Cold Air Intake Review

This product review will go over the quality, installation, fitment, and function of an S&B / Banks cold air intake.

Cold air intakes are one of the most common, and simple, upgrades you can make to just about any vehicle. Whether you are driving a performance car or diesel pickup truck, a cold air intake can improve power, efficiency, and in some cases improve mileage. For turbo charged vehicles, an intake like the S&B cold air intake can make a significant improvement over an OEM part. Our review will cover an S&B cold air intake for a 2002 Ford F250 Powerstroke diesel heavy duty truck. A comparable alternative is the Banks cold air intake also pictured below. Consider pairing the intake with a higher flowing exhaust, like the 4″ diesel truck exhaust I installed on our 7.3L Powerstroke truck.

s&b cold air intake banks cold air intake




For the quality portion of the review, I will be speaking to the S&B cold air intake. I installed this intake on my 2002 Ford F250 7.3L Powerstroke diesel truck. The intake came packaged well, with complete instructions and clear labeling. Also, the intake itself is very well constructed and appeared to be made of high quality materials (polyethylene to be specific). The clear cover for the intake box is a nice touch as well. This allows you to see the air filter and whether or not it is due for cleaning. In addition, the air intake box and pieces are very solid and assemble nicely. No flimsy plastic or weak parts in this kit. Very good!


Installing the S&B cold air intake into my 2002 Ford F250 was very easy with the included instructions. The job was completed within an hour or so using basic tools. The most difficult part is removing the very heavy diesel engine battery 🙂 Check out the video below where I cover the installation from start to finish.


From a fitment perspective, it does not get much better than the S&B cold air intake. The intake itself assembled nicely with everything going together with 0 hassle. As for fitment in the truck, this part could pass for an OEM part, as it seamlessly integrates with the other components. It has its own battery tray where the battery fits snuggly and securely. In addition, the ram air port on the front of the intake aligns correctly with the front of the truck. To add, even the intake pipe going into the turbo compressor matched up perfectly. Overall, great fitment from the S&B intake.


From a functional point of view, a cold air intake should provide improved power, better efficiency, and better fuel mileage. After installation, it was clear that the intake provided improved throttle response. This indicates that the turbo and engine were getting clean air quicker. Secondly, under heavy towing loads, the truck breathed noticeably easier. I did not get the feeling that the engine was starving for air, like with the OEM air intake. As for fuel mileage, it is hard to say that the intake made much of a difference there. I saw maybe a 1-2 MPG increase tops, in my long towing trips. However, the engine breathing efficiencies alone make this upgrade well worth it! To top things off, the intake makes the glorious sound of the turbo spooling up much more pronounced and clear, very cool!


The S&B and Banks cold air intakes in this review get a 5 out of 5 stars due to the multiple added benefits after installation.

Cold air intake rating : 5 out of 5 stars

For roughly $350.00, you can purchase these cold air intakes at the link listed below. Please be sure to verify which intake is compatible with your truck or vehicle before ordering.



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