Best Cold Air Intake for Chevy Silverado 1500

Are you looking for the best cold air intake for Chevy Silverado 1500? Hoping that it will entirely replace your stock intake? Searching for a model that will enhance your engine performance and gas mileage? Then you have certainly come to the right place. Here’s why.

Listed below are the best cold air intake systems for Chevy Silverado 1500 that you can find on the market. These units don’t settle at providing you with the benefits mentioned in the previous paragraph. Just like your truck when you’re on a long leisurely drive, they go the extra mile. Here’s how.

Aside from offering all the advantages listed above, these cold air intake kits improve engine noise, throttle response and engine sound. They are made of heavy-duty parts that enable them to withstand plenty of wear and tear. You can therefore count on them to not crack under your hood.

Best Cold Air Intakes for Chevy Silverado 1500

K&N 63-3082 Cold Air Intake Kit

K&N 63-3082 Cold Air Intake Kit

Multiple reasons necessitate the installation of this kit underneath your hood. Foremost among them is its ultimate longevity. It is one of those unique models whose manufacturer takes no prisoners when it comes to warrantying this product. That is why it comes with a 10yr/1million mile warranty.

When compared with your stock air intake kit, the K&N provides 50% more airflow. This results in better combustion efficiency and an engine that churns out more horsepower. It shouldn’t be surprising then that those of you who’ll install this kit in your Chevy Silverado 1500 will get better uphill performance.

Yet another area where this model makes its mark is engine noise. The seamless flow of air to the engine minimizes the engine noise, making it almost impossible for the person sitting in the passenger seat to get disturbed by the sound.

The fact that it supports bolt-on installation is the reason why you can assemble this kit in less than an hour, and that too with basic tools. That’s not all. K&N has designed its filter in such a way that you won’t have to do any filter cleaning for the first 100,000 miles.

Pros

  • 10yr/1m mile guarantee
  • Improves uphill performance
  • Doesn’t require filter cleaning for 100,000 miles

Cons

  • Breather hoses have cheap-looking plastic fittings

Million Parts Air Intake With Filter

Million Parts Air Intake With Filter

Here is another air intake kit that minimizes intake restrictions and straightens air flow. Its premium construction ensures error-free operation, and its washable nature ensures that the entire kit remains functional for a long time to come.

This air intake kit doesn’t restrict itself to merely replacing your stock kit. It also comes with a built-in filter that removes airborne dust particles from the incoming air. Also, as per the manufacturer’s instructions, the filer won’t require any maintenance for the first 100,000 miles.

You might also find it pleasing to note that this kit ensures hassle-free installation. You won’t have to purchase any special tools for its assembly as those commonly available will help you install it in your engine. The absence of installation instructions, however, was uncalled for.

To further sweeten the deal, this kit supports both manual as well as automatic transmission. It goes with a wide range of vehicles and is made of premium quality aluminum - the one you could count on to withstand the extreme temperature conditions they’ll be exposed to under the hood.

Pros

  • Premium construction
  • Washable and reusable filter
  • Hassle-free installation

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with installation instructions

K&N 57-3058 Cold Air Intake Kit

K&N 57-3058 Cold Air Intake Kit

Aiming to get your hands on a cold air intake kit that will increase airflow, boost engine horsepower and improve its uphill performance? You can’t afford to miss the K&N 57-3058 Cold Air Intake Kit if that’s indeed the case. Its features mentioned below are the reasons why.

This model blows your stock air intake kit out of the water by providing 50% more airflow. Its pre-oiled air filter does enough to trap dust particles and prevent them from harming the engine. The bolt-on installation is another feather in this model’s cap.

All these features combine to make a product that improves engine sound and acceleration. You won’t hear any cranky noises emanating from under the hood. In fact, as long as you don’t open the hood, you won’t be able to hear power oozing from your engine.

Loads of guarantees are on offer with this cold air intake kit. One which we liked the most was the 10yr/1m million warranty on the products. Another one states that those of you who don’t drive roughly can expect the original filter to go without requiring any cleaning for the first 100,000 miles.

Pros

  • Pre-oiled air filter
  • Can be installed with basic hand tools
  • Precision engineered to increase horsepower

Cons

  • Pricey

Volant 151536 PowerCore Cool Air Intake

Volant 151536 PowerCore Cool Air Intake

Next up on our list is this easy-to-install and heavy-duty intake kit. Its polyethylene construction helps this model withstand external elements. What it also does is prevent the vibrations emanating from the engine disturb the intake kit. That’s precisely the reason why it lasts as long as it does.

One of the defining features of this model has to be its filter’s ability to meet OEM standards. Most cold air intake kits come with filters that require you to wiggle them into the box. Not this one. Its OEM filter will go into its place in your engine like a hand goes into a glove.

Although there is one area where this model is similar to most cold air intakes on the market. It is designed at an angle that directs the airflow at the engine to help it provide proper horsepower while remaining cool at the same time.

Unfortunately, its usage of a PowerCore dry element filter comes as a double-edged sword. On the one end, the dry filter requires minimal maintenance and has helped keep this kit’s asking price low. On the other, it has a low shelf-life, especially when you compare that with wet element filters.

Pros

  • Filter meets OEM standard
  • Ensures  outstanding direct airflow
  • Improves the efficiency of the engine

Cons

  • Dry filter has slightly reduced shelf life

Superfastracing 4" Cold Air Intake System + Heat Shield

Superfastracing 4" Cold Air Intake System + Heat Shield

Many of you might ignore this model’s name and head straight to the features section. They would be making a mistake. This product is delivered in a 2-in-1 package that includes a heat shield in addition to a cold air intake system. Here’s how that’s going to benefit you.

The heat shield features a durable carbon-black power coating that isn’t just there for the looks. It resists scratches, keeps rust and corrosion at bay and isolates the air filter from the engine components surrounding it. This helps the shield enhance the filter’s shelf life.

You might find it pleasing to note that the versatility of this product hasn’t come at the cost of its practicality. It supports both automatic and manual transmission vehicles, has filters that are washable and reusable and can be installed with commonly-available tools.

On top of everything else, this cold air intake system is fully made of renewable materials. Its carbon footprint therefore is minimal. But that doesn’t mean that it comes at an astronomical price. In fact it’s one of the most inexpensive models on our list.

Pros

  • Available at a reasonable price
  • Requires only minor tweaking for installation
  • Extremely helpful installation instructions

Cons

  • Fitment at MAF could have been better

Spectre Performance SPE-9910 Air Intake Kit

Spectre Performance SPE-9910 Air Intake Kit

All Spectre air intake systems serve a double purpose. They help you get more torque and horsepower from your vehicle and have a filter that keeps debris from harming your engine. We’re happy to report that the SPE-9910 air intake kit isn’t any different as well.

It is equipped with a red reusable low restriction air filter that provides 50% more air to your engine than a standard stock air filter provides. The high-quality polished aluminum tubing of the intake kit as well as its black powder-coated heat shield protect the engine air from making its way into the intake’s inlet.

What’s more, you only need five commonly available tools to install this model in less than 90 minutes using the instructions given in PDF form. The tools you’d need include an Allen wrench, a standard wrench, extension and a flat blade screwdriver. Nothing that you can’t buy from your local hardware store.

Pros

  • Provides torque and horsepower increase
  • Gives easy to install performance
  • Equipped with a heat shield and reusable air filter

Cons

  • Instructions are a little vague

DNA MOTORING Cold Air Intake Pipe+Heat Shield System

DNA MOTORING Cold Air Intake Pipe+Heat Shield System

Provided you came here in search of an intake pipe system that doubled as a heat insulator, you can’t go wrong with this air intake pipe and heat shield system. It helps the engine draw in more air from the surroundings to provide more explosive horsepower output and better throttle response.

The manufacturer of this unit is of the opinion that its installation underneath your hood will offer three benefits. It claims that this model increases horsepower by 5 to 10, torque by 8 to 10% and filtration efficiency by 95%. We put these claims to the test. Here’s what we found.

All of them proved to be right. Drivers who have installed this model underneath their hood claimed that in addition to getting all the benefits, they are also enjoying better fuel mileage. It is of no surprise at least to us then that this air intake system is as popular as it is.

Pros

  • High-quality T-6061 Aluminum construction
  • Helps draw in colder air
  • Increases filtration efficiency by up to 95%

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with installation instructions

Airaid 202-285 AIRAID Cold Air Dam Intake System

Airaid 202-285 AIRAID Cold Air Dam Intake System

Airaid enjoys an excellent reputation in the market for crafting high quality products. The Air dam intake system does everything to uphold that repute. It boosts a unique design that keeps this system from sucking in hot air from outdoors. Here’s how it accomplishes that.

This air intake system has a box around its air filter that is closed on the side closest to the engine and has a port on the side farthest from it. This makes sure that the air grabbed by the filter and later on received by the engine is the coolest in its surroundings.

Aside from that, the fact that it is made of polyethylene should erase any doubts you may have in your mind about this product’s durability. Polyethylene is one of the sturdiest plastics around and has a melting point in the range of 239 to 285*F. That is to say that it will last under extreme conditions.

Pros

  • Washable filter media
  • Premium polyethylene construction
  • Superior performance gains

Cons

  • Expensive

aFe Power Momentum GT 51-74104

aFe Power Momentum GT 51-74104

Most air intake systems you see on the market offer nothing but essential hardware. That is to say that their kit offers little apart from the system itself, installation instructions and (if the product is expensive) a heat shield. The aFe Power Momentum doesn’t belong in the majority.

That is because apart from providing an air intake system with a 3-layer dry filter, it offers a urethane plug as well. This plug can be used to fully seal the air box when you don’t feel the need to justify extra engine horsepower. It’s a worth having feature if you drive on street roads often.

Though you can get the best out of this model only by keeping the urethane plug aside. Only then will it increase the factory intake of your engine’s air by up to 50%. It also includes a built-in sight window to let you see the goings-on inside the box.

Pros

  • Includes urethane plug
  • One-piece sealed housing
  • Washable synthetic filter media

Cons

  • Increase in mileage is too little to be noteworthy

Best Cold Air Intake for Chevy Silverado 1500 - Buying Guide

Best Cold Air Intake for Chevy Silverado 1500

Here’s what you should look for when selecting the best cold air intake for Chevy Silverado 1500:

Style of Cold Air Intake

There are generally two types of cold air intake systems: short ram and true cold air intake. Both differ in how their fabrication works, the time they need for installation, and the positioning of their inlet. It goes without saying that these differences also affect their performance.

Short Ram System

Short Ram System

Short Ram System

The short ram system consists of nothing but an open-element air filter and a new smooth pipe. It draws air not from the surroundings but from inside the engine.

Naturally, this results in your engine getting air that isn’t as cold as the one it will get from a ‘true’ cold air intake system. However, that doesn’t mean that this system doesn’t deliver any benefits.

When compared to true cold air systems, the short ram system is easier to install. That’s mainly because its design needs less fabrication work or plumbing.

True Cold Air Intake

True Cold Air Intake

True Cold Air Intake

These systems place their air filter as far forward and as farther away from the engine as possible. They suck in air from outside the engine bay to give the engine dense and cooler air.

Such an arrangement injects oxygen-rich air into your engine and increases its combustion efficiency. It also increases the engine’s horsepower and torque.

The reason as to why that’s the case is, because, while hot air has smaller oxygen particles, cold air has larger O2 molecules. Together with its cold temperature, it causes the fuel to burn more efficiently

Type of fit

Visit the market in search of cold air intakes, and you’ll be presented with two options: universal fit and direct fit. Both have their own positive and negative points that you shouldn’t ignore if you want to select the best cold air intake for your Chevy Silverado 1500.

Universal Fit

Such systems are compatible with almost all carbureted functions. They are available in a one-type-fits-all design and requires little modification before installation in any engine.

On the flip side, they do require you to purchase additional components for installation. The time you’d have to spend to install under the hood will also be considerable.

Direct Fit

Recommended by our experts, cold air intakes that offer direct fit are made for Chevy Silverado 1500. They don’t require you to purchase any separate parts or do any customization for their installation.

What’s more, since these kits are made for your vehicle, they are ‘pre-tuned’ to its specifications by their manufacturer. You can, therefore, count on them to give the best performance.

Type of filter

Cold air intakes have filters that allow them to trap dust particles that come inside with the sucked-in air. This enables them to prevent any outside dirt and debris from getting to the engine and disturbing its performance. You have the option to choose either an oiled filter or oil-free/dry filter.

Oiled Filter

These filters have a thin layer of oil that traps dirt on its surface. They are relatively long-lasting, and you might drive as much as 100,000 miles before feeling the need to replace an oiled air filter.

Their shelf life depends on how often you clean them. Such filters can be rinsed away with a mixture of soap and water, followed by the reapplication of oil on their surface.

Dry Filter

Dry filters don’t cost as much as their oiled counterparts. They rely on a gauze of cotton or synthetic fabric to trap dust particles that come inside with the trapped air.

On the downside, these filters have a relatively short shelf-life. You might have to replace them once every 15,000 to 30,000 miles, depending on the instructions of their manufacturer.

Plastic Vs. Metal Intake Tubes

Here’s how both these tubes compare:

Asking price

As you might already be aware of, plastic intake tubes cost a pittance. Their asking price is so low that you cannot compare it with those of metal intake tubes.

Design

The design of plastic tubes is a subdued one. It blends easily with other compartments under the hood. That isn’t the case with metal intake tubes whose shine will make them stand out amidst the crowd.

Performance

You might be disappointed to know that there’s much difference between the two as far as their price is concerned. Though metal tubes do tend to run slightly hotter.

Must-have Features

Following are the features on which you shouldn’t compromise when choosing a cold air intake:

  • Vehicle-specific design: Unless a cold air intake were built for your vehicle, it would not work. Simple as that. Try as you might there’s no way you can install it under the hood. So make sure that the cold air intake you’re looking at is made for Chevy Silverado 1500.
  • Heat-resistant material of construction: Do you know that the temperature under the hood touches a 200-degree mark? Parts that are exposed to this temperature have to withstand it for thousands of hours. That’s why your cold air intake should be made of a heat-resistant material.
  • Straight tube design: As all of us already know, the easiest way to get from point A to point B is via a straight line. That’s also true for cold air intakes as those that have straight hoses transport the air more efficiently compared with those that have a slightly curved design.
  • Water-protection:  Make sure the cold air intake you’re looking at comes with some sort of water-resistant shield. Having a model that allows water to get into it can result in irreversible engine problems, after that costing you thousands of dollars.
  • Washable filter: Cold Air intake filters that are washable last longer than those that aren’t. The reason as to why that’s the case is simple. You have the freedom to rinse away any dirt, dust, or oil particles from within them.

Conclusion

Cold air intakes ensure the smooth flow of air to the engine. This easy-looking process is crucial as it enhances your vehicle’s mileage, increases its horsepower and enhances its uphill performance. It also has a positive impact on your engine’s acceleration.

Ivo Gievski
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