Toyota Tundra: Cold Air Intake Reviews and How-to

Adding a cold air intake to your Toyota Tundra is the first step in increasing its performance. Read on to learn how to install one, and which one is right for you.

By Bassem Girgis - February 2, 2016

This article applies to the Toyota Tacoma (2000-Present).

The cold air intake kits are designed to let cold air into your Toyota Tundra's engine. Pulling air from the outside allows you to put cold air in a warm engine, which increases its performance. The cold air intake kits not only increase the horsepower of your engine, it also can improve the gas consumption. Continue reading to learn which cold air intake kit is best for you and your truck.

Typical cold air intake kit
Figure 1. Typical cold air intake kit.

Table of Contents

How to Install Cold Air Intake Kit

Toyota Tundra How to Install Cold Air Intake Kit

Materials Needed

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Socket and ratchet

Step 1 – Disconnect battery

Disconnect the negative (black) battery cable, then wrap it in a towel to avoid it touching anything metal and creating a spark.

Figure 2. Disconnect negative battery terminal.

Step 2 – Remove engine cover and air hoses

Remove the plastic engine cover by pulling it out off of its clips. If your Tundra is newer, you may need to remove the two bolts holding it in place. Then remove the hoses connected to the air filter, such as the crankcase vent hose. Disconnect the MAF sensor on the intake tube, by simply squeezing its tabs and pulling it up.

  • Figure 3. Remove engine cover.
  • Figure 4. Remove hoses from tube.
  • Figure 5. Remove MAF sensor plug.

Step 3 – Remove air box

First, loosen the hose clamp on the intake tube, then pull the tube off. Remove the clamps closing the air box, then remove the cover. Remove the air filter from the air box; the intake tube should come off with the air box cover. Remove the two bolts securing the air box to the truck, then remove the box from the truck.

  • Figure 6. Loosen intake tube clamp.
  • Figure 7. Remove air box cover.
  • Figure 8. Remove air box.

Step 4 – Install heat shield

After assembling the heat shield, install it in your truck. The factory holes should align with the heat shield's holes. Tighten it in place.

Figure 9. Install heat shield in place.

Step 5 – Install air intake kit

Install the silicone hose onto the throttle body, and tighten its clamp. Then install the other silicone piece that goes on the heat shield, and tighten its clamp. Remove the MAF sensor's assembly from the old air intake, and install it onto the new intake's tube. Finally, attach the intake tube to the heat shield and the throttle body, and tighten the clamps on both sides. Connect the crankcase hose and the fuel pressure hose to the new intake tube. Install the air filter in place on the other side of the heat shield, then tighten its clamp. Finally, plug the MAF sensor back in its assembly.

Install the engine cover and connect the battery.

  • Figure 10. Connect sleeve.
  • Figure 11. Connect intake tube.
  • Figure 12. Connect air filter.

Featured Video: Air Intake Installation

Cold Air Intake Review

There are a lot of different brands of cold air intakes on the market. Depending on how much you want to spend and a few other factors, this guide will help you pick the best one for your specific needs. Whether you pick the cheapest cold air intake kit or the most expensive, they are all guaranteed to increase the performance of your Toyota Tundra's engine. Now that you know how to install them, read on to learn how to pick them.

$280-380 $230-340 $375-435




Reusable Filter
Yes Yes Yes
Direct Direct Direct
Polyethylene Synthetic Plastic
Million Mile Limited 4 Year/100,000 Miles 2 Years
Best Quality: aFe

Best Value: K&N


Price – $280-380

Dry/Oiled – Oiled

Reusable Filter – Yes

Fitment – Direct

Material – Polyethylene

Warranty – Million Mile Limited

The K&N cold air intake kit is by far the most reputable company to manufacture air intakes. It is designed to fit directly in a matter of 90 minutes or less. Customers claim they have noticed an immediate change in their throttle response, as well as a big rise in acceleration. The straight intake tube on this kit allows the engine to take in more air, as it reduces air restriction and thus increasing the horsepower. Most customers have noticed better gas mileage when using the K&N kits. With a million mile limited warranty, this kit is a no-brainer.
Recommended if you're looking for a reputable kit with great warranty.


Price – $230-340

Dry/Oiled – Dry

Reusable Filter – Yes

Fitment – Direct

Material – Synthetic

Warranty – 4 Year/100,000 Miles

The Volant features a closed air box that protects the filter from the engine's heat. With a washable, reusable filter, this kit will last you a very long time. Everyone that experienced this kit can agree that even its small parts are higher quality, from clamps to hoses. This kit will directly fit in your Tundra without voiding your warranty. It's designed to improve engine efficiency, improve fuel mileage, and make your engine compartment look real cool. The large diameter intake tube will show you an immediate change in the throttle response. Some customers complained the mounting holes had to be drilled because they were different sizes from the manufacturer's holes. However, they claim it still fits nicely and in less than an hour.
Recommended if you're looking for a good air intake kit with a cool look.


Price – $375-435

Dry/Oiled – Dry

Reusable Filter – Yes

Fitment – Direct

Material – Plastic

Warranty – 2 Years

The aFe features a fully sealed intake housing that avoids sucking in the warm air under the hood, and brings the just cooler outside air into the engine. This kit is designed to easily fit on your Tundra. It's made with well-sealed insulated material that keeps the filter tightly enclosed. If you're looking for a quiet kit, that won't change the sound of your engine until you floor the throttle, then this kit is for you. This American-made kit is recommended by most users, as it adds a noticeable difference to the engine performance.
Recommended if you're looking for a quiet intake.

Related Discussions