10 Reasons A Snorkel Improves Your Off-road Performance


10 Reasons a Snorkel Improves your Off-road Performance

If you do a lot of off-roading, you might be looking for that edge on how you can perform a little bit better. The answer you are looking for might be to add a snorkel to your vehicle.

Snorkels certainly look neat, and they look like something you should have, but what can a snorkel do for your actual off-road performance? How can you and your car benefit from adding a snorkel?

Whether you are driving in wet weather or dry weather, a snorkel can help your vehicle perform better. From fuel consumption improvements to safety, there are many reasons why a snorkel will be a wise investment if you do a lot of off-roading in your vehicle.

As long as you follow the safety instructions for installation, and do not use a snorkel as an excuse to get carried away, a snorkel is going to be a great addition to your truck and to your off-roading adventures!

Read on to take a look at the top 10 ways adding a snorkel to your SUV can help improve your vehicle’s off-road performance and bring you more enjoyment during your adventures!

1.    You can safely traverse through Wet Terrain

If you plan on off-roading through creeks, streams, or deep water, you will absolutely need a snorkel. A snorkel is going to raise the air intake on your vehicle so it is higher. In most cases, it will be raised above the level of the hood, and just below the roof.

This means you can run your truck through some fairly deep water.  Always know your vehicle. Read the manual and recommendations as to how deep the water can go, even with a snorkel.

The problem if you do not have a snorkel on your truck is that your air intake could get flooded out by water. The air intake is what intakes air into the engine, mixes with a spark and fuel, and runs your vehicle.

If the air intake floods, your truck will stall out because the spark will not be able to ignite with the fuel. Avoiding flooding should be the number one reason you consider getting a snorkel!

One of the coolest parts of having a snorkel is that you can pretend you are turning your truck into a land based submarine.

Let your snorkel act like a periscope and help keep you safe and dry while you traverse through deep valleys of water. As long as the seals around your doors and windows are safe, with a snorkel, you can drive through several feet of water.

Without a snorkel, you are left with only the ability to drive through smaller puddles. Water getting into the air intake system of your truck could not only stall the truck, but it could ruin the vehicle forever.

While a snorkel is going to help you, make sure you do not travel through deep water at high rates of speed. Apply a little caution, as you will not be able to easily see what you are driving over.

Driving through any types of creeks, streams, rivers, or bodies of water with any regularity will necessitate you getting a snorkel for your truck. You will not regret the decision!

2.    Keeps out Dust out of your Car

You might think you do not need a snorkel if you are not driving through water. That is not always the case as snorkels can come in very handy in desert-like, dusty conditions.

Most snorkels have an external air intake system, which is designed to keep the dust out of your vehicle. Not only will your lungs appreciate it, but the internal components of your truck will not get caked in grit and grime.

You might not need it if you are just driving over the woods to Grandma’s house once a year. But, if off-roading through woods and desert terrain is regularly part of your routine, a snorkel is going to help your truck cleaner and performing better.

If you have ever been hiking or walking on desert trails, you can spend the entire duration of your hike not feeling dirty. Then you get home, take a shower, and the whole floor of your shower is caked in sand and dust. Little tiny particles that you carried home.

The same thing happens to your truck when you are driving through the desert. A snorkel is going to suck that dust and debris and carry it out of the truck.

Without the snorkel those dust particles will be into your engine and stay there forever. At best, this will mean more frequent oil changes, at worst it could damage the entire engine.

While driving through water might be the more obvious time you need a snorkel, driving through dusty deserts and dirty forests can also necessitate the addition of a snorkel to your truck.

Unlike driving through water, you should be able to mostly see the ground you are driving through when you are in the desert.

So, you might be able to travel at higher rates of speed. If you do, you will generate more dust, making it all that more important to have a snorkel on your truck.

3.    Improves the Filtration System

Each snorkel is essentially performs as a dual stage system for filtration. There is an air ram that acts as the first stage of filtering.

Large particles are filtered out at this point. If you are driving through dirt and debris, this is where rocks and clumps of grass and gravel would be filtered out.

The second part involves the air box filter. This is what really filters the air, and takes out the small, tiny dust particles that you might not be able to even see.

Without a snorkel, your truck will not be able to filter out as many particles as with a snorkel, and these particles could end up causing damage to your truck.

Filtering air keeps the air clean. If you are driving on a hot day and want to use the air conditioning or the vents, a snorkel is going to improve the quality of air that is filtered into your truck that you end up breathing.

Clean, filtered air is good for your truck’s performance as well as for your own health and safety.

4.    Air Intake Improves your Vehicle’s Efficiency

The main goal with any air filter is to provide the engine of your truck with as much clean, dry, and cool air as possible.

So, whenever you are driving in conditions that are the opposite – dirty, wet, and warm – it is a good idea to use a snorkel. The snorkel will help filter the air and provide it to your engine in pristine condition.

A nice feature of using a snorkel is it allows you to have a “cold air” intake, which means the snorkel can help the hot engine air cool down before it is filtered through.

The snorkel helps pull the hot air away from the engine, cooling it down, which is better for the health of your truck. The cooler air also allows more air to be filtered through the engine’s airbox, which also helps with filtering and efficiency.

This air intake will also help your truck’s air conditioning run better and more efficiently, which will help you feel cooler quicker. If efficiency is a concern and a priority for you, you will want to add a snorkel.

5.    You can drive through Deep Snow – Fresh Powder Awaits!

With a 4WD SUV, you want to play in more than just dust and wet environments. No good SUV experience is complete without driving through some great snowy conditions.

If driving through snow is in your plans, a snorkel will make your experience much more fun and safer for you and your truck. Imagine driving your truck through multiple feet of fresh powder. If you live in New England or out in the Rockies, this could be part of your regular weekend adventures.

Adding a snorkel to your truck is going to enhance the experience. You will be able to drive in deeper snow, making the experience more fun, enjoyable, and safer.

Some snorkels can actually be turned around. The air ram opening can be position so that it is back facing. In the snow, you want to take advantage of this option.

This will help make sure the snorkel does not get clogged with snow, and snow will reach your air filter. Without a snorkel, you will not be able to drive through big snow drifts, even with 4WD.

And, without turning the snorkel backwards, you risk clogging it up and stalling your vehicle.

If driving through snow is in your plans, add a snorkel to your truck, and plan to face it backwards. You will have no issues driving to your favorite ski resort in a snowstorm for a day of powdery fun!

6.    Snorkels Help with Safety

Any activity like off-roading requires a certain measure of safety. Depending on your vehicle, most SUVs ride higher off the ground than a sedan.

The height off the ground can make the SUVs a little trickier to maneuver, as the risk of tipping over is higher. A snorkel can help keep you and your truck safe.

While a snorkel will not help you drive slower and safer, it will help your truck run smoother. Without a snorkel, you run the risk of water or debris getting into your vehicle while you are traveling. This could cause your truck to stall suddenly, and you might lose control.

Keep in mind that a snorkel might not prevent damage to things like vehicle wiring, electronics, fluids, or some parts like power steering. Just because you have a snorkel does not mean you can drive recklessly. It just will keep you a little safer while off-roading than if you did not use one.

Do not forget to that just because the snorkel will allow you to drive through water without flooding the air filter, you will still want to make sure things like the seals around your doors and windows are tight, or water and debris could get in that way and destroy your vehicle.

7.    You have Options to Choose from

Now that you have decided to install a snorkel, remember that you have options. Like most purchases in life, research the different types and decide on what makes the most sense for you and your specific needs.

There are two main types of snorkels available for you to purchase:

Air Ram Snorkel

If you purchase this type of snorkel, you will be getting a snorkel that rams the air down the school when your truck is in motion and moving.

This snorkel works by taking the heavy dust and moisture, which weigh more than air, and forces them back out the snorkel head and vents them out the exhaust through drain holes.

This process makes sure that there is always a supply of moisture-free air going right into the air intake, helping your truck perform at its best.

Vortex Snorkel

You can also go with the type of snorkel that uses centrifugal force to filter air. Instead of using drain holes, this type of snorkel moves air through a series of blades that are right inside the snorkel head.

Since the air moves so quickly inside the snorkel, it is very easy for the dust and moisture particles to exit through the sides of the snorkel and out the bottom.

In reality, either snorkel would be a fine option. It just depends if you want to rely on centrifugal force (the vortex snorkel) or relying on gravity as the truck is moving (the air ram snorkel). Think about how you will most often use your truck, and snorkel, and buy accordingly.

8.    Reduces Engine Wear and Tear

Not only will your car be cleaner and safer, but other parts of your car will not wear out as quickly as if you were off-roading without a snorkel. Off-roading can be very taxing on your vehicle. It is difficult to traverse over tough terrain.

If the air is filtering correctly throughout your car, with the help of a snorkel, then the engine and all the components involved with the engine operations is also going to function better than if you did not have a snorkel.

Air filters, and engine wear and tear, are arguably the most important components of your truck. If you are concerned about the lifespan of your vehicle, and want it to last several years, you will want to purchase a snorkel.

It is easier and cheaper to replace or add a snorkel than it is to replace your vehicle. Invest in a snorkel and you will find your trust truck lasts you a long time.

9.    Reduces Fuel Consumption

Chances are if you are driving a big truck or SUV for fun off-roading, conserving gas might not be tops on your to-do list.

However, that does not mean you are not interested in conserving gas. Fortunately, a snorkel will help you do just that.

By using clean air and helping the engine run smoother, your vehicle will not be burning as much fuel as if you were performing the same maneuvers without a snorkel.

You will also find that your truck does not need to work as hard when it has a snorkel, which means it will naturally use less fuel. Some snorkels also work with a cold air induction effect, which directly works to improve engine power and improve fuel consumption.

Even if fuel consumption is not your top concern, saving fuel will not only help you save money, but it also helps to preserve the reserves and earth.

Adding a snorkel can help to make a truck that might be a little harsh on the environment, a little bit more earth-friendly. Do yourself and mother nature a favor and consider adding a snorkel to your vehicle to see improved fuel consumption.

10. More Flexibility for your Travels

Maybe you did not plan on off-roading in an area where you would need a snorkel. But, you are on an adventure and you found the perfect place to go, but you need to pass through some water, snow, dirt, or sand. Without a snorkel, you might have to turn around or change your plans.

With a snorkel, you have a lot more freedom to travel. If you are into backcountry hiking and camping, with a snorkel you can be adventurous and do not have to plan your trip out meticulously.

You can choose for freedom and go where the road takes you, knowing confidently that you and your truck are protected by the snorkel. Being able to safely travel with freedom is one of the top advantages of adding a snorkel to your truck.

Let’s face it, if you are reading this article, you have a cool truck and are interested in off-roading adventures. You probably want to know how far and how fast you can go, and how a snorkel can help improve those numbers.

If that’s you, you probably also do not want to be stuck in the middle of awesome terrain with no ability to get to the other side. What a buzzkill on your adventure!

With a snorkel on your truck, you can more easily make it through an otherwise blocked roadway. If you are traveling in a pack of trucks, you will be the leader of the pack getting to the other side, while those without snorkels might be left behind!

Overall Performance Improvements of a Snorkel

Whether you are off-roading through snow, water, or dust, a snorkel is going to help you drive safer and smoother. If you use your SUV for what is intended to, riding through rough terrain, you cannot go wrong purchasing a snorkel.

A last word of caution – when you install your snorkel, make sure you also have the right sealant. The snorkel needs to have a tight seal, so that no water or debris sneaks into the truck.

All joints and gaskets need to be sealed before you off-road through terrain. It’s important to follow the installation instructions carefully, as you want to make sure you do not have problems once you are out on the road.

Furthermore, do not live or die with your snorkel. Your snorkel will help your truck perform better, but it is not a magic genie. You cannot make a wish and suddenly be able to drive your truck underwater through the ocean.

Be safe, be cautious, and know your vehicle’s limitations. Overall, your adventurous life in your truck will be improved with the addition of a snorkel to your vehicle – just be smart with installation and use!

Kern Campbell

I've had a passion for four-wheel-drive vehicles since I was a kid riding in the back seat of my Grandfather's Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I have owned a lot of vehicles over the years. They each have their pros and cons and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so you can find the vehicle that's just right for your needs.

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