Hyper Engine in the Morning?
Ever notice on chilly mornings your car seems to have more get-up-and-go?
Later in the day − after things have warmed up − that effect seems to wear off. Perhaps you pass it all off as a romantic notion. But it’s not because your car or truck has some romantic ideas about cool crisp mornings. Rather, there is a good scientific reason for your engine’s morning perkiness.
Cold air is denser than warm air. When you start up and run your engine in the cooler morning weather, the air it takes in is denser. This dense air provides an overall denser lump of oxygen with which your engine can burn fuel. With this overall denser charge of fuel and air entering your engine, oila! You get more power!
Your Engine Lost That Lovin’ Feelin?
As you drive onward and as the engine warms up, you notice the engine’s giddiness seems to taper off. Disappointing, eh? This is generally for good reason.
One reason is because your car’s onboard computer makes adjustments to how your car responds at different temperatures. Modern engines have sensors connected to onboard computers which adjust for better fuel efficiency. These computers make adjustments to consume less fuel once the engine warms up. With less fuel, of course you’ll end up with less power. With all this talk about how your car’s onboard computer affects how strong or weak your engine may seem, there are other factors at play under the hood also.
On many cars (not all of them) the engine’s air intake port is located somewhere next to the engine – where things can get nice and hot. Unfortunately, this means the air going to the intake duct is probably heated up by that hot engine block before it makes its way into your car’s engine. So naturally, after the engine has warmed up, the engine may be pre-heating your intake air. This intake air is now less dense than it was when you first started the engine this chilly morning. Because it is less dense, your engine’s computer makes adjustments so that it burns with a proportionally less dense charge of fuel.
The result? Less dense (hot) air and less fuel go in, resulting in less power coming out. Your car suddenly loses the pep it had when you first started it.
While some may argue that your car’s manufacturer arranged all this intentionally, there is little to no information to prove this. Chances are just as likely that the placement of your car’s air intake duct was an afterthought on the car designers’ minds. This plays into the idea that everything is crammed tightly in whatever fashion that will fit under your car’s hood. This said, what does the manufacturer care where they place the air intake? Just so long it fits somewhere – that’s all that matters.
Unfortunately, you have to drive onward with a once-bristling engine that’s suddenly turned wimpy.
Fortunately, if you want to keep enjoying that extra “morning power”, there’s a solution.
It’s called a cold air intake.
See the pictures for a look at a cold air intake under the hood of a Chevy Frontier truck.
Now read here for more info on how a cold air intake works.
Use a Cold Air Intake to Boost Engine Power!
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A Truck Engine Supercharger