Cold air intake is one of the most common upgrades in the case of most vehicles. Improved sound, torque, handling, horsepower, etc. are the main reasons behind it. You won’t always find all these with the help of a single upgrade. Maybe this is why you’re looking for the best cold air intake for Honda Accord, right?
Well, maybe I don’t know the exact reason why you’re looking for an upgrade, but I know the exact thing you need. So, from a lot of options enough for making you mad, I’m presenting you the top 5 cold air intake for your Honda Accord.
The list is prepared after thorough research on the most common and well-known aftermarket cold air intakes. I and my team have focused on a lot of factors including performance, user reviews, expert recommendations, and so on to pick the top five. So, you can depend on them without any hesitation.
I’m not saying that you must pick one of these five. But I’m sure that you’ll find the suitable one from the list because the list contains the bests.
However, check my top picks and go through the buying guide. You’ll know exactly which one to pick.
Top 5 Best Cold Air Intake for Honda Accord Review
2. AEM 21-683C Cold Air Intake System
I couldn’t avoid this air intake system from AEM while making the list for a lot of reasons. Let me talk about that one by one.
The very first thing I love about this system is the DRYFLOW synthetic air intake filter. It is able to filter small impurities without much effort. As a result, your engine receives air with almost zero impurities.
To keep the filter safe, there is a heat block shield. It doesn’t allow hot air from the engine to affect the filter material. The shield comes with weather stripping around the borders. It makes sure that only cooler air is present around the border.
The aerodynamic airflow tube is another reason I love this system. The tube is designed with the highest possible angles to keep it straighter than others. As a result, the flow of air faces fewer barriers towards the engine. Also, it is made of quality material that ensures durability and heat restriction.
On the airflow tube, you’ll see the MAF sensor mount (not for all models) where you can install the sensor if you have any.
AEM tests their air intake systems through dyno test, on-road performance, and racing track. Thus, this air intake system ensures improved performance everywhere. Overall, this is an air intake system that comes with everything an air intake system should have.
Also, you might not believe but it is guaranteed for your automobile’s lifetime.
AEM Cold Air Intake Unboxing, Installation, Video Review
3. Mishimoto MMAI-ACRD20-18 Performance Air Intake
If you’re looking for an air intake system with an oiled air filter, this one from Mishimoto should be your first choice. It comes with everything an air intake system can come with. For ensuring maximum performance, it is full of features.
The very first thing to talk about it is the MAF airflow tube. The CNC machined tube ensures minimum barriers to the airflow for an optimum air-fuel ratio. Being made of anodized aluminum, it restricts the engine heat.
The connections are backed by silicone couplers for maximum safety and durability.
Its air filter is an oiled one, I’ve already said. As a result, it is able to catch a lot of different particles from the air and send clean air towards the engine. The filter is covered by an airbox that saves it from hot engine air under the hood. At the top of the box, there is a carbon fiber lid that enhances its look.
According to Mishimoto, it can improve airflow up to 50% compared to the stock air intake system. Thus, you can expect a huge improvement in engine performance. I’ve experienced it.
Overall, this is a good oiled air intake system that uses factory mounting holes to sit under the hood. So, installing it is not a huge deal at all.
Mishimoto Performance Air Intake Video Review
4. HPS Performance – Shortram Air Intake (827-105BL-1), Blue
This might be the last one on the list of the best Honda Accord cold air intake but is not the least one at all. From HPS Performance, this is not a unique but effective air intake designed for your vehicle. To know more about it, continue reading.
Its airflow piping is made of aluminum alloy. The pipes are mandrel-bent for maximizing smoothness inside and blue-colored to enhance the look under the hood. Because of the smoothness inside, it doesn’t stop or reduce airflow. It also comes with an air straightener that helps you to stay away from the irritation of the Check Engine Light.
The HPS filter it comes with is made for improved performance. So, you can depend on it for improved handling and engine performance. It is washable. Whenever you see a performance drop, you can wash the filter, install it after drying properly and enjoy the improvement in performance.
To make sure everything remains in place, it comes with T-bone clamps made of 100% stainless steel. The silicone hoses have made it more effective under the hood.
You may find better air intake systems, but in the price range it comes with, it is almost impossible to find one. So, if you’re on a tight budget, you can pick this cold air intake system.
5. aFe TR-1007P Takeda Cold Air Intake System
aFe is known for offering some awesome air intake systems for different vehicles in the market. For your Honda Accord, it has an awesome cold air intake system too. I’m talking about that one right now.
The filter of this system is the Pro Dry S filter, which is known for catching almost all particles present in the air. It is an oiled filter which has made it more efficient. Besides, the filter is bigger than regular filters. So, it can drive more air towards the engine. But don’t worry. It fits properly under the hoods.
It comes with an aluminum-made and anodized airflow tube that ensures zero oxidation. As a result, the tube can last for a long time. The bends are done properly so that those don’t block airflow. Thus, your engine receives a bunch of fresh and cold air and ensures better torque.
You don’t have to make any cutting or drilling. It comes with all the hardware and mounting adjustments required. So, just take everything out of the box and install it. Within 1 hour, you can replace your stock air intake system with this one.
Overall, this is a great oiled air intake system for your Honda Accord. Just make sure that you’ve mounted it properly. It’ll do the rest.
Best Cold Air Intake for Honda Accord Buying Guide
Buying anything requires enough research and so many things to consider. When you’re picking a cold air intake, it requires more time spent researching and looking for the best one. As you’re buying it for improving performance and it is a costly investment, you should be more careful.
Here, from my experience, I’m talking about the things you should focus on while buying cold air intakes.
If it is not compatible with your vehicle, buying it is simply a waste of money. Fitting it under the hood is a total hassle and requires more money. So, before looking for a brand name, price, or anything else, make sure that you’re seeing the cold air intakes compatible with your vehicle.
The filter is the most important part of a cold air intake as it catches dirt and impurities from the air. That’s why you should pick an intake system with an efficient filter that can remove maximum impurities.
Usually, you’ll find two types of filters- oiled filter and dry filter. Oiled filters are typically more effective because the oil helps them to catch the particles easily without compromising the airflow. As a result, they ensure better airflow with bigger holes. On the other hand, dry filters come with smaller holes. Thus, airflow is a bit restricted.
From the point of performance, oiled filters are better in most cases. But washing and maintaining oiled filters is a pain. In this case, dry ones are better.
Also, the material of the filter matters. I’ll be talking about that later.
Filter size is another thing to focus on. It shouldn’t be too large to fit under the hood.
The airflow tube is a tube that takes the filtered air towards the engine. For better airflow, it should be smoother inside. Besides, it should come with as less curves as possible. Curves create barriers to the airflow.
Also, the material of the tube is an important factor. Typically you’ll find aluminum and plastic tubes. Aluminum tubes are strong but those can turn hotter because of the heat under the hood. Thus there is a chance that the cold air can turn into hot air again.
But plastic is more prone to cracking and melting. So, this is a very challenging trade-off. However, many plastic tubes are made to withstand heat and hit. You can consider those.
Ease of Installation
When you’re picking a compatible cold air intake system, in most cases, it should sit properly and use the stock mounting holes. But in some cases, the mounting kits are different.
In that case, pick one that is easier to install. Systems that require drilling are better to avoid. But if you want your cold air intake system to be installed by a professional, you can go for those.
The filter you pick should be durable enough as it is an expensive upgrade.
Durability depends on the material. Besides the frequency of washing, the amount of impurities in the air, and many things matter too.
Check for the user review to find out the durability. Also, some cold air intake systems come with an expected durability of a specific distance run or number of years used.
Price is another significant aspect to consider. Though it shouldn’t limit your choices, focusing on the price is always crucial.
But don’t go for overpriced ones. Check the market and the reviews intensely. You’ll understand which ones are overpriced and which are not.
Besides these, don’t forget to check user reviews, water damage control, and CARB approval if you live in California.
Different Types of Cold Air Intake Systems
Just like everything else, cold air intakes are also of several types. With benefits and drawbacks, each has its significance. While picking up the best cold air intake for Honda Accord, you can pick anyone among them.
Here, I’m talking about common types of cold air intakes and their advantages and disadvantages.
1. Open Box Cold Air Intake
This type of cold air intake comes with an open box design around the filter. As the filter remains open, it can draw air from all directions. Another advantage of it is it draws more air and passes towards the engine. As a result, the engine works better.
But as the filter remains open, it gets affected by the hot under the hood. So, the filter life is short here.
2. Closed Box Cold Air Intake
As the name, this system comes with a closed box around the filter. The rest is similar to an open box system. The box saves the filter from the heat produced by the engine under the hood and ensures longer filter life.
However, because of the closed box, it can’t draw enough air from around. As a result, the full potential of your engine remains unveiled.
3. True Cold Air Intake/ Ram Air Intake
A true cold air intake system is a system that draws air only from outside of the car. They don’t take air from under the hood. So, any system with a filter set in a position to draw outside air can be called true cold air intake.
Because of the location of the filter, it can drive cooler and more air towards the engine. Thus, your engine gets the chance of performing better. But the issue with true cold air intake is it needs costly changes under the hood to fit in. Besides, this system is costly.
They are also called Ram air intake sometimes.
4. Short Ram Air Intake
Short ram air intakes are mainly for ensuring better throttle response and boosted performance. In this system, the way for the airflow is shorter. Thus it can send air to the engine faster.
However, the issue with this system is- it can’t draw cool air towards the engine as it is not designed to draw outside air.
As it sends the air faster, the engine ensures a quick response. But in the long-term, it can’t perform with its full efficiency.
Types of Filter Materials Used in Cold Air Intake
The filters in cold air intakes can be made of different materials. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Here I’m talking about some most common filter materials.
Paper is the most commonly used ingredient in the OE filter of your vehicle. The main reason behind this is- paper filters are comparatively cheaper than others. So, when you’re trying to save some money, a paper filter can be a good choice for you.
But the issue with paper filters is- they are more restrictive to the air. So, if you’re expecting a huge improvement in engine performance, you won’t get it from a paper filter. Besides, paper filters are not washable and reusable.
Filters made of the cotton gauge are mostly common in aftermarket cold air intake systems. They come with a great filtering capacity with a huge airflow. This is why they can ensure a huge improvement in its performance.
Besides, these filters are washable and reusable. This allows you to use a filter for a long time and save bucks in the long run. Cotton filters can be oiled to improve their ability to catch materials.
For your regular vehicle, you may not find a foam filter. The reason is- foam filters are like paper filters in the case of restricting airflow. In some cases, it is more restrictive. The only advantage of foam filters is- they are durable and washable in most cases.
So, when you are not looking for performance improvement, you can go for foam filters.
Metal filters are not very popular and there are a lot of reasons. They are made of high-density stainless steel mesh. Still, they can’t filter the air properly and leaves many particles. So, you won’t get the exact result that you’re expecting.
Also, they are more expensive than all other filters. The weight is also heavier.
These filters are mainly designed for race cars that don’t run on regular roads. These improve the sound by allowing a huge airflow towards the engine. Also, these are known for improving the look under the hood.
These are the most common kinds of filter materials. However, different manufacturers may combine some other materials to make more efficient filters. The advance of technology has provided a lot of opportunities to explore and improve.
Why You Should Get A Cold Air Intake
FAQs About Honda Accord Cold Air Intake
Why there is no K&N air intake system on your list?
K&N is one of the best brands that have designed and offered some great air intake systems in the market. So, everybody expects them to be the best for all vehicle models. However, the K&N air intake system designed for Honda Accord was a good one too.
But it couldn’t meet our expectations like the ones I’ve talked about here. We wanted to talk about the top performers according to our research. That’s why K&N is not in our top 5 list. However, it can easily get itself included in a list of the top 7. So, yes, you can still trust K&N.
Is cold air intake necessary for Honda Accord?
The answer is- it depends. If you’re satisfied with the current performance of your Honda Accord, there is no need to get an aftermarket cold air intake.
But if you think your engine should make more sound, or your car should respond better and faster- you can install a cold air intake system.
It totally depends on you. If you feel the need and have bucks for it, you can go for it.
Is there any other technique to improve HP and torque in Honda Accord?
An aftermarket cold air intake is not the only way to increase the torque and horsepower of your engine. Investing in a quality lubricant and additive also ensures improved horsepower and torque. Changing the exhaust system or replacing the catalytic converter with a high-flow one is another way of improving the torque and HP of your vehicle.
You’ll find many other ways. But most of those are costlier than installing an aftermarket cold air intake system. That’s why it is chosen by most people.
Video on How to Install Aftermarket Cold Air Intake
These are all I wanted to tell you about cold air intake. Obviously, this is a broad topic and there is always something left to discuss. If you have more questions about them in mind, you can ask always.
However, this article aimed to discuss the top five best cold air intake for Honda Accord. I’ve listed the top five in my preference and talked about those so that you can understand why I’ve picked those for my list. I hope this would help you to pick the best one for you too.
Besides, I’ve also talked about some basic things like types of CAI, types of filter materials, how to pick the best CAI, etc. Also, I’ve answered some common questions that may hit your mind. I guess the journey was helpful for you.
Thanks to you for being with me. See you again someday.