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2012 Kia Rio SLS and 09 Mitsubishi Lancer
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Discussion Starter #1
Something found today while pulling out the stock air take to fit a custom set up was something that blocks airflow into the stock intake system: this little piece of plastic:



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To remove it, first you need to take off your front bar. The front bar is held on by two screws in the wheel wells (one screw either side), 3 screws underneath the front lip guard (middle of the front bar right at the bottom) and 4 pop out screws/plug things that attach the mud flaps to the front bar (2 either side, directly in front of the wheels).

You also have 5 push in clips under the bonnet which cover up a second set of 4 push in clips.

Pulling the front bar off once all the clips off can be difficult but its easier to get off than it is to get back on. Best to start in one corner and work your way around to the other. You do have to use some force in pulling it off but you wont snap it; they are made of flexible plastic and take quite a lot before they break. You will have holding mounts on the wheel wells and under the headlights.



Once the front bar is off you look where your intake starts and you will see the plastic cover over it. All you do is undo the two bolts and take it out.



Now you have the fun of putting your front bar back on... You align it on the middle bit first then start from the side you pulled off first and begin pushing it back into place. Put all your clips and screws back in and your done.

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What it does is restricts the amount of air the stock intake system can supply to your engine. Most cars within the B and C segments have restrictions like this in the delivery path of intakes.

With the piece removed it allows the Kia to have a less restricted flow of air going into the intake entry point which sits directly behind that bit of plastic.
 

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2013 Rio5 SX Navi, it be Black Pearl... argh matey!
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131 Posts
Interesting. But my question would be... why bother? I've read elsewhere on this site that the Rio cannot take advantage of any extra airflow - unless you perhaps reprogram the computer somehow too.

I really have no idea. However, it would be nice if, by removing that little piece of plastic, we gain some hp and/or gas mileage. Uh... as long as I'm not risking any extra wear or damage that is.
 

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2012 Kia Rio SLS and 09 Mitsubishi Lancer
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464 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
If the Kia is the same as the Honda Fit/Mitsubishi's and other small cars it has the ability to 'learn' new airflows and adjust accordingly.

Plus Kia dont have a conventional MAF sensor or unless its built into the throttle unit.
 

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14 Forte SX Koupe,15 Soul EX,58 & 90 Rolls Royces,92 Mercedes 500SL
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I would question possible warranty issue if you had a problem.
 

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2012 Rio SX Hatch
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391 Posts
if this is post air filter, you could get some particulates in your combustion chambers, this would likely be bad...
 

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2012 Rio SLi 'Latte' 6AT 1.6GDi
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126 Posts
if this is post air filter, you could get some particulates in your combustion chambers, this would likely be bad...
if it's down in the bumper, I doubt that it will be post air filter since the air filter is located behind the radiator...
 

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2012 Kia Rio SLS and 09 Mitsubishi Lancer
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464 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
This area is right next to the headlight, its in the upper part of your front bar.

The Kia sources air from the upper grille. The intake path once air comes in from the upper grille then goes back down behind your fog lights where it will then get seperated into reserviors and resonators (resonators used to muffle intake sound). The remaining air will then find its way into the filter element in your intake box.

All OEM intakes are designed in a way to limit the extreme possibility that water should get inside the intake delivery system.

Unless you drive into swimming pools or aim a hose into the intake there is no way water will get up there.

Even in the first picture you can see the top of the radiator
 

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2012 Kia Rio SLS and 09 Mitsubishi Lancer
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Discussion Starter #11
As I said before, all it does is gives the Kia a less restricted intake path. Its not going to add hundreds of kw or make your fuel consumption figures change over night.

This removes a restriction placed on the intake system. To put it another way put your hand over your mouth and try breathing for a minute with a tiny opening for air to come in; a bit difficult isnt it?

Take your hand away from your mouth and breathe. Much easier now. A car's intake system is the same way. It will let the Kia have an easier time getting air to where it needs it.

What you will find with it is a slightly different engine note (usually a bit deeper and less rorty) and faster/easier travel through your rpm band (from torque spread flattening out).

This exact same procedure is done across many cars; its a very common thing done with the new Lancers too. Many owners will either remove parts of the intake snorkel or swap to the intake snorkel from the RA.

Its about making the most of the stock system before you throw more money into an aftermarket intake system. Would you rather spend a few hundred on an intake system that does close to jack all or spend an hour at most pulling your front bar off and removing a bit of plastic?
 

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2013 Rio5 SX Navi, it be Black Pearl... argh matey!
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131 Posts
Dude. I appreciate your willingness to experiment, I really do - but I think we get it. :rolleyes: Marleyfan was just asking if the difference was measurable, that's all. I doubt anyone is expecting miracles here.

But regardless - thanks very much for exactly explaining what it feels like when you do remove that piece of restrictive plastic. Kudos. :D
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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I go along with KCOPE316....
I would also worry about the engine sucking in way too much water (either by hitting a large puddle or a nasty blowing rain storm. These engines can seize if the are hot and too much cold water is ingested. Why would KIA bother "adding" and extra piece and the hardware to mount it "if" it ONLY restricted air flow??? There is a reason behind it being there.. and I doubt if it was there to restrict needed extra air flow.
Dave
 

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2012 Kia Rio SX
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18 Posts
If you are worried about hydro-locking, it would have to be some really large puddle... like a few feet deep puddle. A splash won't do it, unless it was a huge one with a completely unrestricted path to that opening.

One of my past cars had a "cold air intake" with a cone air filter behind the fog lamp 12-18 inches from the ground and puddles never caused problems. If anything it gained a bit of power due to the air being super cooled. (similar to water injection) Now if the water covered the road, I was turning around as the intake would have sucked up water like a wetvac if it got deep enough.

I just don't think this engine is big enough or has the valving to really benefit much from a less restrictive intake except maybe at high RPM. Even the cold air intake I mentioned added only 5 or 6 hp and that car had a high lift cam that engaged at ~6000rpm so it could actually suck more air. Made a glorious sound when it did.

This little mod should make the car sound a bit sportier due to induction noise. Which I find to be better than most aftermarket exhaust notes.
 

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2013 KIA Rio SLi, 2007 FORD Falcon BF XR6
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I decided to remove this bit of plastic on the weekend, and proceeded to take off all the screws and clips that hold the grille and bumper.. little did I know that all you need to do is remove the left headlamp..

I am wondering why this car has such a complicated intake path? It took me a while to work out how the air gets to the engine :huh:

I don't know how much of an effect this will have, but will report if I notice much difference.
 

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Kia 2015 Sportage Platinum diesel and 2013 Rio 3 door SLS
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I gotta agree more with DavesSpectra, in that I can see problems with water ingestion, either puddles or driving in heavy rain. Water through the air filter into the injection process sounds awfully nasty to me. Water doesn't have quite the same compression ratio as air/fuel mix.

As has been said, good find, but not something I would be willing to play with unless the gains were significant and "safe" in the long term. Just my thoughts.
 
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