So that he can always breathe - snorkels for SUVs, pickups and off-road vehicles. Anyone who lives in floodplains on the Danube, the Rhine or the Moselle or wants to test how deep the brook is in the forest next door in their off-road vehicle needs to ensure that the engine can always breathe fresh air instead of water. If you want to rig your SUV, the pickup or an indestructible Unimog, then a snorkel is ideal, with which you can also drive through streams, shallow rivers or small ponds. And once the Moselle overflows its banks, you can go shopping while others have to take their car to the workshop or to the junkyard straight away. In the off-roader, the snorkel does exactly what it says on the packaging. It serves as a raised air inlet so that the engine can breathe even when it is completely cooled by the flowing water.
But, and that's what off-roaders should pay attention to, a snorkel is not a magical accessory, it can not work wonders and it conveys a deceptive safety that has already cost many SUV owners dearly. Before a snorkel is ordered, it is important to determine the wading depth of the vehicle. Water entering the air intake is not the only hazard to your vehicle. The wading depth of a vehicle also takes into account all electrical, mechanical and electronic components that can be damaged when driving through water. And it gives a clue to the tightness of the vehicle cabin. For example, the Chevrolet Colorado and the Isuzu D-Max identical inlet heights, but different rated wading depths. The wading depth of the Colorado is a respectable 800 mm, while the D-Max can only tolerate 500 mm water level. The biggest problem when driving through water are components such as the alternator, plug connections, fuse boxes and the control unit. If these components were installed deep in the chassis due to their design, the best snorkel would not use them. Then the engine gets plenty of air, but does not run anymore, because the electronics has passed.
Happy is who decides on a Mitsubishi. This car manufacturer offers vehicles as standard with encapsulated electronic components. These can not get wet. However, any repairs are more expensive, because even if only a small part is defective, always the entire component must be replaced. Another problem is the engine temperature. If you drive your off-road vehicle on a challenging track, irritate the power reserves of the machine and then drive into a creek bed, that can be fatal. Your engine would not be the first one that would have burst due to the sudden cooling, with or without a snorkel. In addition, the engine power and the type of transmission is important. If your vehicle does not have a gearbox with a very low gear, the water fun becomes a disaster.
Because then you will not be able to displace the water masses with the front spoiler - result; you get stuck in the middle of the stream. Find out if snorkeling systems are available for your vehicle. It is also possible to configure a snorkel for vehicles. However, it is a laborious and costly process that may involve replacing the internal air intake assembly. Most snorkels available on the market are specially designed to fit snugly against the body. They are supplied with seals to prevent leaks. They are also sized so that they can be screwed onto the body where the standard air intake sits. Inexpensive no-name snorkels that look like original parts or high-quality accessories should be avoided. The plastic quality is almost always inferior, which means that damage from UV light and even small bumps are inevitable.
The snorkels are made according to two design principles. The ram head uses a forward channel, into which air is forced in during the ride. This high-speed airflow pushes dirt and water to the back of the snorkel head, where it flows through holes in the head or through a water drain valve in front of the air filter. The other type is the cyclone or vortex type. In this case, tilted blades in the bowl-shaped head cause the air to spin inside. The centrifugal forces thus generated push dust, dirt and water to the sides of the shell, where they run off at the edges.
This is more effective to keep the air cleaner clean. However, it usually reduces engine power and increases fuel economy. A secret that is often kept secret is that the wading depth only applies to distances from 25m to 50m. Off-road professionals know that a few car-lengths of wading are OK. None of them would try to follow a brook in the water and play boat. A stretch of more than 100m or 200m could be the farewell trip of your beloved SUV or pickup. Therefore, you should take the principle for all terrain enthusiasts to heart: In case of doubt not better!
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