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Raised Air Intakes - Are They Really Necessary?

By Mick Farmer. Filed under 4wd Driving Info in 2001.

Raised Air Intakes: Are They Necessary?

It's hot, it's dusty and it's dry - so why should you consider fitting a raised air intake? This is a frequently asked question by our students. Raised air intakes, also known as snorkels, play two important roles.

The most common reason for fitting a snorkel is to enable the vehicle to pass through deep water by preventing water from entering through the air filter. When water is drawn in through the air filter, it enters the engine via the inlet manifold and hydraulically locks it up. Basically, the engine seizes causing expensive damage.

The other reason for fitting a raised air intake is to draw in cleaner air. By design, many 4X4 vehicles have the air intake set quite low - in either the offside or near side wing (fender). This means that when you are travelling on a marrum (unsealed/dirt) road a substantial amount of dust is drawn into the filter.

By drawing in air from high up, less dirt is pulled in. This not only saves money with fewer air filter replacements; it reduces the risk of filter damage due to heavy dust deposits. It only takes 2 teaspoons of dust to enter your engine to wear it out!!

If you do fit a raised air intake to your vehicle, make sure to regularly inspect /maintain the hoses from the intake to the filter, and likewise from the filter to the intake manifold.