How to Clean Aluminum Intakes

Cleaning an aluminum intake is an essential part of maintaining an engine’s performance and preventing damage. The buildup of dirt, oil, and other debris can cause a variety of issues, including reduced fuel efficiency, decreased power, and even engine failure. As aluminum is a soft metal, it requires gentle yet thorough cleaning to remove any buildup effectively.

In this article, we will discuss the steps needed to clean an aluminum intake, including the tools and materials required and the necessary precautions to take. By following the steps provided, you can ensure that your engine’s performance remains optimal, extending its lifespan and reducing overall maintenance costs.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance for Aluminum Intakes


What Is An Aluminum Intake?

An aluminum intake is a crucial component of your engine’s air intake system. It sits atop the engine’s intake manifold, where it receives filtered air from the air filter. The aluminum intake’s primary job is to provide a pathway for this clean air to enter the combustion chamber.

The aluminum intake is typically fitted with a throttle body butterfly valve that regulates the amount of air entering the engine. This valve is controlled by the accelerator pedal, which opens and closes the valve according to the driver’s inputs.

Due to its location, the aluminum intake is exposed to a lot of dirt and debris. As a result, it is essential to clean it regularly to ensure maximum airflow to the engine. Following a few simple steps will help keep your aluminum intake in excellent working condition.

Why Is It Important To Clean Your Aluminum Intake?

Cleaning your car’s aluminum intake is crucial for optimal performance. Neglecting to do so can lead to negative consequences such as decreased fuel efficiency and power. A dirty aluminum intake can also lead to a buildup of debris and debris can hinder the airflow.

This, in turn, can cause the engine to work harder than it needs to. Thankfully, the solution is simple – regularly clean your aluminum intake. Not only does this improve your car’s performance, but it also increases its longevity. A clean intake provides better air to fuel ratio which leads to better combustion and a healthier engine.

Ultimately, a clean aluminum intake keeps your car running smoother for longer. Ensure that your car is well-maintained and optimized with this simple but effective step.

Why Cold Air Intakes are Stupid

Method 1: Using Chemical Cleaners

Using chemical cleaners is a popular method for cleaning aluminum intake. There are different types of chemical cleaners available such as acid-based, alkaline-based, and solvent-based cleaners. Before cleaning, always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Start by removing loose debris and any deposits with a brush.

Then, apply the chemical cleaner and let it sit for the recommended amount of time. Rinse the intake thoroughly with water and dry it completely. The advantage of using chemical cleaners is that it requires less physical effort compared to other cleaning methods.

However, there are some potential downsides as well such as toxicity and damage to the delicate parts of the intake, so be sure to take precautions and use protective gear when handling chemical cleaners.

Method 2: Using Home Remedies

There are several home remedies to consider when cleaning your aluminum intake. One effective option is vinegar and baking soda. First, remove the intake and soak it in a mixture of boiling water, vinegar, and baking soda for 30 minutes.

Then, scrub it with a soft-bristled brush and rinse with water. Another alternative is using a lemon and salt mixture. Simply sprinkle salt on half a lemon and rub it on the intake before rinsing it off with water. However, it’s important to note that using home remedies may not always be as effective as commercial products, and they may take longer to show results.

Nevertheless, these natural methods are a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to clean your aluminum intake.

Preventative Maintenance

Aluminum intake materials are prone to getting dirty over time, but there are some simple steps you can follow to keep them looking their best. To prevent your intake from getting dirty, start by cleaning it often and using the right products.

You should also be aware of any chemicals or substances that could potentially damage your aluminum. When cleaning your intake, be sure to use a soft cloth and avoid abrasive materials that could scratch the surface. To maintain your aluminum intake, it’s important to keep it dry and properly stored when not in use.

By following these simple steps, you can help extend the life of your aluminum intake and keep it looking great for years to come.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Cleaning an aluminum intake can be tricky, but avoiding common mistakes can make it much easier. One of the most common mistakes is using abrasive tools or chemicals that can damage the aluminum. Instead, use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub away any dirt or debris.

Another mistake is not properly drying the intake, which can lead to rust and corrosion. To avoid this, make sure to thoroughly dry the intake with a clean cloth. Additionally, using too much pressure when cleaning can cause dents or other damage, so take your time and be gentle.

Lastly, make sure to follow any manufacturer instructions and take precautions when working with chemicals. By following these tips, you can keep your aluminum intake looking clean and functioning properly for longer.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Clean Aluminum Intake

How Do I Clean Aluminum Intake?

Start by removing the intake from the engine and use a degreaser to clean the aluminum surface. Rinse with warm water and scrub with a soft-bristled brush.

What Is The Best Cleaner For Aluminum Intake?

Use an aluminum-specific cleaner for best results. Avoid acid-based cleaners as they may damage the aluminum surface.

Can I Use Sandpaper To Clean Aluminum Intake?

Using sandpaper can damage the surface of the aluminum intake. Use a soft-bristled brush for cleaning instead.


After reading through the tips and tricks on how to clean aluminum intake, you should feel confident in your ability to tackle this task with ease. Remember to prioritize safety, invest in high-quality products, and give yourself enough time to properly clean and maintain your aluminum intake.

By following these steps, you can improve the overall performance of your engine while extending the lifespan of your intake. Don’t forget to make sure all products used are safe for aluminum and avoid using abrasive tools that can damage your intake.

With these simple steps, you can keep your vehicle running smoothly and enjoy the benefits of a clean aluminum intake. Regular maintenance can save you money in the long run and help prevent costly repairs. Happy cleaning!