April 26, 2017 / by Danny Mavis

For all off-road adrenaline junkies out there, one of the top five things to make the experience better and make your vehicle more capable, is adding a 4WD snorkel. Most 4WD manufacturers make the engines so that their air intake faces forward, as close to the grille as possible, as that’s where the air is the coolest. However, installing a snorkel will significantly increase your vehicle’s intake.

There are several reasons why snorkels are an effective performance booster for a 4WD. Whether your car has a diesel or petrol engine, it uses a fuel/air mixture to create combustion. Installing a 4WD snorkel has many benefits for your vehicle, including:

  • Raising the level of air intake
  • Reducing the chance of water entering your engine while crossing a river
  • The higher air intake reduces the amount of dust entering your engine and exhaust as a whole
  • Cooler air enters your engine
  • The “ram effect”. Air is rammed into the engine using your vehicles forward motion

Generally, there are two basic types of snorkels – ram snorkels and vortex snorkels. They’re both designed to provide similar results, they just accomplish that in different ways.

Ram Snorkels

When the vehicle isn’t moving, air is sucked through the snorkel as per usual. Air filters clean the moisture and dust out of the air. As the vehicle begins to move, air is rammed through the scoop of the snorkel. Moisture and heavier dust particles are forced against the back of the snorkel head and are vented through the drain holes at the bottom of the snorkel head. Moisture and dust free air is rammed into the air intake. Further air cleanse is done by the standard air filters inside the engine.

Vortex Snorkel

When the vehicle is in motion or stationary, air is sucked through several blades at the bottom of the snorkel head. The blades cause the air to rotate around the snorkel head and centrifugal force throws the particles away where they’re collected in the bottom of the bowl. The moisture-free, clean air, is then drawn into the snorkel and it goes down the engine.

Some people install snorkels just for the looks, and can you blame them? They look awesome on any 4WD. Most aftermarket snorkels can fit different vehicle models with little to no modifications necessary, and they can easily be installed without visiting a mechanic, making them a very popular accessory among 4WD drivers.