In winter, many of us try to insulate our trucks and often the air intakes come with a heat shield. In fact, it has a lot of advantages. Today I want to cover the topic of whether air intakes with a heat shield are really worth it!
Advertisements on the packages of heat shields promise a lot of things – faster warming up, fuel economy, good operation of the heater, and much more. But in fact, not all these points really work, though it would be unfair to write everything in deceit. It is also very important to choose the best cold air intake for Dodge Charger. But in general, any air intake can be insulated.
The main advantage of heat screens is presented by faster warming up of the engine. Time of warming up with a blanket and without it was repeatedly carried out by different researchers, therefore in this question, it is possible to speak directly – yes, the warming up time is reduced, but very insignificantly, from power-on 10 %. It is possible not to notice much difference. And since there is no essential reduction of heating-up time, it is not necessary to speak about fuel economy. Also, the improvement of the heater’s work is not noticeable – if the engine is well warmed up, the heater blows the same whether with or without the heat shield.
But the greatest advantage of the use of heat shields in a Dodge Charger is the increase of engine cooling downtime. Here the gain is more than appreciable. If the uncovered engine can completely cool down in frost for 1,5-2 hours, with a heat shield this period is increased at least twice. Is it useful? It depends on the mode of operation.
Say, if you drive your truck only to work and back, not very. Even with a heat shield or without it the engine will cool down completely during the working day or overnight, but if you have to drive often during the day, a heat shield will come in handy – the engine will keep warm, you can drive without warming up, and warm air will blow from the heater at once.
Also, the heat shield will be very helpful for the drivers who use auto start by temperature or timer in severe frosts. It is noticed and calculated long ago that the truck starts twice as seldom with a heat screen for warming up in a frosty night. The reason is the same – the warmth in the engine is preserved longer.
Thus, there is practically no benefit from the heat shield for those who drive far away. Measurements on the highway show that the engine temperature remains the same with or without insulation. If the engine on the highway gets cold, you need to deal with the cooling system, and not try to cure the problem with heating.
Thus, it is possible to say that heat shields block off a lot of heat from the engine bay if they are made correctly, and heat wrapping the headers works too! This is why gold is commonly used in engine bays because it reflects more radiant heat than other colors/materials. That’s why heat shield air intakes are worth it!