Cold air intakes

I recently puchased a 2004 Nissan 350Z. The previous owner installed a cold air intake by Injen. A sticker warns of operating the car in wet weather because water may be inhaled into the engine. How much of a worry is this?

The idea is simply to avoid splashing through major puddles, throwing water up into the engine compartment. This would not be good for any car’s air intake, although standard intakes are located for good protection. Maybe yours is too. If you don’t splash, rainy weather itself is not a problem.

thousands of people use these with no problems. the best thing to do is watch your car after a heavy rain and see if your engine is wet in anyway, kn cold air intakes dont let water in, they are oil soaked to trap dirt and repel water. i have kn air filter pods on my bike and was recently caught in a very heavy rain storm and didnt have any problems. best to find out if this filter is cleanable which will most likely use an oil product to replenash the filter. if there is no damage now its probably ok, im sure the previous owner got caught in the rain.look under the filter part and see if there is a splash gaurd. thats helps alot. good luck.

The problem with these type of systems is that the air filter is not encased for protection from water or anything else that’s flying around there.

Water getting sucked into an engine can easily destroy it. Can you put the original part back on??

Unless you are looking for extreme performance and the car has been greatly modified, I would try to go back to OEM Normal drivers will not see much if any advantage to that intake.

Some basic pointers on Cold Air Intakes (CAI) and water:

Summary: Stay away from puddles period. If it was my car, I would avoid driving in heavy rains with standing road water. You can destroy your engine since your CAI doesn?t have an Air Bypass Valve. If you?re unfamiliar with your new car setup, take it to a performance shop so they can evaluate the installation and condition of your CAI, especially if it?s an older oiled filter. Oiled filters can mess up your Mass Air Flow Sensor and harm your engine. They make newer dry-non-oiled filters. You may need to make sure your ECU has been properly setup to handle the CAI if necessary or at least have your MAF cleaned and the filter replaced.

A few things to consider:

  1. Think of your CAI as a big vacuum cleaner mounted low to the ground. It?s going after the cooler air near the ground and away from the engine compartment for a denser air charge (more O2, more power). Hopefully you have the standard ?hydro shield? or protective casing to protect the filter from small stuff. BE CAREFUL WHEN WET!!!

  2. Water ingestion into an engine is called hydro locking. It would be a total catastrophic loss. You can?t compress water so you literally blow apart engine bits when water gets sucked into a running engine. Think holes in your engine, broken connecting rods, etc., etc.

  3. Some CAI manufacturers have an Air Bypass Valve that will prevent ingestion of water into the engine even if you stick the air intake into deep water. However, if the water gets to the level of the ABV, game over? The only ABV?s I?m familiar with are not supposed to be used with Turbocharged engines. The stock 350Z is non-turbo I think. Hopefully the previous owner didn?t bolt on a turbo?

  4. There?s a big debate out there over the benefits of CAI?s with pretty convincing arguments on both sides. If you?re not completely sure about modifications made by the previous owner, take it to a performance shop so they can check out the car and give you the proper care and driving instructions. A careless mod can ruin or impair high performance cars like the 350Z.

Good luck.

Do you have the original parts? I would probably just restore the system to stock.

I used to have a two piece CAI on my civic. I decided one day to just remove the extra tube sticking into my wheel well and put the filter on the first piece. I believe the correct definition is “short ram”. The filter is located in the top side of the engine compartment and I’d hafta be driving in water up to my hood to get it in any water.