by Tom Siller

How to Choose the Best Cold Air Intake for your Nissan Skyline

Nissan’s Skyline is one of the most fan-favored four-door vehicles to ever hit the market. It’s got that legendary design, a mighty engine under the hood, and more big-screen appearance than any other sedan. If you’re all about performance and are eager to get more HP and torque out of the engine, that can be achieved with an aftermarket Nissan Skyline Cold Air Intake.

There are hundreds of air intake systems available on the market. They come in all shapes and sizes and it can be quite challenging to find the perfect fit for your car. That’s why I decided to write this post: to help with the choice. Join me, and let’s talk about the key points that you’ll need to consider before investing in a new kit!

#1: Does the Airflow really Matter?

Of course, it does! This is the #1 job of any air intake system: to make sure there’s enough airflow to get rid of the hot air and “feed” colder one. That way, the engine stays nice and cool instead of working hard and running the risk of getting overheated. Now, with a good aftermarket kit, you can expect a 50% boost in airflow, which makes a really big difference in real-world situations.

#2: How to Find the Right Fit?

Back in the day, aftermarket gear production wasn’t as categorized as it is today. In 2021, there are many vehicle-specific cold air intake kits that were designed to be a perfect fit for specific cars. They even make different air intake kits that are compatible with various model years, makes, engines, and more. That makes our job a lot easier: all we – the drivers – have to do is make sure we’ve picked the right gear, and that’s it!

Some manufacturers produce so-called “universal” kits that fit a long list of vehicles. But, in my opinion, it’s always better to go with a kit that was created with your four-wheeled friend in mind. And with the Skyline being a very popular ride, there isn’t a shortage of air intake tubes and filters for it. You’ll find all the necessary information in the specifications.

#3: Performance Boost – What to Look For?

By maximizing the airflow, aftermarket air intake kits let the engine “breathe” and perform in perfect condition. As a result, you get extra HP, torque, and uphill performance. This also helps when towing heavy stuff, especially on challenging terrain. Plus, with a decent cold air intake kit, you’ll get a minor boost in the MPG (miles per gallon) ratio.

For the Skyline, mileage isn’t really a big concern. Owners of this vehicle are more interested in faster acceleration and better HP. Are you just like that? Then check the specs: if you see “improved throttle response” there, that means the car will start faster. As for the raw power, you can expect 20-40 of added HP and torque (or 5-10%).

#4: The Filter – Dry vs. Oiled

When it comes to aftermarket air kits, you’ve got a choice between dry and oiled filters. Dry filters keep dust, dirt, and debris from damaging the engine with the help of multi-layered synthetic fabric. Cotton gauge is also very common. Overall, dry filters are very reliable and keep all kinds of contaminants at bay – even the smaller ones. They last for 15-30K miles. After that, the driver has to invest in a brand-new filter.

Oiled filters, in turn, can serve for twice as long: 50K miles is the market average. The most advanced products (the K&N lineup, for example), are incredibly durable and don’t need any maintenance for up to 100K miles. That equals 6-7 years of driving. And once you clean them, they’ll be able to perform for extra 40-50K miles. Oiled filters are basically a thin coating with a layer of oil that does all the protecting. Their impact on performance isn’t that great, though.

#5: What about the Price?

If you’re on a really tight budget, there are some semi-decent intake kits for 50-100 bucks. They aren’t that different from the stock systems but do slightly boost the airflow and performance. Kits in the 100-250 dollar range are considered to be the golden middle. These are crafted from durable materials and introduce real improvements. Anything that costs 300+ dollars will have premium materials and be backed by a guarantee.