What is the difference between a Cold Air Intake and Short Ram Intake?
The name says it all, a short ram intake is “short”, and therefore the air filter remains somewhere near the engine. A cold air intake has a much longer piping and is designed to draw in cooler air which usually allows for more horsepower to be produced than a short ram intake. A short ram intake is generally less expensive and easier to install. A short ram intake is typically made of aluminum that replaces the stock rubber pipe and the stock air box is then replaced with an open air filter. The air filter is then protected by a heat shield which is to provide extra protection from engine heat that the filter would be exposed to. The SRI will give you a good power increase over the stock because you are replacing the restrictive air box. While the cold air intake is designed to place the air filter as far away from the hot engine as possible. When an engine takes in colder air, it creates more power.
OK, so which is better the cold air intake or the short ram intake?
Short Ram Intake (SRI)
+Easier to install
+Usually cheaper than CAI
+Less chance of hydraulic
+Slightly better throttle response
-Warmer Air than CAI
-Often times less power
Cold Air Intake (CAI)
+More aggressive sounding
-More chance to hydrolock*
-Less noticeable throttle response
-More difficult install
When it's all said and done, both have their advantages and disadvantages. It depends on the person and the car.
*What is hydrolocking?
Hydrolocking usually occurs when a car is driven through deep water and it gets sucked into the intake then into the engine. The locking occurs because water does not compress.