileage or Fuel economy : By using performance cold air intake you are basically increasing your gas mileage. As better oxygen level means better combustion and rick fuel/air mixture will burn properly and you get more energy out of every drop of fuel hence increasing mileage.

You will see 1-2 Miles per gallon increase in your mileage but along with this you have to maintain your driving habits also as in if you’re driving hard using extra power and acceleration that will surely not lead to increase in mileage. So be cautious about that.

#4 Increase Engine Life: Installing a cold intake will increase your engine’s life. As good combustion and cold air means less contaminants accumulated inside engine that leads to better engine life.

#5 Easy Installation : The best part of Performance Air Intake is that they’re very easy to install with simple tools and installation instructions. If you’re totally new then mechanic help is recommended otherwise you can install by seeing videos or reading installation manual also.

After knowing all of the benefits lets look into some of the things to consider before buying cold Air Intake.

Important Things to Consider

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Things to Consider before Buying Cold Air Intake

#1 Filter: This is important to evaluate the quality of filter before buying the cold air intake as it is the important part. It should be reusable and washable. In this way it will last longer and saves your money also as there is no need of replacement just clean it and use it again.

#2 Size: Choose the right size according to your truck. Just look at the engine space and also look into some details regarding size while buying Cold Air Intake. You have to choose wisely which one fit easier and will not compromise with any of the above benefits.

#3 Durability: Evaluate properly the material of the cold air intake before buying. Choose that air intake which will prone to wear and tear and will last long and made from high quality material.

#4 Price: Price is obvious the main thing to consider as everyone wants to buy cheap and best but don’t compromise with quality and performance with price.And after all with best air intake you will be saving indirectly (on fuel mileage).

#5 Style of Cold air intake : The other thing to think about is the style or type of cold air intake system. There are generally three types : the short ram system , Ram Air intake and the true cold air intake system.

Short RAM Intake VS True Cold Air Intake

  • Short ram system: The short ram is basically replace your factory intake with a new smooth pipe and an open element air filter .It draws air from inside the engine bay but give a short, smooth path to the engine.It is easy to install and cheaper than cold air intake.Since it takes place as your factory pipe so it allows for engine heat to have an easier path into your intake system, creating less horsepower and torque as compared to cold air intake. Its design tends to require less “plumbing” or fabrication work.
  • True cold air intake: Whereas Cold Air intake or The “true” cold air intake  places an emphasis on moving the air filter as far forward as possible. It draws air from outside the engine bay to give engine cooler and denser air. It produces more supplemental cold air flow than the short ram design. Due to the intake having more piping, the cold air is usually more expensive, and more difficult to install.
  • Ram Air Intake: The Ram Air Intake is pretty much similar like cold air intake only the difference is – it comes with longer tubes and air filter at the back of system. This is more beneficial during high speeds as it draws larger volume of air with wind pressure which results in more engine power.It is somewhat like turbocharger but with less parts.

It’s depend upon you which air intake you want to buy, if you’re ready to spend money and want noticeable performance and horsepower increase then Cold Air intake is best.On the other side if you don’t want to spend much and want good economy increase along with better throttle response then you should go with Short ram intake.

These are some of the points you should keep in mind before buying Cold Air Intake. If you have any doubt fell free to comment below.

Here in this article we’ve listed the 4 of the top Performance Air Intakes for your Chevy/GMC HD truck that will boost the performance.

Also Check :Best 3 Mods.Upgrades Combination to Boost Chevy Silverado Performance

So without wasting much time let’s start out list.

Here we Go!

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Best Cold Air Intakes for Silverado/Sierra HD


#4 S&B Filters 75-5103 Cold Air Intake For 2017-2019 Silverado/Sierra Duramax 6.6L

Enhance your Engine’ performance with the S&B Filters Intake system as it feed more air to the engine and unleash its trapped potential.

If we talk about the manufacturer – S&B Filters has been making high performance air filters and breathers for vehicles and other custom applications. From its humble beginnings in a garage in Ontario, California, S&B has continually strive to design and manufacture the highest quality and most durable re-chargeable air filter in the industry.

Apart from drawing in cool air in your engine, the S&B filters air intake system also increases the horsepower, torque and fuel economy.

You will easily get 43.86% More Airflow & 99.42% Efficiency Rating with this cold air intake.

With the superior design and quality the S&B cold air intakes feature a premium silicone S&B Air filter specifically matched to your vehicle.

Thanks to its highly durable unbreakable filter that offers exceptional tear strength and will easily last long.It won’t crack over time and can withstand temperature as high as 400 degree F.

With the washable and reusable air filter the S&B cold air intake system also replaces the air box with the custom designed air box that keeps loose dirt and turbulent engine air out of your system.

One of the most impressive thing that we liked about this filter is,The ease of installing withno more coding.The S&B engineered it very well by devoting huge amount of time, so that you will never face any issues while integrating into your engine and also this one is custom tuned with your stock caliberation making it more easier installation..So you don’t have to hit your head by doing all diffucult codings.

You can install your S&B Air Intake system in just 30 minutes with the easy to use installation instruction and illustrations.

The S&B Air Intake system is backed up an 1,000,000 mile warranty.

Check out customer reviews & ratings

Key Features

  • Made for Chevy Silverado /GMC Sieraa (2500HD and 3500HD) 
  • Designed with two openings to pull air into the air box.
  • Feature a premium, tear resistant high quality silicone S&B Air Filter specifically matched to your vehicle type
  • S&B air boxes feature an exclusive clear window top to ease inspection of your high-performance filter-and it’s great for showing off
  • S&B Cold Air Intakes also help balance air/fuel ratios that improve your gas mileage
  • Bolts directly on to the side of the truck eliminating the need for the stock mounting rack and creating the most solid mounting point imaginable
  • You can attach your stock breather to the adapter installed in the air box
  • Backed by 1,000,000 Mile warranty

Check S&B Air Intake kits for All Chevy/GMC Models Year Wise

Pros
  • Increase horsepower, torque and improve your fuel economy
  • Easy Installation
  • Custom tuned with stock caliberation
  • No more coding, High Power noticed

Cons
  • Check Fit for your model before buying
  • Always check for the proper hardware and installation instruction otherwise you will face fitting issues


#3 Airaid 200-268 MXP Intake System

Make your Intake system running more cooler and increase your vehicle’ performance with the Airaid Cold Air Intake System.

The Airaid 200-268 Performance Cold Air Intake System produces horsepower and torque gains by replacing your vehicle’s restrictive factory air filter and air intake housing.

Before Talking about the features let’s know about the manufacturer.

Airaid Intake Systems are specifically designed to take full advantage of today’s vehicle technology. They are recognized throughout the world as the standard in high-performance intake system upgrades with a price that makes it even more sensible for the motorsports enthusiasts.

By feeding your engine more air with Airaid Cold air dam intake system-you can easily feel the gain in torque , horsepower and fuel economy of your vehicle.

The Airaid MXP Air intake system proves to be best and ultimate CAI responsible for delivering higher levels of horsepower and acceleration to Chevy/GMC HD trucks models.

The intake system retains the original location of the air filter but delivers a big boost with the replacement of stock air filter with huge one-piece roto-molded air box that help to provide a steady, free-flowing supply of cooler outside air into your engine.

It also replaces that factory air box with the in-house air box in which you will get an AIRAID premium Red Oiled air filter that delivers outstanding air flow and filtration.

Air is directed through a new air intake tube constructed of cross-linked, high-density polyethylene that is designed using extensive computer modeling to maintain proper mass air flow readings and calibration.

Morever, the outside covering or panel also keep the filter isolated from the hot engine compartment air by sealing to the underside of the hood via blade-style weather stripping.

This MXP air intake system incorporates fresh air ducting which further promotes airflow, and has provisions for the factory mass air sensor and engine breather tube.

With ease of installation and no need of recalibration after induction makes it one of the best cold air intake in the market today.

You can install Air Box system easily with simple hand tools in just 30 minutes.

Your Airaid Air Intake system is backed by lifetime warranty.

Check out Customer Reviews and Ratings

Key Features

  • Custom designed and engineered to fit in Chevrolet Silverado 1500/2500/3500 and GMC Sierra 1500/2500/3500 models.
  • Boosts airflow results in increased torque, horsepower and fuel economy
  • Cold Air Dam panels block out hot engine bay air
  • Replaces stock air box, intake tube and air filter
  • Comes with Washable , reusable Premium oiled Airaid filter for superior filtration
  • Installed in just 30 min with simple hand tools
  • Backed by Lifetime Warranty

Check Airaid Cold Air intake kit for ALL CHEVY/GMC HD Models year-wise

Pros
  • Boost overall performance
  • Install in just 30 mins
  • Comes with Washable and Reusable filter 
  • Heat Shield plus gives better throttle response & Engine sound

Cons
  • Check Fit for your model before buying
  • Always check for the proper hardware and installation instruction otherwise you will face fitting issues


#2 aFe Power Momentum GT 54-74103 GM Silverado/Sierra Performance Intake System

Outflow your factory intake by up to 19% and boost the trapped power of your engine with the aFe Power Momentum GT 54-74103 Cold Air Intake System.

With its unique design the aFe Power Momentum cold Air intake system adds up to 8 Hp and 11 Lbs x ft torque gain.

The smooth one-piece sealed housing is used to eliminate the use of multiple-piece housings and ensure the coolest air intake charge available.

A large, clear sight window is used for a hassle-free filter inspection and an aggressive style.

The CAI System uses a CAD designed, dyno-tuned, roto-mold intake tube to achieve maximum power gains while maintaining a perfect fit.

The Momentum GT intake is designed around a pre-oiled, large 5″ Tall conical inverted top 360 degree radial flow performance air filter with 5-layers of progressive finer mesh cotton media providing maximum airflow and performance.

The unique air filter-to-housing interface (patent pending) allows for maximum filter size which increases the available air volume while simplifying the installation process.

A premium stainless steel T-bolt clamp and a silicone couplers are used for strength and durability while also providing the most secure installation available.

Momentum GT intakes are designed with fewer parts for a quick and simple installation.No Cutting or Drilling required on factory parts.

This product is not CARB exempt at this time and is not legal for sale in California or use on vehicles registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Check out Customer Reviews and Ratings

Key Features

  • +8 HP / +11 lbs. x ft. Torque max gains
  • Outflows factory intake by up to 19%
  • CAD-Designed Roto-Molded Intake Tube
  • One-Piece Sealed Housing
  • Pro 5R oiled 5-Layer Progressively Finer Mesh Cotton Gauze Oiled Media for Maximum Performance
  • Built-In Sight Window Provides Easy Inspection of Filter Without Disassembly
  • Unique (Patent Pending) Filter-to-Housing Interface for Easy Installation
  • No cutting or drilling on factory parts for faster installation

Check aFe Power Cold Air Intake kit for All Chevy/GMC HD Models Year-Wise

Pros
  • Increase +8 HP / +11 lbs. x ft. Torque max gains
  • outflows factory intake by upto 19%
  • Pro 5R Oiled Washable and Reusable filter 
  • Heat Shield plus gives better throttle response & Engine sound

Cons
  • Check Fit for your model before buying
  • Always check for the proper hardware and installation instruction otherwise you will face fitting issues


#1 K&N 63-3101 P Performance Air Intake System

Wait for the First position is over- K&N Performance Cold Air Intake Kit stands at #1 Position in our list of Top 4 best Air Intake kits.

The reason for this intake to stand at first position is its price. It will give you noticeable amount of HP bosst without cutting your pockets.

So,whether you have to Haul cargo ,tow or climb the stope – the K&N Performance Cold Air Intake Kit is your best bet to boost up your performance level of your truck.

Before moving forward let’s take a look on manufacturer- K&N Engineering, of Riverside, California, is the inventor and leading innovator of reusable cotton gauze filter technology for automotive applications.

K&N exists as both the sales and brand leader for performance filters, and maintains a stocking catalogue of over 3,500 part numbers, including an extensive line of both factory replacement drop-in filters, FIPK (Fuel Injection Performance Kit) applications, and its line of innovative Performance Gold oil filters.

Now Coming towards the Performance Cold Air Intake Kit- it is custom designed for your specific made , make and model.

The K&N 63-3101 Air Charger air intake system replaces the restrictive factory air filter and air intake housing on specific Chevy/GMC HD models.

K&N air intakes are designed to dramatically reduce air intake restriction as well as smooth and straighten air flow.

This allows your engine to inhale a larger amount of air than the factory air filter assembly. More air means more usable power and acceleration throughout the engine’s RPM range.

The air intake comes with a chrome topped K&N high-flow air filter and a heat shield that installs into the original air box space.

Air is directed through an aerodynamically engineered intake tube into the engine’s throttle body and turbo inlet for a guaranteed power gain.

The tube accommodates the factory air temperature sensor. The oversized cone shaped air filter can be used for up to 100,000 miles before servicing is needed depending on driving conditions.

This air intake is relatively easy to install, usually in 90 minutes or less using your vehicle’s existing factory mounting points. The tools needed are a screwdriver and an Allen wrench.

Check out Customer reviews and ratings

Key Features

  • Fits on Chevy Silverado / GMC Sieraa 2500HD/3500HD 
  • Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower and performance
  • Designed to improve throttle response and engine sound
  • Add up to 14 horsepower to the pedal
  • Comes with Largest possible K&N Filter charger cotton-gauze filter (washable & Reusable)
  • Lasts up to 100,000 miles before service is required (depending on driving conditions)
  • Replaces entire factory air intake system
  • Free-flowing high density polyethylene tube
  • Easy installation with details instructions and a complete hardware kit

Check K&N Cold air Intake kit for All GMC/Chevy trucks Models Year-wise

Pros
  • Increase HP up to 14
  • outflows factory intake by upto 50%
  • Largest K&N Filter charger cotton-gauze filter Washable and Reusable 
  • Heat Shield plus gives better throttle response & Engine sound

Cons
  • Check Fit for your model before buying
  • Always check for the proper hardware and installation instruction otherwise you will face fitting issues


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What are the Indicators of Bad or faulty cold Air Intake?

These are the three symptoms or indicators that will alert you that your Cold Air intake in not functioning properly.

Bad or Faulty Air intake

Bad or Faulty Air intake

1.Reduction in Engine Performance

This is one of the most common indicator that will alert you that something is not good with cold Air Intake. Mostly over the time, the air filter gets clogged or become dirty that will result in reduction in power, accelerations and mileage. You will also experience problems while starting the vehicle that something is stuck and starting will become not smooth as before.

2. Excessively High Idle

The another indicator or alert you may get with the faulty Cold Air intake is an excessively high idle. Faulty cold air intake is not only the factor for high idle but this is one of the potential indicator. High Idle in this case is a symptom of vacuum leak. Most of the cold air intake systems come with vacuum ports to accommodate the original manufacturers vacuum routing. If the hoses on these ports or the ports will break that will lead to a vacuum leak and will cause excessively high idle.

3. Check Engine Lights

If the sensors installed in the cold air intake detects any issues, then it will set the Engine light on that will be the sign of something bad with the cold air intake whether it was vacuum leak or any faulty sensors. You can check the Engine light with Engine light reader also. Those sensors installed in the intake are specially designed to detect any problem and let your alert about the same.

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Important things to consider for long life of Cold Air Intake – Expert Tips

Here are some expert tips and important things to consider for longer life of Cold Air intake. Here we mentioned only the names to Read full tips >> Click Here

  1. Timely Maintenance : Always do regular checks and inspection and keep your air filters clean for longer life.
  2. Check for any Water Intake (or Ingestion) : Check for Any water ingestion in you Air intake system . Entering of water in intake system will lead to engine failure 
  3. Which one to Choose Dry or Oil Filter – Choose between the two according to your driving conditions.
  4. Keep the Air Box Cooler and Increase its efficiency Using Heat Shield – use thermal barrier for better efficiency of intake system
  5. CARB Approval – Your intake system must be CARB Approved.

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Cold Air Intake Buying Guide – FAQs

Q.What is cold Air Intake?

Ans. A Cold air intake kit is replacement or aftermarket part that is designed to provide the engine with greater capacity of cooler air. Cold Air intake provides improved combustion rate by drawing in colder air. There are many flow restrictions by means of tubes, bends and turns that basically slower down the incoming air for combustion with time. More restrictions mean more resistance and temperature and less air or oxygen delivered to combustion chamber causing a poor ignition of fuel rich air/fuel mixture. This leads to decrease in performance with time.

Cold air Intake system is designed to free up those restrictions and drawing in colder air or more oxygen and maximizing combustion in your engine and hence increasing performance of your truck.

Q. Why Cold Air Intake is important for the engine?

Ans. Cold Air intake draws in cold and denser air to the engine which has high concentration of oxygen. This means better combustion and less fuel is needed to create the spark and run the engine which leads to better horsepower, torque and fuel economy. Moreover, it increases the efficiency of the engine also.

Q. Does cold Air intake make any difference in performance?

Ans. Yes, Cold Air Intake do make a difference in performance. Some manufacture claims as much as 20-30 HP increase. But you will easily get 15-20 increase in horsepower and noticeable economy increase. And, if you’re using other modifications also like better performance exhaust, Tuners or suspension then you will create a much more efficient system.

Q. How often should I replace my cold air intake filter?

Ans. It depends upon the type of air filter you’re using. If you’re using Oiled filter that is re-usable and will last longer than the dry filter. So, it depends upon your cold air intake system.

Q. How many types of Cold Air intakes are there And Which is better cold air intake or Short Ram?

Ans.There are generally three types : the short ram system , Ram Air intake and the true cold air intake system.

Short ram system: The short ram is basically replace your factory intake with a new smooth pipe and an open element air filter .It is easy to install and cheaper than cold air intake.Since it takes place as your factory pipe so it allows for engine heat to have an easier path into your intake system, creating less horsepower and torque as compared to cold air intake. Its design tends to require less “plumbing” or fabrication work.

True cold air intake: Whereas Cold Air intake or The “true” cold air intake  places an emphasis on moving the air filter as far forward as possible. It draws air from outside the engine bay to give engine cooler and denser air. It produces more supplemental cold air flow than the short ram design. Due to the intake having more piping, the cold air is usually more expensive, and more difficult to install.

Ram Air Intake: The Ram Air Intake is pretty much similar like cold air intake only the difference is – it comes with longer tubes and air filter at the back of system. This is more beneficial during high speeds as it draws larger volume of air with wind pressure which results in more engine power. It is somewhat like turbocharger but with less parts.

It’s depend upon you which air intake you want to buy, as from the name Short Ram intake provides short path which results in better throttle response. Moreover, it draws air from inside the engine bay which is much warmer and better for complete combustion of fuel which means short ram intakes gives better gas mileage also than cold air intake.

Whereas on the other hand Cold Air intake draws in cold and denser air that means more oxygen available for combustion which leads to more power. On the other hand, sometimes Short Ram intake gets issue like its intake pipe gets heated up due to engine heat- for that you need heat shield installed in the Short Ram Intake.

Q. Does a cold air intake damage your engine?

Ans. There is a bigger concern with air intake to your vehicle – that is hydrolocking or hydrolock. It is the condition in which engine takes in water instead of air, causing engine damage. As water gets trapped in the cylinder of the engine and it doesn’t compress also which can ruin the pistons and cause connecting rods to bend and damage the engine. But this is very rare case nowadays.

This have happened in past but now it’s very rare thing to happen as now the cold air intake comes with air bypass valve installed in the middle of the cold air intake. The high pressure of bypass valve would not allow water to engine your engine.  The other option is you can choose short ram intake, so there is no option for hydro-lock.

We recommend if you’re living in area where the raining is very common than you should choose short ram intake.

Q. How Much a good cold air intake cost?

Ans. Changing from your vehicle’s intake system to Cold Air Intake system will cost around $150 to $550, depending upon the system. The cost is worth it actually , as you will save on fuel and your engine will get more power and better working.

Q. Why my cold intake pipe becomes very hot or what is heat Soak?

Ans. If your intake pipe is becoming hot very frequently then this is condition of heat soak in which the intake pipe itself heats up and it also increase the temperature of air going into your engine, decreasing engine performance. This is the issue usually with low grade air intakes. A good intake system is made from material such as aluminium that doesn’t allow the piping to get hot enough to effect performance.

Q. Does you need any tune with a cold air Intake?

Ans. Cold Air intake itself is best option to get more power and better mileage. Whereas if you want more advanced modifications then you should go with Tuners or Programmers, performance Exhausts, Suspensions and in trucks tonneau covers for better overall efficiency.

Q. Why some air intakes are cheaper than the others? If this really makes any difference?

Ans. First of all it totally depends upon your budget and system, which one you have to choose. But choosing cheaper one does not gives you that performance like the normal air intake. The cheaper air intakes usually come with simple design with a pipe and cheap filter and there is no testing for proper air/fuel mixing resulting in poor performance whereas the best Air intake comes with proper design and testing that mix air and fuel in proper ratio for better combustion and efficiency.


Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed the article Top 4 Best Cold Air Intakes for Chevy Silverado HD/GMC Sieraa HD (2550HD/3500HD) to its entire bits.

We do hope that this article helped you in making a definitive choice when it comes to choosing an Best Air Intakes for your GMC/ CHEVY HD trucks that boosted the flow rate and hence increase the performance level.

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