Jump to content
  • Sign up for FREE! Become a GM-Trucks.com Member Today!

    In 20 seconds you can become part of the worlds largest and oldest community discussing General Motors, Chevrolet and GMC branded pickups, crossovers, and SUVs. From buying research to owner support, join 1.5 MILLION GM Truck Enthusiasts every month who use GM-Trucks.com as a daily part of their ownership experience. 

S&B vs Cold Air Inductions Air Intake - Fuel Economy (MPG)


Recommended Posts

Hey all.  I hope I don't get ripped up too much for posting another CAI thread...

 

I've been looking around the forum and don't see too many people posting their fuel economy numbers before and after going with one of these CAI's.  Honestly, I can't even say I can call the Cold Air Inductions a "cold air intake"...I mean isn't it just using the stock lower box, and not pulling from anywhere else new?  (sorry, I had to...)

 

I'm looking at the Cold Air Inductions Intake and also the S&B.  I like the Cold Air Inductions because it is simple to swap to stock if needed for warranty work, and is a super clean look.  The S&B, for the price, looks like the best bang for the buck.

 

My main concern is fuel economy.  I'm looking to get a bump in fuel economy, and was wondering if anyone has a 5.3L engine with these air intakes and can provide some insight.  Apologies for babbling... 😉.   Thank you!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, your truck has a cold air intake as standard. 

 

Your truck has a modern computer controlled direct injection motor.  Regular air filter (ORM) vs. a CAI or performance filter will have no effect on fuel efficiency.  The ECM is programmed to adjust Air/Fuel (A/F) ratio to predetermined spec’s., so increasing air will mean the ECM will adjust the fuel to the programmed A/F ratio.   Basically cold air intakes and performance air filters make minimal HP increase and give the illusion of more HP simply because they make more noise over factory setups and people tend to justify their silly purchase by embellishing the performance and fuel economy.

 

GM is trying all kinds of things to increase fuel economy of trucks so common sense would tell you if these CAI's increased fuel mileage, they would be standard equipment on every truck. But they are not, why?  Because they DO NOT increase mpg. For most, probably get worse because the increased noise they tend to drive more aggressively and use more fuel.

Edited by elcamino
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, elcamino said:

First of all, your truck has a cold air intake as standard. 

 

Your truck has a modern computer controlled direct injection motor.  Regular air filter (ORM) vs. a CAI or performance filter will have no effect on fuel efficiency.  The ECM is programmed to adjust Air/Fuel (A/F) ratio to predetermined spec’s., so increasing air will mean the ECM will adjust the fuel to the programmed A/F ratio.   Basically cold air intakes and performance air filters make minimal HP increase and give the illusion of more HP simply because they make more noise over factory setups and people tend to justify their silly purchase by embellishing the performance and fuel economy.

 

GM is trying all kinds of things to increase fuel economy of trucks so common sense would tell you if these CAI's increased fuel mileage, they would be standard equipment on every truck. But they are not, why?  Because they DO NOT increase mpg.

 

I don't mean to be a jerk, but I am fully aware of PCM tuning (from tuning a few of my own vehicles over the years) and getting them dialed in for custom air intakes, peak performance, fuel economy, etc.  However, I have a 2020 - for all realistic purposes as a utility vehicle and daily driver, the PCM can not be tuned yet due to GM locking them down and the price to do so being out of this world.   I am also fully aware of the illusion of performance with the "butt dyno" just because "it's louder" - but my question did not relate to performance gains.

 

However, all of the manufacturers seem to claim better MPG on their intakes, which can theoretically makes sense due to the engine not having to work as hard to "breathe", and running more efficiently (even though minimally).    Therefore, I'm looking for people who have actually installed these intakes, that can chime in on how their MPG changed, or did not change, after an install.

 

:: edit after your edit ::

GM being able to increase fuel economy VS trying to stay within proper emission standards may be two different things...just throwing that out there...

Edited by ls5454ss
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, ls5454ss said:

 

I don't mean to be a jerk, but I am fully aware of PCM tuning (from tuning a few of my own vehicles over the years) and getting them dialed in for custom air intakes, peak performance, fuel economy, etc.  However, I have a 2020 - for all realistic purposes as a utility vehicle and daily driver, the PCM can not be tuned yet due to GM locking them down and the price to do so being out of this world.   I am also fully aware of the illusion of performance with the "butt dyno" just because "it's louder" - but my question did not relate to performance gains.

 

However, all of the manufacturers seem to claim better MPG on their intakes, which can theoretically makes sense due to the engine not having to work as hard to "breathe", and running more efficiently (even though minimally).    Therefore, I'm looking for people who have actually installed these intakes, that can chime in on how their MPG changed, or did not change, after an install.

 

:: edit after your edit ::

GM being able to increase fuel economy VS trying to stay within proper emission standards may be two different things...just throwing that out there...

 

 

You can tune a 2020, just costs $$$$  HP Tuners route is almost $2000 and that's just for the ECM and credits.  Diablo/Edge and someone else have a $650 ECM exchange program and then you can use their tuners.

 

I can tell you on my 2019 old body with the GM intake, zero change in fuel economy both pre and post tuned.  

 

Driving habits are the #1 fuel economy changer.  Don't go over 70mph, keep your tires inflated correctly, don't idle a lot, etc.  

 

Edited by newdude
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, newdude said:

 

 

You can tune a 2020, just costs $$$$  HP Tuners route is almost $2000 and that's just for the ECM and credits.  Diablo/Edge and someone else have a $650 ECM exchange program and then you can use their tuners.

 

I can tell you on my 2019 old body with the GM intake, zero change in fuel economy both pre and post tuned.  

 

 

 

Exactly...thus the price being out of this world.  Hopefully that changes soon...

 

And thanks for the feedback - appreciate it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, ls5454ss said:

 

However, all of the manufacturers seem to claim better MPG on their intakes, which can theoretically makes sense due to the engine not having to work as hard to "breathe", and running more efficiently (even though minimally).    Therefore, I'm looking for people who have actually installed these intakes, that can chime in on how their MPG changed, or did not change, after an install.

Higher flow through an air filter equates to less filtration. A lot of the chicom filters will keep out birds, large rocks and low flying aircraft but all the dust and dirt passes right by.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just installed the s&b yesterday and the quality is incredible compared to the GMPP CAI. No data on mpg yet but it definitely sounds good. The install was super smooth too. Oh and the s&b filter itself is HUGE, its easily twice as big as the gmpp unit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, AT4Play said:

I just installed the s&b yesterday and the quality is incredible compared to the GMPP CAI. No data on mpg yet but it definitely sounds good. The install was super smooth too. Oh and the s&b filter itself is HUGE, its easily twice as big as the gmpp unit.

Did you go feom the GMPP CAI to the S&B?  If so was your truck flashed by GM for the GMPP CAI?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, AT4Play said:

I did go from the gmpp to the s&b and the truck is flashed for it. My butt dyno says it picked up some top end horspower.

Reason I ask is the reflash is just for remapping the MAF sensor.  Going back to a CAI designed to replace the stock airbox, your MAF reading will have some error and “could” cause some issues - not sure how far off your reading would be as I haven’t seen a comparison of the calibrations for the MAF.  I have a copy of what they are for my Camaro - someone on that forum pulled before and after maps with HP tuners and sent me a copy, pretty big difference on that application.

Edited by RCF71
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m no expert but the s&b intake design is less efficient at being a “cai” then stock. The extra intake ports on the side to grab air from the fender, but there is no air flow there, nor is the engine bay sealed off from that section. Looks like it draws in more hot air from the engine bay then a open box housing. 

B3D08368-2B31-4D4A-9729-76A5BEC2B19C.jpeg

733708DC-9883-4975-8A7A-0221F269068B.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, RCF71 said:

Reason I ask is the reflash is just for remapping the MAF sensor.  Going back to a CAI designed to replace the stock airbox, your MAF reading will have some error and “could” cause some issues - not sure how far off your reading would be as I haven’t seen a comparison of the calibrations for the MAF.  I have a copy of what they are for my Camaro - someone on that forum pulled before and after maps with HP tuners and sent me a copy, pretty big difference on that application.

 

That's a good point, next time I'm at the dealer I'll talk to my service guy. I'd rather be safe than sorry, but the truck sure feels like it's running smooth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Snakes709 said:

I’m no expert but the s&b intake design is less efficient at being a “cai” then stock. The extra intake ports on the side to grab air from the fender, but there is no air flow there, nor is the engine bay sealed off from that section. Looks like it draws in more hot air from the engine bay then a open box housing. 

B3D08368-2B31-4D4A-9729-76A5BEC2B19C.jpeg

733708DC-9883-4975-8A7A-0221F269068B.jpeg

Without a way to test intake air temps it's hard to say. I live in the NW so 9 months out of the year temps are a non issue. I like that this design has a larger immediate quantity of air as opposed to just having the stock snorkel behind the grill. In my application better flow and sound are all I was looking for and I definitely got it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, AT4Play said:

Without a way to test intake air temps it's hard to say. I live in the NW so 9 months out of the year temps are a non issue. I like that this design has a larger immediate quantity of air as opposed to just having the stock snorkel behind the grill. In my application better flow and sound are all I was looking for and I definitely got it.


yea i live in alberta so temps are on the cooler side. If anything, sucking in abit of hot air from the engine bay will help when its -40*c. The afe intake i have sure does let the engine growl. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ive had two S&B intakes on my trucks. A 2018 and now a 2019 model. I really like the high quality of precision put into them. 
 

I also like S&B because they don’t claim bogus Hp gains. They focus more on increase air flow. Plus those other brands. How do you really know for sure they are truly sealed under the hood once it shut???  U can’t tell. The S&B is fully inclosed and then draws air from different areas of the box. To each their own. Never been a fan of the hood sealed CAI. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.