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2013 Kia Rio, 1.6L GDI, 6-speed manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone explain the complexity of this air intake system?

The air comes in through the grill,
then it goes down a tube to the bottom of engine compartment,
then makes a U-turn to go up,
then it enters some convoluted boxes, pipes, and hoses that seem to be blind,
then it finally makes it into the air filter box, and into the engine.

What is the purpose of all these components between the grill and the air filter box?
 

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2013 Kia Rio 1.6 GDI Hatchback | Tuned
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Can anyone explain the complexity of this air intake system?

The air comes in through the grill,
then it goes down a tube to the bottom of engine compartment,
then makes a U-turn to go up,
then it enters some convoluted boxes, pipes, and hoses that seem to be blind,
then it finally makes it into the air filter box, and into the engine.

What is the purpose of all these components between the grill and the air filter box?
That big complex of of the boxes and tubes from grill till airbox with filter calls air intake silencer, so yea, its purpose is to lower incoming air noise and kinda restrict incoming air for better fuel efficiency.

You can check this video of mine, although I speak on Georgian language, you can still see removing of stock air intake system with all parts and installing aftermarket one and at the end of video you can see how different is aftermarket intake sound and whistling on revs.

 

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99 Kia Elan 1.8L
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That big complex of of the boxes and tubes from grill till airbox with filter calls air intake silencer, so yea, its purpose is to lower incoming air noise and kinda restrict incoming air for better fuel efficiency.

You can check this video of mine, although I speak on Georgian language, you can still see removing of stock air intake system with all parts and installing aftermarket one and at the end of video you can see how different is aftermarket intake sound and whistling on revs.

I don't understand the comment that the stock intake arrangement could improve fuel efficiency.

The stock air intake has a number of design features such as a water trap (then it goes down a tube to the bottom of engine compartment, then makes a U-turn to go up)
, harmonic chamber, etc. and is sized such that it does not present a flow restriction at the maximum flow that the engine is capable of swallowing.

Further reducing the intake flow restriction, allowing more flow, is meaningless if you don't modify the engine so that it can ingest more air, such as a blower.
 

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2013 Kia Rio, 1.6L GDI, 6-speed manual
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. I guess two options are possible if one wants to get rid of all this crap.
One is to swap out to an aftermarket air intake system, including the cone-shaped air filter, as the fellow in Georgia had done.
The other one is to keep the original air filter box and the flat air filter, get rid of everything before it, and take the air in from under the left headlight.
This water trap is nothing else but a small rubber flap covering a hole at the very bottom of the U-pipe. The flap opens up and drains water if any water gets in there. You can do the same thing by simply drilling hole(s) in the bottom of the stock air filter box.
 

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2013 Kia Rio 1.6 GDI Hatchback | Tuned
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I don't understand the comment that the stock intake arrangement could improve fuel efficiency.

The stock air intake has a number of design features such as a water trap (then it goes down a tube to the bottom of engine compartment, then makes a U-turn to go up)
, harmonic chamber, etc. and is sized such that it does not present a flow restriction at the maximum flow that the engine is capable of swallowing.

Further reducing the intake flow restriction, allowing more flow, is meaningless if you don't modify the engine so that it can ingest more air, such as a blower.
I mean that if you are going to remove stock intake and install one like mine, most prolly you are going to tune up your car, that means more air + more fuel ratio. Thats why I said about fuel efficiency. Otherwise if you are not going to tune your car just stay with stock intake, cuz its factory tuned for that particular air and fuel ratio.
 

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99 Kia Elan 1.8L
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then it goes down a tube to the bottom of engine compartment, then makes a U-turn to go up
That is using gravity to ensure no water gets into engines intake.

Car manufacturers don't design and add things just to make it complicated.

A cone filter drawing hot air from the engine compartment cant be a performance enhancement - legit cold air intakes don't draw from within the engine compartment.
 

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2013 Kia Rio 1.6 GDI Hatchback | Tuned
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A cone filter drawing hot air from the engine compartment cant be a performance enhancement - legit cold air intakes don't draw from within the engine compartment.
Actually it is, especially with heat absorbing tape and engine separated intake room.
I believe that performance gain depends on car mark/model and condition, but in my case, difference was 2WHP with a cone filter and short ram intake even without separated room and tape vs stock one. Unfortunately I have dyno picz on my home pc stock vs intake changed.
Regarding cold air intakes - you're right. But in many cases cold air intake kits cost more especially with cars like this and improvement is not that much vs short ram intake. In fact, throwing filter into somewhere under front bumper or fender may cost you engine if water will get into intake in rainy weather or from bump splashes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
... did some more reading on this, and it looks like there is a reason for all this complicated setup. So, for now I won't be getting rid of it.
Looks like all these pipes/boxes/hoses in the intake air duct are a resonator system that filters (smooths out) the pressure pulses (incoming and reflected air) to enable easy flow of air into the engine. It may also be set up to resonate at as wide a RPM range as possible to increase the incoming air pressure at the intake valve (a small inertial turbo effect).
This increases the volumetric efficiency (which is good) and results in greater engine torque.
It's the same principle as tuning the runners of the intake manifold for a particular engine, except that the resonator is located before the throttle plate. I guess they could not get the desired effect from just the runners, so they extended the system to include a resonator.
I hope they designed and tested this whole air intake system, from the air intake at the grill to the intake valves, with this principle in mind. Only then there would be a good reason for all this resonator junk hanging in there taking up space and blocking access to components.
 

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2013 Kia Rio Sedan Auto 1.6 Turbo // 2020 Sportage LX FWD
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... did some more reading on this, and it looks like there is a reason for all this complicated setup. So, for now I won't be getting rid of it.
Looks like all these pipes/boxes/hoses in the intake air duct are a resonator system that filters (smooths out) the pressure pulses (incoming and reflected air) to enable easy flow of air into the engine. It may also be set up to resonate at as wide a RPM range as possible to increase the incoming air pressure at the intake valve (a small inertial turbo effect).
This increases the volumetric efficiency (which is good) and results in greater engine torque.
It's the same principle as tuning the runners of the intake manifold for a particular engine, except that the resonator is located before the throttle plate. I guess they could not get the desired effect from just the runners, so they extended the system to include a resonator.
I hope they designed and tested this whole air intake system, from the air intake at the grill to the intake valves, with this principle in mind. Only then there would be a good reason for all this resonator junk hanging in there taking up space and blocking access to components.
After the box my stock intake was a hose akin to a dryer exhaust tube.

So there was definitely no resonator effect, there is a hard plastic elbow but any effect of visitations speed up the air is entirely defeated by the length and diameter of the heat soaked system.

The norm for oem intakes are a over radiator inlet, an elbow lower then the inlet and a filter box inlet. The elbow is there to prevent water from wetting the filter (which will restrict air flow).

An attempt to get cooler, dry air. The tubing harmonics is just an attempt to prevent loss from the extra length.

A given diameter over a long enough run will become a restriction.
 
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