Cadillac Owners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I was thinking about installing a cold air intake to my 2009 3.6 CTS4. Any suggestions on type/model? Also, will I need to do anything to the mass air flow sensor or can I just buy and bolt on? Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,044 Posts
It can be bought and bolted on, but it may not be worth spending the $$ on it as the cold air intakes really don't provide much gain if any at all to these cars. The pros and cons have been discussed in the past. A search should reveal both sides of the argument for one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,291 Posts
The stock air intake system is a cold air intake during cold weather. There's not that much of an intake temp difference when the car is moving because from real time testing by watching air temps on a scan tool it's practically the same as the ambient reading on the display screen.

While idling, both systems will absorb some heat from the engine compartment, but once the car is moving, the air moving through the intake is not in contact with its surroundings long enough to absorb any heat, so the ambient and intake temps pretty much equalize. The stock inlet is behind the drivers headlight area so it's not pulling in hot air from the radiators up front either. I discovered all of this while diagnosing a problem that might have been related to the air inlet temp sensor. Upon seeing how close the inlet temps were to ambient while driving, I immediately thought of how useless the legendary cold air intake system would be for the CTS. "Knowledge is power".

I've pointed out before the lack of indisputable proof provided by many aftermarket performance vendors, to support the claims made about their product. The reason little to no proof is offered is because, you probably wouldn't buy the merchandise upon seeing the results, or the lack there of. It's certainly not from lack of funds because most buy this stuff blindly except for testimonials.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
The stock airbox is already a cold air intake. The only performance benefit to be gained with an aftermarket CAI is from a lower restriction air filter that you could more easily drop into the stock airbox for far less $$$. Although the aftermarket conical filter elements are also capable of flowing more air than the oem panel filter, an unmodified engine doesn't need additional air so any potential benefit won't be realized without significant engine mods like forced induction.

However, either solution will allow more dirt into the engine. Aftermarket CAIs are louder, if that's appealing. If you really want to improve your engine's performance, it's very hard to beat the bang for the buck that a tune provides. For little more than the cost of a CAI you could have actual measurable HP and TQ gains as well as improved shifting and throttle response. Keep in mind that tunes rely heavily on higher octane fuel to make more power so you'll need to run premium gas to get the full benefit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Well after much research I pulled the trigger on this Airaid model for my 2010 3.6 awd. Between the quality of the product, positive reviews and over look I thought this was the best CAI for myself. You reuse your stock mass airflow sensor although it is recommended that you clean the hell out of it with specific mass air flow sensor cleaner. And I also went ahead and took off the throttlebody and cleaned it as well with throttlebody cleaner. The install took about an hour and I could not be happier with it. It is a little bit louder and it does make it sound a little meaner under the hood. I feel like there is a slight increase in horsepower although it would be nearly impossible to verify that. But I roughly commute 140 miles round-trip to work each day and I will tell you that I went from averaging 20.5 miles per gallon to around 22.7 miles per gallon over the last several months and I do attribute that to the CAI.
Carid.com seems to have the best selection in one spot to Simply look at and browse although You should definitely look between eBay Amazon and that website among others because there is a huge price difference. good luck

















Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,291 Posts
Well after much research I pulled the trigger on this Airaid model for my 2010 3.6 awd. Between the quality of the product, positive reviews and over look I thought this was the best CAI for myself. You reuse your stock mass airflow sensor although it is recommended that you clean the hell out of it with specific mass air flow sensor cleaner. And I also went ahead and took off the throttlebody and cleaned it as well with throttlebody cleaner. The install took about an hour and I could not be happier with it. It is a little bit louder and it does make it sound a little meaner under the hood. I feel like there is a slight increase in horsepower although it would be nearly impossible to verify that. But I roughly commute 140 miles round-trip to work each day and I will tell you that I went from averaging 20.5 miles per gallon to around 22.7 miles per gallon over the last several months and I do attribute that to the CAI.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Dynos and the track make it possible to measure performance gain if any after a modification. A before and after observation of inlet temps with a scan tool works even better.
Given how fuel management is handled by the computer, any fuel economy gain you achieved, is most certainly a result of cleaning the throttlebody and mass airflow sensor, not an aftermarket air tube.
Testimonials like yours is what keeps these things flying off the shelf, despite the real world effect. Different parts, same outcome. If you're using a different type of air filter that is less restrictive, it will likely allow more fine particulate into the motor, not a fair trade off.

As long as you're happy it's a good purchase.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
I'd have to agree with all of the folks here, I did a drop-in filter replacement and it made a noticeable difference. The airboxes on these are extremely well designed and don't need anything but a filter to juice them up. The 1st gen CTS saw quite an increase in mid & top end power, but it took out some of the low end torque with a CAI in my experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,320 Posts
Be aware that K&N and similar filters allow more finer particles into your engine. They have larger openings to allow more air to come in and thus allow more of the finer dust particles into your engine which can cause premature wear.

Rodney
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
Be aware that K&N and similar filters allow more finer particles into your engine. They have larger openings to allow more air to come in and thus allow more of the finer dust particles into your engine which can cause premature wear.

Rodney
That means I can replace the engine with something more exciting sooner!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Dynos and the track make it possible to measure performance gain if any after a modification. A before and after observation of inlet temps with a scan tool works even better.
Given how fuel management is handled by the computer, any fuel economy gain you achieved, is most certainly a result of cleaning the throttlebody and mass airflow sensor, not an aftermarket air tube.
Testimonials like yours is what keeps these things flying off the shelf, despite the real world effect. Different parts, same outcome. If you're using a different type of air filter that is less restrictive, it will likely allow more fine particulate into the motor, not a fair trade off.

As long as you're happy it's a good purchase.
Lol. Yea. I see that you edited your first comment and truth be told and I have probably been asking about CAI’s if that’s what the comment was referring too. I haven’t had it installed 2 months but rather 4 or 5 weeks or so. I wasn’t super pumped to post any mention because seems to be a bias towards the CAI on these forums. And I made the post at like 415am On my way to work. Probably still have asleep. Which is fine. These things are always a fun argument. So i didn’t post anything. And also I didn’t want to show off my throttle body spacer!! yea right. I’m that guy. And for the record. The spacer does just what you think it would do. Nothing lol. But yes. I wanted to clean, do spacer and install CAI in 3 separate times to judge Hp and fuel economy but lacking patience and time. I did all three at the same time. So maybe the mpg increase is due to the cleaning. But if all the sensors think that there is more air (or cooler) coming into the throttle body would it not try to add more fuel to compensate? Thus adding more horsepower?? And regardless it feels a little more peppy on the low end. Even if it is a placebo effect.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
And let me clarify my bias statement. Judging from the intelligence of most of the guys on these forums. Yea. Probably a waste of money. A lot of pretty smart gear heads on these forums. More so than other sites I’ve been a member of. So I take those opinions and thoughts into consideration lol. I’ve already bought and installed what I have now. And I’m happy with it. I’m just glad that I didn’t buy these and start bragging about it lol. Because I know at least someone has bought it lol. Just not me. Swear !

https://www.carid.com/2010-cadillac-cts-air-intakes/granatelli-motor-sports-mass-air-flow-sensor-1079767769.html


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,044 Posts
Add many yellow stickers to your car...they're worth 5hp each. LOL Truthfully, I look at it as you do what you want, it's your car. If it feels good, if you like the looks of it, if it makes you happy, do what you want. I know not everyone likes my car. What matters most to me is I like it. As long as you'r happy with your car, there's no need to apologize, or feel slighted. Your money, your car, your happiness. It's all good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,320 Posts
CAI only increases the noise of your intake.
K&N over OEM... Allows more air through in the same area... Does that by using bigger holes... Allows bigger stuff through than the factory unit does. Causes premature wear due to more fine particles being let in.
You are not truly letting in more air Atleast not without other upgrades.
If you are going to spend your money on stuff that you want to increase actual horsepower you need to look to proven techniques.

Check this link out for some ideas... I plan to incorporate all of them.. May do the new TC first. Note this only applies to the LFX (2012-2013) engines but likely have similar ones for the other engines:
http://www.getoverkilled.ca/2012cts36.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,291 Posts
Lol. Yea. I see that you edited your first comment and truth be told and I have probably been asking about CAI’s if that’s what the comment was referring too. I haven’t had it installed 2 months but rather 4 or 5 weeks or so. I wasn’t super pumped to post any mention because seems to be a bias towards the CAI on these forums. And I made the post at like 415am On my way to work. Probably still have asleep. Which is fine. These things are always a fun argument. So i didn’t post anything. And also I didn’t want to show off my throttle body spacer!! yea right. I’m that guy. And for the record. The spacer does just what you think it would do. Nothing lol. But yes. I wanted to clean, do spacer and install CAI in 3 separate times to judge Hp and fuel economy but lacking patience and time. I did all three at the same time. So maybe the mpg increase is due to the cleaning. But if all the sensors think that there is more air (or cooler) coming into the throttle body would it not try to add more fuel to compensate? Thus adding more horsepower?? And regardless it feels a little more peppy on the low end. Even if it is a placebo effect.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I try to give an unbiased, reasonably thought out assessment on this type of subject matter, because I've had experience with it in one way, or another. The statement I made about the inlet air temp is fact, not bias and if the stock air filter ducting is already delivering inlet temps within about 3 degrees of ambient when moving, there's not much to improve on with a cold air intake that is picking up inlet air from the same location as the original air box, let alone enough of a change that can be measured without some degree of extreme instrumentation. There's likely far more bias in testimonials, given the author has a vested interest in the subject. The sensors if working properly are going to deliver the appropriate info, so there's no benefit to be assumed other than possibly a small enhancement if a free-er flowing air filter is installed.

Aftermarket performance is a big business because there are so many hungry for it and as a result there are just as many opportunist unscrupulous enough to sell whatever pipe dream they can come up with, because they know the average customer with limited knowledge about how an engine, and/or its management works, will buy the product based solely on unproven claims. I'm just trying to empower others with the knowledge I've gained over the years.

None the less, whatever you buy, or believe will be of benefit only has to make sense to you, otherwise remember the childhood reasoning question, "If Billy jumps off a cliff, are you going to follow behind him?"; Yes, no, or it depends on what's at the bottom of the cliff. If your mom is anything like mine, the answer would be "No!".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
You might see an increase throttle response, but gaining any measurable amounts of significant performance is unlikely. The best set ups that usually do see an increase in performance have a complete relocation of the air filter housing to the bottom of the front fascia and take advantage of the Ram air effect and increased surface area of a larger filter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,320 Posts
Cold air intakes....

If you look at how the vehicle is setup the factory did the best they could to engineer a good air system that produces the coldest air and the quietest sound. (Except for vehicles such as the CTS-V where they might try to create more sound. ) They also made sure the engine breathed well.

So you need to see what you need to do to improve it. No modern car is going to be pulling hot air so the idea of a COLD air intake is pretty ridiculous unless the vehicle engineers were morons or they had some other reason to not make the air cold. Chances are more likely that you are going to add temp to the air than cooling it down. There may be an exception in some cases where resonators are used to reduce the intake noise. (Those wierd canisters and such you see attached to the air intake lines on some vehicles.)

To improve the intake you need to do one of two things.. Make the air colder, make more air flow...

To make air colder on a modern car you need to use intake ducting that is more insulated than the factory or keep it out of the engine area. So if the CAI you have is metal without a ceramic or other methods of insulating it then you are wasting your time. Easy to see with air intake temp... Colder air means more dense air means more air to burn. Other methods can improve oxygen uptake such as adding NOS since you are adding oxygen to the air stream. Expanding gas and evaporating liquids can also reduce air temp so NOS can cool the air down as well and I believe this is the intent behind alcohol injection too. You may be able to reduce the air intake temp using other methods such as intercoolers but these don't do much good unless the air has been artificially heated such as through forced induction.

The other method is to create more air flow. Short of using forced induction you are limited here. You can do a ram air intake but the air flow is only increased at higher speeds and of limited use when you need it most unless doing drag strip runs or racing at high speeds. And you have to be aware of situations where you are likely to pull water into your system easier than other systems and engineer around them.

Air filters... In most cars you keep your air filter clean and your fine. Your car is not designed to pull more air out of the area than your filter can provide. If you start making modifications that change that then you might consider increasing your air flow. This can be done by increasing your pore size or by increasing the square footage of filter area that the air contacts. Changing from a flat filter to a cone filter MAY provide more surface area which can increase air flow. If you do ANYTHING to increase pore size you will be allowing larger particles into your engine than you were before. This can cause premature engine wear. Generally the oil saturated filters use a pore size large enough to let some pretty gritty stuff through. This can be a very big concern if you are in a dusty area and may require a prefilter cover which sort of defeats the purpose. So just swapping out your factory air filter for a K&N and calling it good really may be a bad idea.. You are not really getting more air into your engine and are instead allowing more small particles into your engine. And potentially coating your sensors with oil if you over oil your filter.

Basically I have come to the conclusion that in my vehicles until I increase air flow dramatically. They are in no way getting a change in intakes. More likely to reduce performance than improve it.

Rodney
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
About this Discussion
51 Replies
11 Participants
acstudios
Top