You should know that your Chevy Silverado 1500 can perform better than its current performance. I think you know this already. But, do you know which cold air intake can help you to grab that extra performance from your engine?
Well, I think you need assistance at this point and that’s why you’re here- in search of the best cold air intake for the Chevy Silverado 1500. Don’t worry. I can help you in this matter.
I’m a professional auto mechanic and automotive enthusiast. I’ve researched and gone through a number of cold air intake available in the market. Also, I’ve collected feedback from my clients who have installed cold air intake under their hood.
As the output of my research and experience, right now I’m going to talk about top rated 5 air intake systems that are suitable to bring out the maximum performance from your Chevy Silverado 1500 engine. If you’re badly searching for one, stay with me. I’m sure that after reading this article, you’ll find the one you need. Let’s not waste any more time and jump directly to the point.
Top-Rated Cold Air Intake Comparison Table
|K&N Cold Air Intake Ki||
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|Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit||
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|aFe Power Magnum FORCE 54-32332 Intake System||
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|Volant 15553 Pro 5 Filter Air Intake System||
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|S&B Filters 75-5116 Cold Air Intake||
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Top 5 Best Cold Air Intake for Chevy Silverado 1500
1. K&N Cold Air Intake Kit – High-Performance Air Intake
K&N is known for some awesome air intake kits it offers in the market. So, when you’re searching for the best Silverado cold air intake, you must find something from K&N and this is the one. This K&N air intake kit is designed to stand out with a superior performance that you can’t believe.
I’ve loved the improvement in the engine sound and overall performance caused by this air intake system. It offers satisfying engine growth and performance because of the efficient and oversized air filter.
The layered and oiled cotton media filter ensures a smooth flow of only clean air to the engine. This fresh and cool air helps the engine to overcome its limitations and growl at its full capacity. Thus in uphill and towing operations, you’ll feel the added strength.
The oversized filter is another thing of this air intake system that I love. The huge size of the cone-shaped filter allows more air to enter into the engine. It is washable and durable. I haven’t tested it yet but they say that it’ll run for 100,000 miles before the first wash is needed. As a result, the hassle of maintaining it is very low.
You’ll get all these awesome advantages after you install it. You can easily install it because it doesn’t require any drill or cut. Though the filter is a bit oversized, it doesn’t create any hamper in installation. It requires only the OE mounting hols. With the help of some basic hand tools, you can install it within one and a half hours and enjoy the benefits.
Overall, the K&N cold air intake kit seems to be a good one to me. I’ve used this for a few months and it was great to feel the power it offers at a reasonable price. So, you can try this one.
- Durable and dependable
- Increased engine growl and performance
- Washable and easy to maintain
- Quality manufacturing
- Mounting parts are a bit weak
Best K&N Cold Air Intake Video Review
2. Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit – Best Budget Cold Air Intake
When improving the engine power is your main focus and you want to do that by supplying fresh air to the engine, the Spectre Performance air intake kit should be on your priority list. It is designed to drive contaminant-free air to the engine so that it can utilize the maximum of its capacity.
The fresh air is ensured by the high-quality synthetic media it uses in the filter. With it, the urethane and steel mesh restrict almost all types of contaminants present in the air. Overall the filter media does an outstanding job and delivers only fresh air to the engine.
The air filter is washable and reusable. So, buying one of it will support you for a long time. You’ll find the filter in different colors. I love the blue one.
I like the aluminum tube in this air intake system which adds value by restricting the heat and lowering the weight. Heat is also restricted by the steel heat shield which is coated by powder. As the whole path is safe from the engine-generated heat, the air supplied to the engine remains cold.
I’ve found that installing this air intake system is really easy. It comes with all the necessary hardware needed to install it under the hood. I didn’t have to cut or drill a single time to fit it in. The factory cuts and holes are enough to install it. It was easy to set the system under the hood perfectly to get the benefits it provides.
Overall speaking, you can expect improved performance from this air intake system. It may not perform like the K&N that we’ve talked about before, but if you’re on a budget, this is the best budget cold air intake for you. I’ve installed it for some of my clients and didn’t get any negative reviews. So, you can check this out.
- Designed to deliver performance
- Improves engine torque and horsepower
- Easy to install
- Washable and reusable filter with quality filter media
- The cone may become a bit loose sometimes
3. aFe Power Magnum FORCE 54-32332 Performance Intake System
aFe is providing some awesome air intake systems in the market for different vehicles. For your Chevy Silverado 1500, I’ll suggest buying this one if you want to put your trust in aFe quality. Personally, I’ve had good experience with aFe. So, I think you won’t be disappointed with the performance.
While talking about the features of this air intake system, I must talk about the air filter first. This is an awesome air filter consisting of 5 different layers of different densities. The cotton gauze layers are oiled and washable.
With the help of these 5 different layers, the filter is able to restrict the entry of different contaminants present in the air. As a result, all your engine gets is fresh air without microparticles.
You should thank the 18-gauge heat shield because it does a tremendous job. It sits on the factory air box perfectly and creates a barrier around the air filter so that engine heat can’t make the air hot. Also, the aluminum tube with a black powder coating protects the air from heat while the air is flowing to the engine. Thus, your engine receives fresh and cold air to run better.
To get all these advantages, you need to install the system under your hood. Installing this is one of the easiest tasks. Just like the two discussed above, it also utilizes factory mounting points. Everything comes into the packages. All you need to do is arranging some basic hand tools.
If you ask, I’ll tell you to give it a try. I know that it won’t cause any trouble for you. Let’s check the pros and cons for better understanding.
- 5 layered oiled air filter
- The heat shield that covers the filter fully
- Doesn’t take a long time to install
- Drastically improved performance compared to the OE filter
- Sometimes, it sits on the factory air box loosely
aFe Power Magnum Force Air Intake Installation Guide
4. Volant 15553 Pro 5 Filter Enclosed Air Intake System
Volant is a comparatively young company which is offering some efficient air intake systems in the market. The 15553 is one of those from Volant which has the capability of being selected as the best Chevy Cold Air Intake.
Like the previous one from S&B, it comes with a closed-box system where the filter is inside an enclosed box. The strong and rugged box doesn’t let the engine heat affect the filter. Also, in harsh weather conditions, it keeps the filter safe from dust, debris, or any other contaminants. The enclosed box comes with a large opening to ensure maximum airflow to the engine.
I’m a fan of the MaxFlow 5 filter that comes in the package. It includes 5 different layers of oiled cotton media which ensures maximum barrier to contaminants.
Dust, dirt, microparticles, and all other contaminants can’t enter into the air tube passing this filter. Only fresh air can pass through the filter and flow to the engine to ensure performance.
The Air tube of this system is smooth inside to not restrict the airflow. Silicone connectors are used in this system to maximize the air-tightness of the connections. Also, these ensure flexibility. There is an installation guide that guides you to the easiest way to install this under your hood.
My clients have reported a significant improvement in the performance, torque, and throttle response after getting it installed. That’s why I’ve included this in this list. You can check it out.
- Large opening for more airflow than OE one
- Comes with an enclosure box for filter protection
- Improves horsepower significantly
- Reduces the temperature of the collected air
- The enclosure box may disturb a bit
Volant Cold Air Intake Review & Installation
5. S&B Filters 75-5116 Cold Air Intake
This air filter from S&B has come out after a thorough research. So, when you’re looking for a cold air intake for your Chevy Silverado 1500, checking this one won’t be a bad decision. It looks different, lasts for a long time, and performs better which is proven.
Let’s start knowing this air intake kit with the thing I’ve liked the most. It comes with an enclosure box that keeps the air filter completely separate from all other parts under the hood. It mainly protects the filter from heat and engine dust. The enclosure has a clear lid that helps you to check if cleaning is needed or not. It also gives the system a sturdy and attractive look.
The air filter is another thing that we must talk about. The air filter is made of premium cotton media that is oiled and washable. The best thing is, it comes with 8 different layers which ensure highly efficient performance while filtering the air.
Before delivering, the air filter is precisely oiled with the help of perfectly programmed machines. The air tube allows the freehand cold air to flow perfectly without facing any barrier.
You won’t have to face the ‘check engine’ light after installing it because the whole system is engineered to fit the stock calibration. Installing it doesn’t take huge time or effort. The step-by-step instruction and necessary hardware are included in the package. With the basic hand tools you have in your garage, you can install it within 30-60 minutes.
Performance improvement and durability is proven. So, while changing your OE air intake system, you can try this.
- Comes with heat safety box with clear lid
- Avoids check engine light
- Proven improvement in the engine performance
- Has 8 layered cotton media filter for superior performance
- Installation guide is a bit complex for the novice mechanic
Buying Guide for Best Cold Air Intake for Chevy Silverado 1500
In the market, there are a number of cold air intakes available. But, as you’re buying one for upgrading the performance of your vehicle, it won’t be a good decision if you decide to pick one randomly. It is better to have some time and do some research.
Let me help you with that. Below here, I’m talking about the things you should check when you’re trying to select the best Silverado cold air intake.
If you buy the wrong part, it won’t fit- the fact is simple. So, you need to pick the right one. Cold air intake kits are different for different vehicle models. That’s why, while choosing one for your Chevy Silverado 1500, you need to pick one from those which are made to be compatible with this model.
To avoid any hassle, in the very first place, make sure that you’re picking one that is made for your vehicle model, in this case, Chevy Silverado 1500.
The filter is the most important thing when you’re thinking about a cold air intake kit. The principal task of the filter is to barrier the contaminants so that those don’t enter into the engine and create problems. So, when you’re choosing one, check the air filter media and the efficiency of that.
Typically you’ll find cotton filters, paper filters, and synthetic filters. Both are effective in restricting contaminants. However, you’ll also find two types of air filters- dry and oiled. Both are good. If you’re confused about these, I’m going to discuss in details later in this article. Check that section.
Protection from Heat
As the name says, ‘cold’ air intake should be protected from heat. Heat resistance features keep the received air cool so that the engine gets cool and fresh air to run at maximum capacity. So, the air filter and air tube both should be safe from the heat.
Generally, the filter is kept safe from heat with the help of heat guard or full enclosure box. Sometimes, the filter is made to be heat resistant to avoid the necessity of extra protection enclosure. Again, the air tube is protected from heat with the help of black powder coating. Also, sometimes, the tube is made of heat-resisting elements.
Ease of Installing
The ease of installing the air intake system allows you to make the decision whether you’ll go to a mechanic or not. If you want to save some bucks, go for something that is easy to install. Besides saving money, it saves your time too. I think you should prefer buying parts that are easy to install because those help you to test your skills. However, this should not be the prime thing to focus on.
Price, manufacturer, and user reviews are also some factors you need to consider while buying a cold air intake.
Dry Filter vs Oiled Filter
Air filters in a cold air intake may come in two types- dry and oiled. These two are different from each other in different ways. So, while buying a cold air intake, most people become confused because they have to choose one. Let’s clear the confusion.
A dry air filter is mainly made of a few layers of paper or foam elements. Some also use cotton too. As a result, this filter can restrict very small contaminants easily. It is told that a dry filter can restrict 99% of contaminants. But, this restriction reduces the airflow too.
Oiled filters are made of a few layers of cotton media with a significant amount of oil. The openings in this filter are a bit wider compared to the dry filters. As a result, your engine gets more air and thus it ensures better performance. The oil works as a trap for the smallest contaminants in this type of air filter as those get stuck by the oil.
So, now the question is- which one to choose? There is no hard and fast rule. But if you ask me, I’ll suggest you to pick an oiled air filter if you need maximum engine performance while driving, for example- racing, towing, off-roading etc. On the other hand, the dry air filter is okay for you if you ride on city roads, where typically you don’t need the maximum performance from your engine.
Why you Need a Cold Air Intake- Its Benefits
FAQs About Cold Air Intake
How cold air intake increases engine performance?
A cold air intake kit brings improvement in engine performance in two ways. It ensures the entry of maximum volume of air to the engine. As a result, the engine gets more oxygen. Also, it makes sure that the air sent to the engine is cool. Thus, by sending cool air to the engine in a high volume, a cold air intake helps the engine to use the maximum of its power.
Is using a filter wrap necessary?
Using a filter wrap is not a must. But, it provides an extra layer of protection. Filter wrap catches large contaminants and keeps those away from the filter material. As large contaminants can’t come in contact with the filter material, the filter doesn’t get dirty quickly. Thus, it helps you to extend the use of the filter before a wash.
How long can I wait before washing or changing a filter?
There is no obvious answer to this question. It depends on the filter itself. The user manual or packaging of the filter comes with an estimation of how long it can survive before the need of changing or washing. You should check that. I suggest checking the filter regularly to understand if a wash is needed or not. If you can see excess dirt particles that have covered the filter, you need to wash or change it.
Also, if you see that the engine performance is decreasing, you should check the air filter.
How to Install Cold Air Intake in Chevy Silverado
Knowing these will help you to find the top-rated cold air intake for Chevy Silverado 1500. The intakes I’ve talked about in this article are some of the bests according to my experience, my clients, and many Silverado 1500 users. So, you can depend on these and buy one that seems most suitable for you.
If you ask me to pick one, I’ll go for the K&N because this is my personal favourite. But others are also capable of delivering the best performance for you. All you need to do is pick one that you like the most.