Cold Air vs Short Ram Air Intake: What's the Difference?

Cold Air vs Short Ram Air Intake: What's the Difference?

3rd Jun 2021

engine air intake

When researching air intake systems for your vehicle, you'll probably come across cold air and short ram. They are two of the most popular types of air intakes on the market. While they'll both supply your vehicle's engine with air, they aren't the same. Cold air intakes differ from short ram intakes in several ways.

What Is a Cold Air Intake?

A cold air intake is a type of air intake that's characterized by its placement. It's placed outside of the engine where it's able to funnel cool air from the vehicle's exterior to its engine.

Traditional air intakes, including most factory air intakes, are typically placed inside of the engine. The temperature inside of engines, of course, is usually higher than the exterior temperature. Therefore, traditional air intakes supply warmer air to the engine. With a cold air intake, your vehicle's engine will be supplied with cool air from the exterior because that's where they are placed.

What Is a Short Ram Intake?

A short ram intake is a type of air intake that lives up to its namesake by featuring a short design. It's similar to a cold air intake. Both cold air intakes and short ram intakes are placed outside of the engine. As a result, they'll both provide the engine with cooler air than that of a traditional intake system.

The main difference between a cold air intake and a short intake is the length. Short ram intakes are shorter than their cold air counterparts. They both consist of a filter that's connected to a pipe. Short ram intakes simply have a shorter pipe than cold air intakes.

Differences Between Cold Air and Short Ram Intakes

Cold air intakes supply cooler air to the engine than short ram intakes. Because they are shorter, short ram intakes are closer to the engine. As air generates heat around the engine, some of it will enter the short ram intake. Cold air intakes are farther away from the engine, so they are capable of producing cooler air.

Cold air and short ram intakes can both increase your vehicle's performance. A cold air intake will fuel the engine with cool, compressed air that contains more oxygen. In comparison, a short ram intake will reduce the distance that air has to travel to reach the engine.

Short ram intakes, on the other hand, are less susceptible to water and debris. Most cold air intakes are installed relatively low. When driving over puddles, water and debris may splash onto the low-hanging fluid.