What You Should Know Before Installing Snorkel Car

What You Should Know Before Installing Snorkel Car

April 16, 2021 0 By onroadtips

The snorkel is an accessory for SUVs that helps the car breathe when it goes through a rivulet or waterlogged road. This post is for those considering getting a snorkel car as we will discuss how it works, pros and cons, as well as tips on installing a snorkel.

What is a snorkel for car?

A vehicle snorkel is a version of the submarine snorkel that allows diesel engines to work while the vehicle is submerged in the water. When snorkels are used by vehicles that have air-breathing internal combustion engines, they sometimes allow for river crossing and amphibious landing operations, especially for tanks and armored vehicles.

Snorkels are among the most searched after-market accessories with offroaders who look to challenge their vehicles in difficult terrain.

snorkel car
This is what a snorkel car looks like

How does a snorkel work?

The snorkel car purpose is to bring air into the engine, completing the fuel combustion cycle. To fit a snorkel, you need to disconnect the car’s original air intake system so the engine will get air through the snorkel. After that, the air will run through the snorkel into the engine instead of through the air intakes.

This way, the air intake has been elevated to the roof of the vehicle, meaning air can reach the engine even if the car is wading through water. In addition, the snorkel is designed to produce a ram effect, in which air is driven into the engine when the car moves.

Car snorkel benefits and downsides

Advantages of car snorkel

  • Prevent water from entering the air intake system of your car. As a result, your vehicle will less likely stall when it crosses waterlogged areas or water streams.
  • A snorkel also gives cleaner air to the engine instead of polluted air that’s closer to the ground. In addition, the ram effect means the air swirls when entering the snorkel, which pushes heavy dust particles out.
  • All in all, a snorkel will help improve engine efficiency due to a larger amount of air fed into the combustion chamber that improves the fuel-burning cycle.

Disadvantages of a car with snorkel

  • The installation process of a snorkel involves carving hole and drilling bolts on your car.
  • Snorkel is no use if the water’s depth is greater than the wading capacity of the car. In this case, the electrical components will be damaged, causing malfunctioning though the engine could keep running.
snorkel car
How does a snorkel help your car?

Snorkel in car: Tips to bear in mind

1. Find out the rated wading depth of your car

This rating takes into account mechanical, electrical, and electric components that can be damaged when the vehicle crosses water and how well the cabin is sealed against water intrusion.

If a vehicle doesn’t have rated wading depth, it’s highly likely that exposed electronics, fluid reservoirs, and electricals in the engine aren’t made to prevent water from entering. So, you cannot put a snorkel on it as you can’t ensure it won’t suffer from any damage in water crossings. Most of the time, a high-capability vehicle like an SUV will have higher ratings than others.

2. Check if there are systems compatible with your car

It’s best and easiest if you can find a system made specifically for your car. If there’s none available, you can customize a snorkel but it costs more and may involve changes in the air intake assembly.

3. Prioritize quality

While cheap snorkels seem tempting as they cost less and look like the real thing, their low-quality plastic means they are more vulnerable to impacts and UV damage. Good snorkels are made of thicker, tougher plastic that can survive off-roading. They are also designed to meet the capacity and breathing requirements of the engine.

4. Determine what type of system you want

Commercial snorkel systems often have two kinds of heads, including ram type and vortex/cyclone. First of all, ram type is the most common out there, using a forward facing duct which air is rammed into and the dirt or water get pushed out of the back of the head.

Vortex or cyclone snorkel systems have titled vanes in a bowl-shaped head that cause the air to swirl around. This motion generates centrifugal force pushing dirt, dust, and water out to the edges of the bowl. This type of system keeps your air filter clean but it does not flow as well as the other type.

5. Install the snorkel system properly

Ensure you have got all the materials and tools you need before installing the system. Ask for help if you need to.

6. Prepare for holes on your car

The snorkel has to be bolted to the car’s body while the air tube will pass through the fender.

7. Don’t forget the silicone sealant

Without proper seal, the snorkel cannot work properly. So, make sure you apply a good bead of sealant at the gaskets and joints.

installing car snorkel
Tips to bear in mind when installing a snorkel on your car

Snorkel on car: FAQs

Does a snorkel affect performance?

A snorkel affects your car in a good way as it improves its performance at almost every engine speed. It also reduces fuel consumption and helps the engine run cleaner.

Why do stainless snorkels face backwards?

If the snorkel faces forward and you drive behind a car on a dusty road, it’s not good. When the snorkel faces backwards, it has a vacuum behind the head to suck even more dust than when facing front. The best way is facing sideways.

How do I know if my snorkel is waterproof?

Try this when the snorkel is not connected to your car. Pour water down the snorkel and seal the inside of the air-box, see if there’s any leak.

Overall, if you are thinking about getting a snorkel car, we hope this post has provided all the information you need. Installing a snorkel will significantly affect your car’s look and performance, so think carefully and take each step with extra attention. To view more accessories for cars, there are a bunch of things you can buy to enhance the experience in the vehicle for yourself.