best cold air intake for ford ranger
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Best Cold Air Intake for Ford Ranger Review

The Ranger is one of Ford’s biggest nameplates to date. It was first introduced to the world back in 1983, with the latest edition hitting the dealerships in 2019. Compared to the earlier versions, it’s a lot more capable, durable, and includes top-of-the-line gear and accessories. And that’s exactly why we won’t be talking about it in this post. Instead, we’ll concentrate on the 1998-2011 Rangers.

The reason – while they’re quite powerful and boast outstanding performance, the engine bay lacks proper filtration. The good news is – that can be fixed with the best cold air intake for Ford Ranger. And since the market is overcrowded with dozens of available options, I decided to create the following list so that it’s easier for you to pick. These air kits will improve the airflow and keep that engine cool.

Best Cold Air Intake for Ford Ranger (Updated December, 2020)

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Editor’s Choice

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower

1) K&N Cold Air Intake Kit for Ford Ranger

  • Best Features:
    • Ensures up to 50% more airflow compared to stock gear
    • Market-leading durability; engineered to maximize off-road efficiency
    • Backed by one of the best warranty deals on the market
  • Filter Type: Oiled
  • Power Increase: 10-13 HP and 10-13 lbs s ft Torque
  • Fits Models:
    1998- 2003 Ford Ranger 3.0L
    1997- 2011 Ford Ranger 4.0L

1998-2001 3.0L

2002-2003 3.0L

1997-2000 4.0L

2004-2011 4.0L

aFe F2-03012 Full Metal Power Pro Dry S Stage-2 Air Intake System for Ford Ranger

2) aFe Power Pro Cold Air System

  • Best Features:
    • Superb build and material quality for extra durability
    • Passed the roughest dyno tests with flying colors
    • 50-state legal – ships to California as well
  • Filter Type: Dry
  • Power Increase: 5 HP and 7 lbs x ft Torque
  • Fits Models: 2004- 2011 Ford Ranger 2.3L

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Rtunes Racing Cold Air Intake Kit + Filter Combo RED Compatible For 01-04 Ford Explorer/Ranger

3) Rtunes Racing Cold Air Intake Kit

  • Best Features:
    • Easy assembly and installation with basic tools
    • Makes the engine growl like it’s got 1000HP under the belt
    • Generous package with all the bolts, nuts, and clamps
  • Filter Type: Dry
  • Fits Models: 2001- 2003 Ford Ranger 4.0L

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Best Ford Ranger Cold Air Intake Review

1. K&N Cold Air Intake Kit for Ford Ranger

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower

The #1 task of any third-party intake system is to improve the air filtration/flow. That way, it gets rid of the heat more efficiently and prevents the engine from breaking down. Compared to the factory Ranger setup, the K&N air intake kit is up to 50% more efficient. On top of that, you’ll get extra HP, torque, and better up-hill performance as a bonus. Durability and reliability are a part of the deal as well.

Now, it’s mostly crafted from plastic (of decent quality), as opposed to metal. But that’s not a very significant con. This company manufactures some of the safest and long-lasting aftermarket gear. So, you can rest assured that it will serve you for many years. Besides, K&N backs its air intake kit with an amazing longevity guarantee (it covers ten years or ten million miles – quite impressive).

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
5
Value for Money
5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Greatly improves the air filtration and flow inside of the engine bay
Durable, reliable, and highly efficient off the road
Backed by a generous warranty deal
Mostly crafted from plastic

Verdict
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For improving the airflow, giving the powertrain a nice “kick”, and increasing the Ranger’s reliability on and off the road, this intake system can be a very good investment. And while it’s manufactured from plastic, it’s still one of the most durable offers on the market. And let’s not forget about the lovely warranty deal.

2. aFe Power Pro Ford Ranger Cold Air System

aFe F2-03012 Full Metal Power Pro Dry S Stage-2 Air Intake System for Ford Ranger

With this next cold air intake system, you can expect market-leading build quality. First of all, the heat shield is powder-coated for anti-rust protection. Secondly, the air filter is easy to remove, wash, and reuse. It consists of three layers and maximizes performance thanks to the three-adaptor technology. It speeds up the airflow, and that has a positive effect on throttle response, among other things.

Before making it available for the regular drivers, aFe ran this air intake kit through dozens of harsh dyno tests. Right now, you can order it to any of the 50 US states, including California. There is one downside that I have to mention, though: the hose that starts at the PCV valve is slightly shorter than it should be. That doesn’t create any big problems, but is still a minor inconvenience.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
4.9
Easy to Install
4.9
Value for Money
5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Impressive construction quality – built to last
Easily passed a series of dyno tests ran in the States
Available in all 50 American states for shipment
The hose could’ve been a bit longer

aFe Power Pro Cold Air System

Verdict
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Available in every corner of the United States, tested numerous times in the toughest challenges, and built from high-quality parts – that’s the best way to describe this air system. It might not be particularly fancy, but out there in the wilderness, this baby does its job well.

3. Rtunes Racing Cold Air Intake Kit for Ranger

Rtunes Racing Cold Air Intake Kit + Filter Combo RED Compatible For 01-04 Ford Explorer/Ranger

Ease of installation, along with a generous package full of hardware is this air intake kit’s biggest selling point. It includes all the necessary bolts, nuts, clamps, and hoses, which is very convenient. As for the installation, it won’t take you more than an hour, as everything is very straightforward. Sadly, the company doesn’t pack a user guide, and that’s a bit strange.

On the bright side, the second you start the engine, you’ll instantly feel the new, roaring tone. This cold air intake makes the engine sound like a million bucks. Rtunes Racing created a very good product for the money, and it won’t cost you a pretty penny. So, any Ford Ranger in the market for a reliable and productive aftermarket cold air system should pay extra attention to it.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
4.9
Easy to Install
4.9
Value for Money
4.9
Result
4.9
Pros & Cons
Won’t take you long to install this kit and get it running
Adds a roaring quality to the engine’s sounds
Includes all the necessary installation hardware
Doesn’t feature any installation instructions

Verdict
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The Rtunes Racing cold air intake system makes a difference on and off the road, and that’s the biggest compliment for any aftermarket gear. It features a generous set of hardware, greatly improves the engine’s sounds, and takes very little time to install on your own.

Conclusion

If you’re a bit worried that your Ranger’s stock gear isn’t managing heat dissipation very well, an aftermarket cold air intake kit might be in order. It won’t cost you a fortune, but in the long run, you’ll definitely benefit from it. A cool, filtrated engine that’s protected against overheating will last a lot longer compared to a motor that’s constantly under stress.

And you’re more than welcome to choose one of the intake systems from my list – they’re all worth the money. There are some cons that need to be considered, of course, along with the specs/fitment. So, give the comparison table and the reviews another look before committing. I’ll be more than happy to share some tips and tricks if you’re still not sure which company has the best offer for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

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