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Best Cold Air Intake for a 2014 Silverado 5.3

If you are the owner of a 2014 Silverado 5.3 pickup truck, you may want to consider the benefits of installing a cold air intake kit. It’s all about better performance and a cold air intake can be a valuable addition that creates a significant difference in an engine’s performance. Just owning a great looking pickup is no longer enough for the dedicated pickup truck enthusiast.

Best Cold Air Intake Options for  2014 Silverado 5.3:

 K&N 71-3082aFe GT 54-74104AIRAID 201-785 Jr.SPE-9006aFe GT 51-74104
OEM Part Number71-308254-74104201-785900651-74104
MPG increase1-2 MPG0.5-1 MPG2.5-3.5 MPG1-2 MPG0.5-1 MPG
Horsepower increase14 HP12 HPNo dataNo data12 HP
Airflow increase50%35%No data50%35%
Filter TypeLayered, oiled cotton5-Layer Filter, Oilednon-oiled, synthetic Oiled, synthetic3-Layer non-oile
PriceFind on AmazonFind on AmazonFind on Amazon Find on AmazonFind on Amazon

It’s easy to upgrade your truck’s overall performance, power and fuel economy, with a simple to install cold air intake kit. Spending just a few hundred bucks and a short amount of time under the hood can create a big performance difference.

The job of cold air intake is to bring cooler air into the combustion chamber and deliver that air at a much better volume than the stock intake that came on your truck. These aftermarket intakes do away with the “box” surrounding the stock air filter allowing more air to enter, they are larger in diameter, and usually have a straighter series of pipes (less bends), improving the over-all airflow into the combustion chamber.

It is also well known that the cooler an engine runs, the better it will perform over its lifetime and the longer its lifetime will be. Cooler air will also cause an increase in throttle response, horsepower, and gas mileage. Our “pick of the litter” is the K&N  Cold Air Intake kit. >>> Check it’s Pricing on Amazon

Important Features for Cold Air Intakes

Horsepower Increase – one of the most important factors that determine horsepower output is the amount of air, and its temperature, that the engine receives. Cold air increases fuel efficiency because gas burns better when cooler air is mixed with it, as opposed to hot air. With an after market cold air intake you can expect to see a horsepower increase of anywhere from 5 to 14 extra HP.

Best Intake for Horsepower: K&N 71-3082

Engine Roar – if you are into announcing your presence with a roar, a cold air intake will do the trick. Stock intake systems are designed to work as silently as possible. An increase of air flow into the combustion chamber will result in a throaty rumble that most truck enthusiasts will really appreciate.

Best Intake for Engine Roar: Spectre Performance SPE-9006

Acceleration Boost – with an after-market cold air intake installed, mash down on the accelerator and your vehicle will leap off the line quicker that it used to. Larger volumes of colder air will deliver a surge in responsiveness. You will reach your intended speed at a much faster rate.

Best Intake for Acceleration Boost: K&N 71-3082

Mileage Increase – a lack of adequate oxygen causes increased fuel consumption. By delivering more air that is cooler, engines work more efficiently, increasing mileage. Buying less gas every month will return the money you spent on the intake kit back into your wallet.

Best Intake for MPG Increase: Airaid 201-785 Jr.

Lower Maintenance Cost – when stock paper filters get dirty and clogged, they have to be replaced. Most manufacturers suggest replacement at 15,000 miles. The filters in most cold intake kits can be cleaned (only every 30,000 to 40,000 miles) with soap and water.

Best Intake for Lower Maintenance: K&N 71-3082

 

Review of Cool Best Air Intake Models for 2014 Silverado 5.3

 

K&N 71-3082

K&N 71-3082 cold air intakeThe K&N comes with a 10-year/ 1,000,000 mile limited warranty. It has been dyno-tested to increase airflow up to 50% than the stock box air system. And under normal driving conditions, it requires cleaning only after 100,000 miles, meaning less time that you have to spend under the hood doing maintenance. >>> Check current price on Amazon

It’s simple to install, very little mechanical skills are required, and it bolts on with basic hand tools in 90 minutes or less. It should deliver an increase of about 14 HP and 1-2 MPG in fuel mileage. Sound increase on start up and during acceleration is satisfying without being overly obnoxious.

The kit comes in three different options, black filter – black metal, red filter – chrome metal tube, and red filter – HDPE (high density polyethylene) tube. HDPE tubes are heat resistant and will keep the inbound air from increasing in temperature as in passes through the tube.

Pros

  • Decent HP increase
  • Amplified engine roar on acceleration
  • Metal filter housing

Cons

  • Plastic hose connectors that easily strip if over-tightened
  • Cruising noise a little soft
  • Air box seal has to be custom cut-to-fit
  • Not CARB approved


aFE Power Momentum GT 54-74104

aFe Power Momentum GT-54-74104 cold air intakeThis intake is housed in a polyethylene housing that is heat resistant, with a viewing window built-in that allows you to see the filter without opening the housing. Because the filter housing completely covers the filter, you can be assured that the air entering the combustion chamber remains cool and is unaffected by engine compartment heat. >>> Check current price on Amazon

The GT 54-74104 has a blue, 5-layer oiled filter with a black hose and housing. The manufacture claims the intake will increase factory airflow by 35% and will increase horsepower up to 12 HP. Each filter layer is constructed of progressively finer cotton gauze, which allows the filter to do a better job of capturing finer dust particles.

If you prefer a non-oiled filter, the GT 54-74104 also comes with a dry 3-layer filter.

Pros

  • Legal in all 50 states – CARB certified
  • One piece housing with viewing cover
  • Throaty roar at higher RPMs
  • Superior filter construction materials

Cons

  • Failing Mass Airflow (MAF) sensor sometimes not tuned correctly
  • Exchanging the stock air box for a after market closed air box
  • Little to no actual MPG increase


Airaid 201-785 Jr.

The Airaid Jr. comes with either a dry or oiled red filter with a lifetime warranty. Each kit is custom-made for a specific vehicle so make sure you get the kit designed for your 2014 Silverado. >>> Check current price on Amazon

It takes less than 45 minutes to install and delivers a good torque increase and smooth acceleration. The average increase in gas mileage is 2.5 city and 3.5 highway.

The largest negative about this intake kit is it doesn’t do a good job of isolating the intake from the heat generated inside the engine compartment.

Pros

  • Nice MPG increase
  • Great price for the performance
  • Good sound performance
  • Super-easy to install

Cons

  • Not legal in California
  • Less expensive to order filter and tube separately for some reason
  • Doesn’t isolate intake from hot engine compartment air


Spectre Performance SPE-9006

This performance intake from Spectre is CARB certified so it is street-legal in California. It is a bare-bones system with a chrome intake tube and a red oiled filter. It can be easily installed in 30 minutes to one hour. >>> Check current price on Amazon

It is dyno-tested with up to 50% more airflow than the stock GM air box. Engine sound is increased due to the open element design of the intake box and it will deliver better towing performance along with better acceleration response.

The Spectre will increase horsepower in the high single digits to the lower double digits. This intake system positions the filter on the driver’s side of the engine compartment.

Pros

  • CARB certified
  • Great performance at half the price
  • Simple installation process
  • Powder-coated steel heat shield

Cons

  • Directions are confusing – it’s better to watch a YouTube video
  • Filter has a tendency to pop off


Million Parts 3.5” MP-028

The Million Parts intake system is lightweight and easy to install. It comes with a blue filter and anodized aluminum pipes that will not rust. It is the least expensive cold air intake we are reviewing. It is a vehicle-specific cold air intake, so be sure to purchase the right kit for your 2014 Silverado 5.3 liter engine. The best option for other Silverado 1500 can be found here.

This intake system delivers a noticeable boost in throttle response and if you bought it to increase engine sounds you won’t be disappointed. >>> Check current price on Amazon

Pros

  • Entry level pricing
  •  Plastic inserts for vacuum hoses

Cons

  • Lacks installation documentation
  • No MAF gasket included with the kit


aFE Power Momentum GT 51-74104

The GT 51-74104 increases airflow up to 35% above the factory air box with a horsepower gain of up to 12 HP. It comes with either a dry 3-layer filter or an oiled 5-layer filter. The filter is also is contained in a one-piece, heat-resistant sealed housing with a viewing window that allows filter inspection without removing the housing. >>> Check current price on Amazon

The oiled filter is large, 9 inches tall, and is constructed of progressively finer layers of medical-grade cotton gauze. It’s efficiency rating is 98.6%. The optional dry filter has an efficiency rating of 99.2%. Both filters are 30% larger than other after-market models.

Pros

  • CARB certified  – legal in California
  •  Sealed housing eliminates hotter engine compartment air from entering
  •  Superior filter construction

Cons

  • Not compatible with eAssist power train
  • Higher priced than most of the competition
  • MAF sensor requires fine tuning


Conclusions

If you are looking for optimal performance from your 2014 Silverado 5.3 liter pickup truck you should add only the best aftermarket accessories. A cold air intake requires little in the way of mechanical skills to install on your vehicle. These kits won’t cost you an arm and a leg and can add performance, miles per gallon fuel increases, and a more than satisfying engine roar.

Once installed, make sure you pay attention to any scheduled maintenance so that your intake system will provide years of improved performance.  You should also try to avoid driving in heavy rainy conditions as sometimes a cold air intake may allow water to enter the engine resulting in a condition known as hydro-lock.

Of the six intake systems we reviewed, the K&N 71-3082 is our favorite. >>> Check current price on Amazon It delivers the same performance as the two more expensive aFE intake kits at almost half the price. The K&N’s use of quality materials and their dependability are hard to beat at any price point.

REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING:

Best Exhaust System for 2017 Silverado