AirAid Cold Air Intake

Product Overview - AirAid Air Intake System

AirAid is a leading manufacturer of cold air intake systems for a variety of cars and trucks, including the Ford F-150. AirAid produces an impressive system that is designed to increase throttle response, power output, and fuel economy. As a bonus, the filters are reusable, saving you money in the long run; simply clean and re-oil the filter at regular intervals using a kit available through AirAid.

Product: AirAid Cold Air Intake System, 1997 - 2003 F-150
Part # as tested: 400-109
Price as tested: $309.99
Manufacturer claims: Increased horsepower and torque (no specific figures)
Overall Rating:

 

AirAid Cold Air Intake Review

Installation of AirAid's air intake system was made easy by comprehensive instructions and components that perfectly fit our application. Notable are the thick, sturdy boots that secure the intake tube itself to the mass airflow sensor and the throttle body. The design of the crankcase ventilation hose positions is favorable to at least one competitor's intake system that we've tested.

Throttle response and fuel economy gains were immediately noticed upon installation of the AirAid intake kit. While it is hard to interpret actual performance gains, the engine became without-a-doubt more perky off idle and the engine revved into its powerband rapidly. The truck pulled noticeably harder during wide open throttle passing and freeway merging. We experienced hand calculated fuel economy improvements between 1 and 3 mpg depending on the driving type - gains were most significant following long trips on the highway at constant speed and peaked at ~21 mpg over the course of a 300 mile non-stop trip.

The air filter included in AirAid's kit comes with a lifetime guarantee, which worked to our favor when the provided filter cracked at the MAF adapter. In full disclosure, we've used this filter system the longest and there were nearly 50,000 miles accumulated on this particular filter. There is also the chance that the clamp holding the filter to the MAF adapter could have been overtightened. Regardless, AirAid was quick to respond and we had a new filter within a few days. While AirAid's customer service was on point after our filter broke, they failed to deliver when the Executive Order for California's CARB emissions requirements expired. After several inquiries, we're still waiting, years later, for our updated EO sticker. Our customer service experience with AirAid is therefore a wash, and we had to replace AirAid's system with a CARB legal one.

LIKES

• Great fit-and-finish, no fitment issues

• Good low end performance, throttle response gains

• Measurable improvements in fuel economy

• Sturdy metal intake tube, thick boots, overall quality components

• Attractive system, exhibits a throaty sound from under the hood

DISLIKES

• Intake air temperature (IAT) sensor fits loosely in intake tube

• Oiled filter requires frequent cleaning

• AirAid customer service quick to respond, slow to follow through (regarding expired CARB EO #)

CLOSING COMMENTS

AirAid's intake system was the first of many we have tested. Honest system that meets expectations. High quality, but not our favorite.