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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. Whilst these positions are fine for road use, they are not good for water crossings. If you are intending any water crossings, it’s highly recommended to install a snorkel. Compression locking an engine can be extremely costly.

Preventing water ingress is just one of the several benefits. Installing a snorkel means your vehicle is taking in air from much higher and this means cleaner, less dusty air. 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. Whilst this may be true the benefits may not actually be felt however its 100% going to be directionally correct.

Ford Raptor driving through muddy water

Selecting the right snorkel for you can be important

How well sealed is it?

When selecting a snorkel, there are several considerations. Obviously you need it 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 allow water and dust into your engine. And after a snorkel is installed, it’s extremely difficult to know how well its been sealed. That’s why it’s vital to select a quality product and have 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 it makes a difference. A poorly designed intake can mean driving in the rain will fill your air box with water.

Snorkel Shape

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

  • Consider the benefits to you and decide if you require one
  • Check quality and how well they seal
  • Assess 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