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Top 10 Best Cold Air Intake For GMC Sierra 1500 Review 2021 : Expert’s Recommendation & Buying Guide

A Best Cold Air Intake for GMC Sierra 1500 will help increase the complete performance of your GMC Sierra’s engine by providing the required airflow.

A cold air intake system comes with a lot of benefits to your vehicle’s engine. It gives your vehicle more power, mileage, and oxygen to the engine.

A cold air intake kit is necessary to avoid any kind of choking in your engine which is caused by dust and debris. The Best Cold Air Intake for GMC Sierra 1500 helps the engine function flawlessly.

Contents

A Comparison Table Of Top 10 Best Cold Air Intake For GMC Sierra 1500

PreviewBrandDetails
K&N : V8,63-3082
Spectre : SPE-9918
DNA : CAI950021BKBK
K&N : V8,63-3109
Rough Country : 10551
Spectre : SPE-9006
MooSun
K&N : V8,57-3058
Spectre : SPE-9900
K&N : V8,57-3050

You may visit our review of the 10 best exhausts for GMC 1500.

Top 10 Best Cold Air Intake for GMC Sierra 1500 Reviews

01. K&N Cold Air Intake Kit (Best Overall Performance)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Impressive horsepower for up to 10.68 HP @ 5341 RPM
  • No ECU tuning required
  • Delivers exceptional airflow and filtration
  • HDPE intake tube combined with oiled cotton air filter
  • Clamps are crafted with stainless steel
  • Improves towing, throttle response, and acceleration

Product Specifications

  • Brand: K&N
  • Model: 63-3082
  • Weight: 13.19 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24.09 x 15.51 x 14.49 inches

Product Description and Performance

If you are looking for a high cold air intake for GMC sierra then here is the top-performing and reliable kit by the K&N

If you want to boost the torque, and horsepower to a great extent, then this one will be the cold air intake for GMC Sierra 1500.

It comes with an HDPE (high-density polyethylene) rotationally-casted tube that assists in increasing the volume of the airflow into the engine. Besides this, it has been Dyno-tested and delivers up to 50% more airflow, thereby improving the throttle response.

Furthermore, it protects the engine from harmful pollutants for long-lasting performance. Also, there is no need to clean the filter for up to 100,000 miles.

The most advantageous part of this product is the bolt-on power installation system. It allows the user to install this air intake system in less than 60 minutes using the standard hand tools.

The two nobs of plastic in the kit are quite fragile. Instead of tightening them by hand, you can apply very little force to install them. Otherwise, you might need to get a replacement for them before the installation.”

Pros

  • Enhances engine performance
  • High-quality build-up
  • Less maintenance required
  • Makes an enviable sound while driving

Cons

  • The construction of the intake hose is not up to the mark

02. SPE-9918 Performance Air Intake Kit by Spectre (Best Airflow System)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Easy installation without any tools
  • Premium quality synthetic filter media
  • Very easy to clean
  • Supreme quality aluminum tubing
  • Multiple color options available

Product specifications

  • Brand: Spectre
  • Model: 9918
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Dimensions: 23.9 inches x 14.7 inches x 9 inches

Product Description and Performance

This air intake kit by Spectre is another cold air intake for GMC sierra 1500 because of the advanced technology and mechanism used in making it.

For enhancing the horsepower and torque this air intake system is the best feasible solution.

The polished aluminum intake tubes, black powder-coated heat shield the system, and filters work smoothly in enhancing the horsepower and torque of the truck.

To ease the process of cleaning and maintenance filters are specifically designed in such a way that they can be easily washed and reused.

One optimistic feature of this kit is it works as a protector guard to your engine and saves it from any toxic elements and debris of the vehicle.

It comes with a velocity stack, steel clamps, rubber boots, and all the necessary tools for giving it a perfect fit and finish.

“A small concern with this kit is the installation process. The instructions of installation mentioned in the kit are way less helpful and confusing.”

Pros

  • Durable in nature
  • Increased horsepower
  • Advanced MPG

Cons

  • Poor quality hardware components

03. CAI-950021-BKBK Cold Air Intake Pipe by DNA MOTORING (Best Within Budget)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Light-weight model
  • High-grade aluminum for strength and durability
  • Improved filtration
  • Enhances horsepower
  • Gives better gas mileage

Product Specifications

  • Brand: DNA MOTORING
  • Model: CAI-950021-BKBK
  • Weight: 9.88 pounds
  • Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 8.25 inches

Product Description and Performance

This advanced technology kit is the cold air intake for GMC Sierra by DNA motoring that offers the coolest air inlet temperature.

When the air is cooler it has more level of oxygen that eventually helps in enhancing horsepower and the torque of the truck.

This cold air intake is specially made with T-6061 aluminum material for giving strength and long life.

This light-weighted system helps the engine in providing cooler air to enhance its throttle response.

Another prominent feature is the improved gas mileage which makes driving more feasible for the owners.

This sturdy and durable cold air intake kit is swift to install as all the required components come along with the package. It is very easy to maintain as the filters are washable and reusable.

“The only drawback with this kit is the fitting issue. Sometimes the filters are too big and do not fit well with the vehicle. You may require some professional help to get it fit.”

Pros

  • Easy and quick installation
  • Improved quality sound
  • Low maintenance required

Cons

  • The filter does not fit properly

04. Cold Air Intake Kit by K&N (Best Designed)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Increased horsepower
  • Better engine sound
  • Simple installation
  • Excellent protection
  • Improved towing

Product Specifications

  • Brand: K&N
  • Model: P
  • Weight: 14.52 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24.2 x 15.6 x 20.2 inches

Product Description and Performance

This cold intake kit by K&N is the cold air intake for Sierra 1500 in terms of design, durability, and performance.

For increasing the horsepower and torque this kit is specially designed with premium quality tubes and powder coating shields. This system helps in giving proper protection to the engine.

This kit is Dyno-tested and gives as much as 50% more airflow than the factory-made air intake systems.

The airflow also enhances the throttle response and improves the towing capacity and acceleration in hilly areas. Also, the sound of the engine improves after installing this system.

The installation process of this system requires no rocket science. Undoubtedly, the package has all the necessary hardware to make the installation process quick and easy.

The filters in this system are very easy to maintain as they are not hard to wash and require no cleaning up to 100,000 miles.

“One small setback of this kit is that even though the installation process is easy, it requires some modifications. You may require adjusting some cables or some drilling to get it adjusted.”

Pros

  • Great mileage
  • Quick installation
  • Excellent performance

Cons   

  • Poor quality hardware
  • Engine gets heated

05. Rough Country Cold Air Intake (Best Quality Material)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Reusable air filter
  • Increased horsepower
  • Easy and quick installation
  • Improved performance
  • Very easy to clean

Product Specifications

  • Brand: Rough Country
  • Model: Rough Country Cold Air Intake
  • Weight: 11.75 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24 x 15 x 10 inches

Product Description and Performance

This cold air intake is among the Cold Air Intake for GMC Sierra because of its material quality and superior output. Each part of this product is specially made with supreme quality material that gives the best performance to the users.

It is generously designed in such a way that the engine compartment works as a cooler to circulate the cold air to increase horsepower.

The cold air is heavier which gives more amount of oxygen to the chambers to increase the efficiency of the vehicle. Its big diameter tube and cylindrical design allow a better airflow even into an enclosed box.

For longevity and better performance, every single unit has a premium reusable air filter which is very easy to clean and enhances performance. The device is very easy to install and you will be able to witness the results from the first use only.

“The only reason that hesitates from buying this product is its finishing. However, the components of this kit are not properly finished which makes fitment hard.”

Pros

  • Advanced cold air intake
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Poor product quality
  • Low-quality filters used

06. SPE-9006 Performance Air Intake Kit by Spectre (Most Durable and Reliable)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Quick installation
  • Low maintenance
  • Improved towing
  • Advanced engine technology
  • Gives complete protection
  • Increased horsepower and torque

Product Specifications

  • Brand: Spectre
  • Model: 9006
  • Weight: 9.92 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24 inches x 13.75 inches x 8.75 inches

Product Description and Performance

This durable cold air intake gives you top performance along with enhanced mileage and soothing sound.

The structure of this kit consists of intake tubes of polished aluminum, black powder-coated shield to prevent heat and filters. The filters are easy to wash and are reusable.

This air intake kit is an amazing product designed to enhance the horsepower and torque of the truck.

It also works as a protecting shield for the engine and keeps it safe from various harmful impurities and debris.

The manufactures have specifically worked on increasing the towing power of the vehicle through this air intake kit.

With the ease in installation and high performance-driven filters, this kit is another sensation in the market.

One major issue with this cold air intake kit is the air filters. The filter pops out even if they are fixed hard with the clamps.”

Pros    

  • Hassle-free installation
  • Easy to clean
  • Great sound

Cons

  • Poor quality filters

07. MooSun 4” Cold Air Intake System (Best Smooth Air Flow)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Comes with an intake tube along with a heat shield
  • Coating of carbon-black powder for durability
  • The filter is reusable and washable
  • Easy installation system using basic tools
  • Hoses, elbow, and coupler are made of silicone
  • Boosts Horsepower and torque to a good level

Product Specifications

  • Brand: MOOSUN
  • Model: MS-06880
  • Weight: 7.92 pounds
  • Dimensions: 16.6 x 13 x 7.6 inches

Product Description and Performance

This product is touted as the cold air intake for Sierra 1500 in terms of the seamless functioning of the airflow. It has been designed specifically to increase the horsepower for up to 5-10%, thereby creating a great noise.

Apart from this, it is also efficient in boosting the torque by 6-10% for a power-packed performance.

This air intake system has been crafted to decrease intake restriction. Furthermore, it smoothens and straightens the airflow to enhance the engine functioning.

It also replaces the obstructive factory air filter of the vehicle along with the air intake casing. Coming onto the maintenance, it can last long for up to 100,000 miles without cleaning.

The kit also comes with a heat shield made from steel to protect the engine against the heat damages.

The quality of the hose clamps is not up to the mark, you might need to make extra efforts to tighten them during the installation process.”

Pros

  • Appealing looks
  • Reliable performance
  • Suitable for long term use
  • Best-in-class construction

Cons

  • Not much efficient in improving the gas mileage
  • Instructions are unclear

08. K&N Cold Air Intake Kit (Best Horsepower Boost)

 

Highlighted Features

  • The filter is durable, washable, and reusable
  • Crafted with HDPE tube
  • Takes less than 90 minutes for the installation
  • Boosts the horsepower to 17.55 HP
  • No ECU tuning is needed
  • Premium quality construction

Product Specifications

  • Brand: K&N
  • Model: 57-3058
  • Weight: 12.41 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22.25 x 14.25 x 12.5 inches

Product Description and Performance

If you are particular about boosting and enhancing the horsepower of your engine, then this one will be the cold air intake for GMC Sierra. Being a Dyno-tested product, it is efficient in delivering up to 50% more airflow for the smooth functioning of the engine.

It also releases a great thrilling sound while driving. Besides this, it assists in improving the uphill performance as well as acceleration during towing. The credit for this goes to the enhanced throttle response that this product offers.

Apart from this, it also keeps the engine maintained and protected from harmful contaminants. The most highlighting aspect of this air intake system is that it increases the horsepower up to 17.55 HP which is quite exceptional.

Furthermore, the system delivers long-lasting performance without any servicing for up to 100,000 miles.

“It does not contribute to the fuel economy of the vehicle. Also, the bolts and clamps are a little bit complicated to get fixed. You might need to get a 5/8 drill to install them properly.”

Pros

  • Better throttle response
  • Free-flowing and sturdy tube
  • Delivers power-packed performance
  • The quick and convenient installation system

Cons

  • The mileage response is dissatisfactory
  • The material of hose clamps is not of good quality

 

09. Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit (Best Fuel Economy)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Delivers an exceptional horsepower of up to 18Hp
  • Molded-polyethylene pipe for better functioning
  • Clamps made using sturdy stainless steel
  • Polished aluminum tubes of high quality
  • Heatshield with a coating of black powder
  • Boosts the torque to an exceptional level

Product Specifications

  • Brand: Spectre
  • Model: SPE-9900
  • Weight: 12 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24.09 x 15.51 x 14.49 inches

Product Description and Performance

If you want to enhance the fuel economy of your vehicle, then here is the pick for the cold air intake for GMC 1500. It has been specifically designed to fit the engine of your vehicle without much adjustment.

It also increases the horsepower to 18 HP along with an additional torque of up to 40 pounds. Additionally, it is efficient in restoring the vehicle’s performance, thereby saving fuel.

Furthermore, it delivers quick acceleration along with the required power with the help of the molded pipes of Polyethylene. Besides this, it features an airbox of high flow that results in improving the gas mileage of the vehicle.

Additionally, it consists of a top-class filtration system that arrives with a cleaning cycle ranging around 30-50,000 miles. Also, the clamps are crafted with stainless steel for long-lasting and consistent performance.

“The fittings are not up to the mark. You might have to tighten the clamps quite often to keep the air intake system intact. Also, it makes disturbing noise at times while driving.”

Pros

  • Comes with a reusable air filter
  • Convenient installation system
  • Protects the engine from contaminations
  • Resistant to heat damages

Cons

  • The hose clamps are not rust resistant
  • The mounting bracket is prone to breakage

 

10. K&N Cold Air Intake Kit (Best-In-Class Engineering)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Increases torque and horsepower
  • The easy, quick, and hassle-free installation system
  • Delivers high airflow with efficient filtration
  • Top-notch quality construction
  • Protects the engine from heat damages
  • Rotationally molded HDPE tube for sturdiness

Product Specifications

  • Brand: K&N
  • Model: 57-3050
  • Weight: 11.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22.25 x 14.25 x 12.5 inches

Product Description and Performance

This product is regarded as the cold air intake for GMC Sierra in terms of construction and quality performance. It is highly efficient in removing the airflow obstructions from the engine.

Apart from this, it has been engineered aerodynamically which helps to drives more air into the engine for power. Also, it consists of a conical air filter of high flow for unmatchable and swift functioning.

The oversized filter is capable of capturing and holding more pollutants and dirt for long-lastingness. It can function well up to 100,000 without any cleaning. After that, slight maintenance would be required to maintain quality.

It also consists of a heat shield that results in lowering the temperature of the air that enters the engine. Due to this, the horsepower also increases to a good level.

It does not improve the mileage to a great extent. Besides this, the screws in the kit are quite short to fit into the sensor properly. You might need longer ones for better fitting.”

Pros

  • Boosts the engine performance
  • Makes an attractive sound
  • Less maintenance is needed
  • Components crafted with high-quality materials

Cons

  • The threads are not machined properly
  • The quality of bolts is not satisfactory

How To Pick Up The Best Cold Air Intake For GMC Sierra 1500

If you are looking for Cold Air Intake for Sierra 1500, there are few things which you should keep in mind. Here in this section of the blog, we will shed some light on certain helpful facts to consider while looking out for any cold air intake system.

Filtration and airflow

You should understand that the OEM air intake units do not provide a good airflow system. Due to the lack of proper airflow, burnable oxygen fails to reach GMC Sierra’s engine system.

To overcome this problem, modern air intake systems come with wide-open design along with enough lengthier units. Though this kind of arrangement hinders the quality of the filtration process, airflow improves to a greater extent.

If you are one of them who is mainly concerned about the lifespan of the air intake system, ensure that both filtration and airflow systems are maintained in equal proportion.

Size and fitting

Any air intake system to work efficiently, it should have a proper fitting with relevant parts of the vehicle. In case, if you are buying it online, ensure that you go through the product specification label properly.

This will help you choose the right size of air filter for your GMC Sierra 1500.

To get a clear understanding of the size and specifications of the air filter for your vehicle, read the owner’s manual. A mismatch in the size of the air filter will choke the engine system of your vehicle.

You cannot afford to fiddle with the complex and sensitive engine mechanism if the size and fitting of the air intake system mismatches.

The durability of the filtering mechanism

To any air filter system to be effective, it needs to be durable and should consist of various layers. The good cold air intake system for GMC Sierra holds around 4-5 layers. More the layers, the better the filter system.

Before buying any air filter you should also do a lot of research to know the replacement cost of it. If the lifespan is less and replacement cost is high, refrain from buying that product.

Type of filter

There are mainly two types of air filters in the market, oil and dry. Now, which one is better for your GMC Sierra 1500? To choose the right type of filter, you should know the kind of airflow which your vehicle possesses.

Oil filters are not ideal for vehicles having mass airflow sensors as the oil tends to damage the sensors in them. You should prefer dry filters over oil ones in such cases.

The only advantage which oil filters carry is that they have a very good lifespan and can be used for a longer period by cleaning regularly.

The metal used in pipe

Though this is not a major concern many people prefer aluminum pipes over plastic. This is because aluminum pipes hold higher intake temperatures in comparison to any other material.

But the answer to the question as does the material of pipe matter much varies depending on the user experiences.

Inclusions of all the parts in the package

Usually, people buying online miss out on an important factor, the inclusion of mandatory parts along with the product. You should look for the inclusion of the major part while buying the product such as pipes, filters, hoses, and bolts, etc.

The Best Cold Air Intake for GMC Sierra 1500 always ensures to bundle the required parts along with their product.


Cost of the air intake system

This is also a very important factor to consider while buying an air filter for your GMC Sierra 1500. Though you should look for an economical product, at the same time do not compromise on the quality.

Compromising the quality and lifespan of the air filter may cost you more in the longer run. Hence, balance the cost and quality in equal proportion while choosing the cold air intake for GMC Sierra 1500.

A good quality air intake system will help you save huge due to better mileage provided by the same.

Watch this video on Youtube:

Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Cold Air Intake For GMC Sierra 1500

What is Cold Air Intake?

A cold air intake system offers a great capacity of cooling air to the engine. It also maximizes the ignition in your engine. This will, in turn, enhance the performance of your truck.

How many kinds of Cold Air intakes are available?

Three types of appended Cold Air intakes are available in the market.

  • True Cold Air Intake

The true cold air intake lays stress on moving the air filter. It allows the air to enter the engine chamber. This provides enough cooling to the engine. Cool air carries oxygen into the ignition chamber and results in more power.

  • Short Ram System

The short ram helps exchange the OEM intake unit with a new assembly of the air filter. It provides an easy path to the heat of the engine to enter the intake system. The short ram system needs the least plumbing or building work.

  • Ram Air Intake

The ram-air intake comes with long tubes and air filter. It allows a larger volume of air along with wind pressure to enter into the engine. It leads to more engine power.

How often you should replace Cold Air Intake filters?

The replacement of a cold air intake filter depends upon the kind of air filter you are using. The oiled filter is re-usable and lasts longer as compared to the dry filter.

What happens when you use low-quality air intakes?

If you are going for cheaper air intakes then it is obvious that these are of low quality. The same will not perform better as compared to the quality ones. The inexpensive air intakes are available in a simple design along with a pipe and filter.

There is no proper testing mechanism in place for mixing air/fuel in a proper ratio. Hence, it results in poor performance. The best Cold Air intake for GMC Sierra 1500 has a unique design.

It also has a testing tool to blend air and fuel in the same proportion. This will provide better ignition and productivity to the engine.

What is the importance of Cold Air Intake for the engine?

Cold Air intake allows cool air to the engine. This enables better ignition and less fuel. In this way, you will need little fuel to create the spark and run the engine. It will also enhance the productivity of the engine.

Can cold air intake cause damage to your engine?

Hydrolocking often occurs when your vehicle is cooling through the cold air intake. When the engine of your vehicle starts taking water instead of air, it damages your engine.

This happens when water starts accumulating in the engine cylinder which subsequently crumbles the piston. The connection rods also start to bend during hydro locking leading to further damage in the engine.

These kinds of occurrences are less these days due to the availability of advanced cold air intakes in the market. The cold air intake installs the bypass valve in its central part. This prevents water to enter the engine.

Are tuners needed with a cold air Intake?

Tuners are good if you want to carry out some advanced amendments to increase the productivity and performance of your air intake unit.

What is the reason for the heating up of the cold intake pipe?

There are various reasons for the heating up of the cold intake pipe. Overheating of pipes can also lead to a rise in the temperature of air blowing into your vehicle’s engine. Thus, it decreases the performance of your engine.

This occurs when you use low-quality cold air intakes.  This does not happen with good-quality cold air intakes. Good quality cold air intakes contain aluminum that does not allow the pipe to heat up.

Thus, there is no effect on the performance of the engine.

How can you cool the engine?

You should follow the below-mentioned steps to cool down your engine with ease:

  • A/C puts heavy pressure on the engine. You should turn it off
  • The heater blows out extra heat from the engine into the truck. You should turn it on
  • Park your truck or keep it in neutral to revive the engine
  • Pullover and open the cover of the engine

Best Cold Air Intake For GMC Sierra 1500 – A Conclusion!

The Best Cold Air Intake for GMC Sierra 1500 is good for maximizing the acceleration and horsepower of your vehicle’s engine.

This buying guide will surely help you pick the one which best suits your requirement from the array of products that are listed here.

You should not compromise on brand and quality when you choose the air intake system for your vehicle. Low-cost products can save you initially but will surely bother you in the future.

Hence, we suggest you go through this review and buying guide to make the decision wisely.

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