Air induction systems, also called air intakes, draw oxygen into engines through intake manifolds, where the air is spread among cylinders. When it mixes with fuel in the right ratio, spark plugs ignite the mix, and it burns. This is how engines get the power to run.
How an air induction system works is as follows. First, oxygen passes through an engine air filter, getting its airborne contaminants removed in the process. Air levels are then regulated. If an engine has a cold air intake, it can pull in cooler and denser air, slightly improving engine power. How an air intake knows how much air to bring in depends on three components: a mass airflow sensor, which measures air movement; an air metering system, which feeds back to an engine control unit, or ECU; and oxygen sensors, which monitor exhaust levels. Together, they help an engine run properly.
When air intake parts don't work right, though, you'll start to see signs of trouble. They include a lit Check Engine light, an engine that revs too fast (in neutral or when parked), and idling issues (often, idling faster or more slowly than normal). Where the first symptom indicates general engine performance problems, however, the last two suggest potential induction system failure.
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