Do I need a Snorkel?
This is a common question and the answer can save you thousands either way.
Snorkels have many uses and each have their place. But is a snorkel for you? Well it depends on how you decide to use your vehicle. Obviously the main function is preventing water ingress into the combustion chamber of your engine.
Most factory air intakes are either behind the head light or under the front guard. While these positions are fine for road use they are not good for any water crossings. Its highly recommended to install a snorkel if you are intending any water crossings. Compression locking an engine can be extremely costly and often costs more than the vehicle itself.
Water ingress is only one of the several benefits of a snorkel however. They also mean your vehicle is taking in air from much higher and this leads to a cleaner less dusty air. This will mean your air filter is going to stay cleaner for longer. This will improve fuel efficiency, performance and maintenance requirements.
There is also the theory that your vehicle is taking in cooler air than that in the engine bay and behind the wheel arch. While this may be true the benefits may not actually be felt however its 100% going to be directionally correct.
Selecting the right snorkel for you can be important
How well sealed is it?
There are several items to look at when selecting a snorkel for you. Obviously you need your snorkel to be 100% sealed. Not much point in having a snorkel installed if its leaking. This might sound logical however there are many low quality snorkels being sold and installed that actually just don’t seal. Their design of joints just don’t seal and fill allow water and dust ingress into your engine. And after a snorkel is installed its extremely difficult to know how well its been sealed. That’s why its vital to select a quality snorkel and haev it installed by a trusted accessory fitter.
Good Design is important
The design of the snorkel top is also very important. You need to select a snorkel that diverts water that enters the top intake during forward motion back outside. Again this is something that many would not think about however makes a difference. a poorly designed snorkel intake can mean driving in the rain will fill your air box with water.
Side profile and shape of your snorkel is also something worth considering. The first reason is for aerodynamics. Anything you bolt to the side of your vehicle will have an impact on this. The more fitted and streamline the snorkel is, the less wind noise you will have. It will also mean less resistance and therefore fuel efficiency. The second reason is visibility. You want a snorkel that does not restrict your visibility out of your windows. This can be a safety item that is easily overlooked when selecting a snorkel.
All important looks
And last of all is looks. There are many different styles of snorkel that all have the potential of functioning well. For many this item is vital. For me it can make or break the look of a whole build. You need to be happy that the snorkel you select will compliment your vehicle build. This one however if objective and really down to personal taste.
Whatever you choose a snorkel can be extremely important in a 4×4 build and something worth taking the time to investigate.
Your snorkel checklist
Creating your checklist is important
- Review the benefits to you and decide if you require one
- Review quality and how well they seal
- Review intake water ingress design
- Review design for aerodynamics as it can affect fuel efficiency and noise
- Select a snorkel that will look great on your build
For some amazing products with the same design philosophy as our own check out Rhino4x4