Why Are Cold Air Intakes Illegal In California? Best Explanation 

Many people have told me about installing Cold Air Intake in trucks. They’re fantastic for car exhaust. My friend previously told me that he was planning to install a Cold Air Intake Kit for his car but was having trouble.

He claims he’ll be traveling to California in a few months to look for work and is thinking about installing a Cold Air Intake in his truck because of its numerous benefits. However, he is aware that the installation is prohibited in California, and he is baffled as to why.

Why are cold air intakes illegal in California? I’ve had the same thought before. However, after reviewing numerous sources, I recently discovered the correct answer.

In this essay, I will discuss the impacts of Cold Air Intake with readers. Let us also investigate why they are prohibited in California. Is there a way to make this work? Please go all the way to the conclusion of the article to find out why I’m here.

What Does a Cold-Air Intake Do?

A cold-air intake’s aim is to provide cold air in an otherwise hot under-hood environment. It can do this by sucking air from above the hood, under the front bumper, or a cooler portion of the engine compartment.

There are certain advantages to breathing chilly air, as well as some drawbacks. This will be determined by the engine’s intended role and performance. As a result, determining whether such outcomes are taken into account will be much easier. Here are some of the considerations to consider while weighing the benefits and drawbacks of chilly air.

Pros of Cold Air Intake

First, let’s learn about the advantages of the Cold Air Intake system for vehicles.

1. Increased Engine Life

Engines that run at lower temperatures may have a longer lifespan. This will aid engine components like the radiator as well.

2. More Rapid Throttle Response

The intake of stock air would send warm air for combustion when pressing the gas pedal from a complete stop. As a result, the engine will respond more slowly. Cold air intake, on the other hand, will allow chilly air to enter the chamber. As a result, when compared to stock intake, it will allow the engine to respond faster.

3. Horsepower increase

Because cold air promotes fuel combustion, the engine’s horsepower will be improved as soon as the Cold Air Intake is installed.

4. Increased Mileage

When it comes to systems that use cold air intake, the air-to-fuel ratio entering the gas lines might be much better. In fact, because the combination will be burned more efficiently, it will provide superior mileage.

5. Filters at a Discount

Once properly lubricated, the air filter with Cold Air Intake is easier to wash and reuse. You will save a lot of money because you will not have to change it every 15,000 miles like you would with a paper filter.

Cons of Cold Air Intake

Everything has two sides. In the previous section we mentioned the advantages of Cold Air Intake, next we will learn about their disadvantages.

1. The Filter Types

Any sort of filter can be used with a cold air input. Foam filters, for example, will be able to produce more horsepower, but they will be more prone to debris and dirt entering the engine.

2. Concerns about hydro-locking

When your engine collects moisture instead of air, it puts the components within at risk. This is known as hydro-locking, and it is the process of water becoming trapped inside the cylinders. As a result, your pistons will be ruined while the connecting rods will flex.

3. Shape

The intake of cold air, which allows for a 90-degree bend, may help to reduce your car’s idle. When you combine it with other aftermarket components, it becomes even more feasible. The issue is that it will draw air into the engine by causing air to roll.

4. Impact

The meter might be affected by the rolling motion of air, giving your engine an erroneous reading. As a result, the precise air-to-fuel combination will be thrown off, causing your engine to shut down.

This solution may improve your car’s gas mileage, but it is also, according to experts, a bit pricey to consider. The advantages and disadvantages of Cold Air Intake should assist you in deciding whether or not to use Cold Air Intake systems.

Read more: How To Prevent Hydrolock With Cold Air Intake? Best Advice

Why Are Cold Air Intakes Illegal In California?

Through the above list of pros and cons, you can probably guess somewhat why Cold Air Intake is banned in California. Let’s learn more about this issue.

You’re changing the air intake system, which could change the car’s emissions and cause it to emit at an unacceptably high level. All you have to do now is make sure your Cold Air Intake has a California Air Resources Board (CARB) clearance sticker.

The California Air Resources Board inspects an intake system in California and other jurisdictions that have accepted California emission regulations (CARB). CARB will issue an Executive Order (EO) number if the system meets the regulatory standards.

When this number is cited, a smog inspector will be informed that the intake system does not cause the vehicle to violate state emissions requirements. For a specific part number on a certain vehicle, an EO number is assigned.

A resubmission to CARB is required when a new year of the vehicle is issued. The regulatory procedure can take a long time, and there is no certainty that the system will be found acceptable for any subsequent vehicle model year.

What States Are Cold Air Intakes Illegal?

So you understand why Cold Air Intake is banned in California. But not only this area, there are many other places that also do not allow the installation of Cold Air Intake for trucks.

Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington are among the states that have adopted California emission regulations.

Is A Cold Air Intake Worth It On A Truck?

In theory, cold air and more air sound fantastic, but when you’re attempting to pass someone on the highway, none of it matters.

The good news is that, while promises of enhanced horsepower and even fuel efficiency may differ, cold air intakes will help your automobile run better.

When the throttle is fully open, you’ll undoubtedly notice an increase in power on its own. Some manufacturers claim that their technology will enhance horsepower by 5 to 20 percent. 

However, combining the Cold Air Intake with other engine improvements, such as a new exhaust, will result in a significantly more efficient system. As a result, consider it as only one component of a larger strategy to improve the performance of your engine.

When installing a cold air intake, there are a few negatives to be aware of. If your air filter is overly exposed to the elements and absorbs water, it will flow directly into your engine, leaving you in trouble.

Unless you drive across lakes every day, you’re unlikely to have a hydraulic lockout as a result of a cold air intake. If this is the case, consider installing a bypass valve to prevent it.

Installing a Cold Air Intake on some modern cars may also ruin the engine’s warranty. So, before you begin, look into this scenario, or at the very least be aware that it may become a problem later.

It’s also worth remembering that contemporary engines are more carefully constructed. Changing one item, such as an air filtration system, might influence other parts of the engine to behave in unexpected ways – and not in a good way.

Aside from that, install that Cold Air Intake and enjoy the beautiful sound of free-flowing cool air to your engine, as well as a few extra horsepowers. It could be exactly what your engine requires.

Frequent Asked Questions

Q: Why is K&N illegal in California?

Investigators from the California Air Resources Board determined that K&N Engineering, based in Riverside, marketed performance items that had not been exempted from the state’s anti-tampering legislation. California law makes it illegal to advertise, sell, or install items that alter car emissions.

Q: What kinds of intakes are prohibited in California?

Some of the intake systems we sell with the prefixes 63-, 69-, 77-, and RK- are not allowed in California or other jurisdictions that have adopted CARB emission requirements. Please check the CARB status of any intake system we sell for a specific vehicle on our website.

Final Thoughts

So now you know why Cold Air Intake is illegal in California. Consider the benefits and drawbacks, and find out what the local policy is so you don’t break it. I hope you are able to find a satisfactory solution. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section below and we will respond as soon as possible.

Leave a Comment

Read more