A clean intake system will inevitably go a long way towards ensuring that your car runs at peak performance. Of course, this points back to the “holy trinity” of the internal combustion engine - Air, fuel and ignition, so the effects can be felt in both petrol, and diesel cars of all types. If there are limitations on the amount of air that your motor can breathe, then it will tend to suffer in a variety of ways.
How Does My Intake Effect Fuel Efficiency
You'll want to make sure that your car is receiving an adequate supply of oxygen to burn because doing so will improve the fuel efficiency of your car. If the air supply is lowered, then your engine will have to work harder to produce the same amount of power as usual - which will mean that it uses more fuel to do so. Modern cars have computers that will measure air intake and oxygen content in the exhaust, so will adjust the way the engine runs to compensate for any drop in detected oxygen, meaning that the issue won't be as pronounced as in older, carbureted cars, and diesel cars as well - but it is still a good idea to ensure that your intake system is clean and in good working order.
More airflow generally equates to better performance. Of course, there are exceptions and limitations, but it never hurts to make sure your car can easily suck in as much air as the motor needs to reach peak performance. Clean filters, larger intakes, correctly functioning sensors and also proper ducting to ensure cooler air intake will all go a long way to providing that your car performs the way you want it to.
This is particularly true of cars with carburetors, but having a decent, clean and unobstructed intake can help reduce emissions by ensuring that your car's sensors can get a proper reading and adjust things as necessary. While a blocked or dirty air filter won't generally have a huge effect on petrol cars with modern engine management, the effects can still be noticed in diesel cars. The primary thing to ensure is that your EGR system is functioning correctly and that all your sensors are working as they should.
The single most important reason to ensure that your intake is free from damage, leaks or dirt is to prevent any engine damage. Even minuscule amounts of foreign particles can cause all manner of damage to your engine. Whether it be excessive wear or pitting of your cylinders, or clogging of valve clearances, any damage that can occur can be easily prevented by making sure that the little bits of stuff that shouldn't be in your engine, isn't getting into your engine via a neglected intake system.
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