Pat: I have a 15 Vette I use as a daily driver. I saw your MotorWeek segment on cold air intake systems and exhaust systems.
Will changing the air intake and exhaust help the performance and
mileage or just make it sound good? Specifically I was wondering if the cost would be paid back in a year or two by mileage improvement?
Thanks for watching! If you’re looking for the mods to pay for themselves over time you’re likely in for a disappointment. I have done both on lots of vehicles and overall the cold air kit has added about 1/10th of 1 mile per gallon as averaged over 10 vehicles. The cat back exhaust systems we’ve installed have ranged from 1 mile per gallon increase on a Corvette with a Corsa system to 2.3 miles per gallon decrease with cheaper systems. We normally don’t expect to see any mpg increase with cat-back exhaust systems due to the sophistication of many modern stock systems.
Would I install these options on my car or truck? Absolutely because I love the sound and the sound makes the vehicle seem more powerful. And in reality creating the illusion of more power is what 90% of the add-ons are about anyway because it costs big bucks to get any meaningful power increases. Also don’t forget that in order to make more power you have to burn more fuel and burning more fuel does not increase miles per gallon or so I’ve been told! A cold air induction system and a good cat back exhaust system would cost about $2000, so if you got a full mile to the gallon increase you would save about $0.01 per mile at $2.50/gallon therefore your pay back would take 200,000 miles to break even.