Product Review: aFe’s Tundra 5.7L V8 Air Intake

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Advanced Flow Engineering, or aFe, has been making performance air intakes for a variety of popular vehicles since 1999. During that time, aFe products have gained a reputation for offering noticeable performance gains for an affordable price. Basically, after market air intakes add power by eliminating the factory air intake “silencer”, a baffle chamber that removes resonance in the intake that serves to reduce engine noise, and they increase airflow by replacing the cheap factory air filter with a high-flow unit (read more about why air intakes work). We contacted aFe and requested an air intake to review for the 5.7 Tundra, and they sent one along right away. Here’s our review:

aFe's Toyota Tundra 5.7L air intake fully assembled.

A great photo of the air intake fully assembled.

The kit came in a nicely decorated box and the most important part, the air filter, was carefully packaged. aFe also packed the top cover of the air box in plastic in order to protect it from scratches, etc. We wouldn’t want the flashiest part of the intake system getting bunged up, would we? aFe’s kit also comes with a washable and reusable air filter that does a nice job of filling up the air box. aFe offers two types of filters on this kit – an oil free model, and the traditional cotton gauze oil filter (shown and reviewed here). aFe’s own testing shows that their kit will flow 50% more air than the stock air box, a tremendous increase in air flow. Considering the size of the filter, that’s not hard to believe. A funny note – a casual inspection of the outside of the box led a couple of people to believe the kit was adding 19 hp and 117 lb-ft of torque! Incredulous, we looked more closely and realized all the dyno results on the outside of the box had nothing to do with our kit – they’re for different models (a Duramax, a Cummins, etc.). So, the moral is, don’t get excited when you look at the numbers on the box without reading to find out what type of vehicle they were added to.

aFe Cold Air Intake for the Toyota Tundra 5.7 aFe air filter

Make sure to look at the numbers on the the aFe air intake box carefully, or you’ll be in for quite a shock!

Installing these air intake kits is pretty simple – you’ll need to remove the stock air intake tube, the stock air filter and air box, and make sure to disconnect the MAF sensor and a couple of hoses. Pull the MAF sensor out of the stock air tube and insert it into the pre-drilled slot on the AEM tube, screw it down in the pre-drilled holes using the provided screws and washers, then simply reverse the removal process. A couple of notes – the instructions provided by aFe don’t tell you to install the provided grommet on the fender inlet. They also don’t mention that you should remove the mounting hardware from the stock air box and use that for the aFe box. As usual, the instructions on this after market part were less than perfect (it looks like they’re for a 99-06 Tundra). They’re good enough, but they could definitely be improved. In any case, an experienced installer with the right tools can pull the stock system out and mount the new system in less than 20 minutes. A home mechanic shouldn’t need more than an hour.

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Fit and finish is good – all the parts go together well enough. The only issue is that the seal between the fender air inlet and the aFe air box isn’t perfect. It’s decent – definitely good enough – but it’s not perfect. Since this was something we dinged the Volant kit for when we reviewed the Volant intake back in October, it bears mentioning. The gap is small – maybe an 1/8th of an inch – and it goes all the way around the inlet. If we played with the fender inlet grommet and the air box, we could get a good seal. However, it felt like it would eventually work it’s way loose. We don’t think this is important for a few reasons. First of all, aFe’s kit pulls air from both the fender inlet AND the engine compartment (there’s a big hole in the front of the air box for this purpose), so a perfect seal on the inlet wouldn’t really matter anyway – you’re still getting warm engine compartment air mixed in. We spoke to aFe’s Jason Bruce about this, and his response was pretty enlightening.

Basically, the Tundra’s fender inlet can’t provide enough air to the aFe kit by itself. In order to get enough air to really improve performance at the top end, the kit is designed to pull air from the engine compartment using the hole in the front of the aFe air box. Jason was quick to point out that in this situation (near top RPMs), the vehicle is moving down the road and air is flowing into the engine compartment, so heat isn’t really an issue. While it is true that warm air mixes with cool intake air while the truck is stationary, that’s not terribly important. After all, no one is concerned about increasing horsepower and torque while the vehicle is at idle. aFe’s explanation makes a lot of sense, and their kit performed well enough to make us believers.

Our tests show that the aFe kit, despite pulling air from the engine compartment and the less than perfect fender inlet fit, performs quite well (see below). Also, unlike the Volant air intake kit we tested, there’s no problem with the new air tube displacing the factory engine cover. aFe also pre-drilled the MAF sensor mounting holes in their tube for us, something that Volant skipped. Comparing the aFe kit to the Volant kit, the overall quality on the aFe kit was higher, despite the fact that neither kit perfectly seals to the fender air inlet.

Engine compartment before aFe air intake installed. After aFe air intake installed.

Before and after the aFe air intake is installed on the 5.7 Tundra.

As expected, the aFe air intake looks and sounds MUCH better than the stock system. There’s a nice aluminum cover on top of the intake that adds a little bit of shine to the engine compartment, not to mention the awesome improvement in engine noise. Inside or outside the truck, during idle, and even during steady cruising, there’s not much difference in engine noise. However, when you jump on the throttle you can definitely hear the engine growl. Make sure to watch the video below to hear the sounds of the aFe air intake.

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Finally, we come to the most important part of the review process, the performance testing. Our test vehicle, a 2008 5.7L Tundra with about 150 miles on it, was noticeably quicker in terms of throttle response. Our dyno test results showed solid horsepower gains in both 3rd gear and 4th gear tests, confirming what our minds told us as we drove the truck around town. Dyno testing being what it is, it’s always hard to count on specific numbers. We saw about a 9 hp gain around 4,850 RPM and 10 hp around 4,250 RPM (both at the rear wheel). aFe’s own testing showed a 19 hp gain at 3900 RPM. We had difficulty testing the truck reliably at 3900 RPM because the Tundra’s transmission likes to shift at that point. Still, it’s a safe bet this intake will add at least 5hp to your truck (at the wheels), and 19hp may be possible.

aFe Toyota Tundra 5.7 air intake dyno test results

Click image for a larger view.

Bottom Line: We like aFe’s kit – it’s simple, reasonably priced (AutoAnything sells them for about $350), and the quality is good. Picking up 5-10 rear wheel horsepower is always good, not to mention this kit’s great sound and looks. Combine this intake with a nice exhaust system and you should see another 5 or so rear wheel hp.

When it comes to the Tundra 5.7, we recommend the aFe air intake over the Volant air intake for the following reasons: aFe’s kit doesn’t require you to use self-tapping screws to install the MAF sensor (which looks and feels cheap), and it fits correctly with the factory engine cover. Both kits exhibited decent performance gains, and they both sounded great. Assuming you can get the two kits for about the same price (which is true at the time of this posting), the aFe kit makes more sense than the Volant. That’s not to take anything away from Volant – it’s just not quite as nice. Simple as that.

Filed Under: Toyota Tundra Accessories

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  1. Bro says:

    Thanks guys! I just bought the Volant based on your excellent review. I’d send it back based on what I just read about the AFE except for one thing. The Air Filter! I was on the fence between the two before I bought…so I checked out each manufactures website. I like the volants air filter technology much better….check it out. Sounds like the afe has a slight edge on fit and finish…but power and sound are very similar. Just something to think about…

  2. admin says:

    Good point. The Volant does come standard with the dry filter, which is better. It’s a tough call.

  3. […] Cai Here is a Link to Some Info On Test Results with the AFE aFe Air Intake Toyota Tundra Review with Video Sound Clips | __________________ -07 Tundra Sports Pac , All -Black Regular Cab, Shortbed, Zoomer Catback , […]

  4. […] AFE Cold Air Intake – Post Installation Thoughts/Review aFe Air Intake Toyota Tundra Review with Video Sound Clips | there’s an explanation in there somewhere as to why there is that opening in the airbox […]

  5. patrick says:

    test a K&N

  6. admin says:

    patrick – We really want to. We’ve contacted them a couple of times and they haven’t responded.

  7. Marco says:

    Will aFe or Volant work with Tundra 2007 TRD and if yes, is there a real advantage to use them over the TRD’s intake?

  8. admin says:

    Marco – The TRD supercharger probably requires the TRD air intake, so that’s the biggest advantage in going with the TRD kit. If you want to add the supercharger later, you probably want to buy the TRD intake. If not, there’s not much difference. In fact, if you look closely at the TRD intake you’ll find it resembles the aFe kit in a lot of ways. They’re very similar.

  9. Marco says:

    When the truck is designated as TRD, doesn’t mean it already has the TRD intake and or the supercharger? I am not sure I understand what really comes with a 2007 Tundra SR5 TRD.

  10. admin says:

    Marco – TRD designates a few factory options. Specifically, it includes the SR5 Package equipment on Regular Cab; off-road-tuned suspension; unique 18-in. alloy wheels with P275/65R18 BFGoodrich

  11. patrick says:

    I keep hearing people say that one must reset the computer after installing an air intake (such as the aFe) by disconnecting the battery etc. Is this necessary?

  12. Patrick – It’s always a good idea to disconnect the battery when you install a new part, and one of the benefits is resetting the computer. However, it’s not absolutely necessary. The computer will adjust automatically.

  13. […] on both kits (we didn’t display these results because they weren’t that exciting). aFe test – aFe Air Intake Toyota Tundra Review with Video Sound Clips | Volant test – Volant Cold Air Intake Toyota Tundra Product Review with Video and Sound | […]

  14. […] read the review in the link , you’ll see why there is an opening in the front of the intake box . aFe Air Intake Toyota Tundra Review with Video Sound Clips | Just like a ram air intake will be most helpful at higher speeds , when your doing 50 mph or more […]

  15. Mickey says:

    Admin I have the AFE and it’s a dry filter just wash out with mild detergent air dry. No oil or no replacing. You can’t beat that. What wasn’t mentioned was the fact the increased mpg I got by it. On trips 200 – 300 miles I tested my AFE on mpg. At 80 mph I got 17.3mpg, at 70mph I got 19.7mpg, and at 60mph I got 22.5mpg. I did get 24.7mpg at 55mph but I couldn’t replicate that. Not to mention people didn’t appreciate me doing 55mph on I-95 in the right lane.

  16. Mickey – Good point – we didn’t bother to do a fuel economy test when we reviewed this kit. Glad to see your data is posted here. As always, thanks for contributing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Mickey says:

    Glad to help…

  18. […] more on a V8. Guessing it would be less on a V6, but does show a slight gain in power over stock: aFe Air Intake Toyota Tundra Review with Video Sound Clips | Think many of us do it because we like the sound/looks and don’t have to replace filters as […]

  19. […] done anything to mine, but Tundra Headquarters liked the aFe system better than the Volant: aFe Air Intake Toyota Tundra Review with Video Sound Clips | […]

  20. Roflcopter says:

    LOL you guys are funny… Volant BUYS THERE FILTERS FROM AFE!!!
    “I like the volants air filter technology much better

  21. Mickey says:

    True but my AFE stage II was cheaper than Volant so with my lifetime filter I’m good to go.

  22. Roflcopter – The AFE comes standard with a filter that’s inferior to the filter included standard with the Volant…thus the difference.

  23. Roflcopter says:

    And how might you have come to that concusion jason? i would love to hear your facts behind this. I know both companys well and know for a fact that volant is now way “inferior” over aFe. Sounds like you have done some comparisons of the two. Ive purchased a volant kit before i even heard of afe and was greatly dissapointed with the intake design and throttle lagg at low rpms. lets see a volant vs aFe comparison.

  24. Chris says:

    I’m torn between afe and the volant. I’v been going back and forth. I just want a good quality intake with the most power. I’m leaning towards the afe stage 2 intake system, but i would really like your opinions on the two

  25. Roflcopter – The standard aFe kit comes with an oiled cotton gauze filter, which is better than what the factory provides. The Volant and the aFe stage 2 kits come with a better lifetime oil free filter. Don’t believe me? Check the aFe and Volant websites – they both say the lifetime filter is better. STILL, after all of that, the performance tests of the two kits were basically identical. If you want a quality kit, aFe is better than Volant based on our review. That doesn’t mean the Volant kit is bad mind you, it just means we liked the aFe kit better.

  26. Shane says:

    Great review….only if i knew exactly what intake you tested….part number maybe?

  27. Shane – It never occurred to us to report the part number. Is there more than one part number for the 2007 5.7L V8 Tundra? That’s what we tested.

  28. Shane says:

    AFE’s website list three different intakes for the 5.7 liter.

  29. Shane says:

    Make that TWO different models of intakes….I think yall went with
    Toyota Tundra- 07-08 V8-5.7L
    Stage Two Intake System with Pro-Dry S Media

    But I want to make sure. Thanks

  30. Shane – I understand now. We tested the oil cotton-gauze filter kit – the dry “oil free” filter kit is the alternative.

  31. Shane says:

    Thank you Thank you Thank you

  32. Mickey says:

    Stage II is what I got. Lifetime no oil filter.

  33. Walter says:

    From reading the your review of the AFE for Tundra 5.7L and the result you got from this air intake was 9 HP rear tire. I’ve read on several websites carrying & selling the AFE brand mentioning a gain up to 50 HP. I confirmed the 50 HP gain with a rep. I was told just simply replacing this air intake with the stock alone without any other modifications such as replacing the headers, exhaust etc this will give 50 HP gain.
    Is this true about the 50 HP gain? I mean you tested it & only got a merely 9 HP gain. Is this a sale pitch by AFE and/or false advertisement by AFE? If it’s true, what & how did they test the HP gain vs. how you tested yours? You did tested the Magnum Force Stage 2 model right?

    Anyway, if you can verify this inconsistency with folks at AFE what kind of test they ran, what if any other modication they did to besides just replacing the air intake etc…this info would help clarified things for many of us.

    Thank you for reading and for looking into this matter.

  34. Walter – The kit says “up to 50hp” on the outside of the box, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll get a 50hp boost on your Tundra. The big numbers that aFe promotes are based on big diesel engines, not on efficient high performance gas motors like the Tundra’s 5.7…or most other new gas engines, regardless of brand. Our test data is indicative of a “normal” increase in hp – about 5 hp at the rear wheels depending on RPM range. Not huge, but not bad either. Factor in a better engine sound and slightly better fuel economy and it’s a nice addition to any truck. Don’t believe the hype about adding 50hp, however. That’s just wishful thinking from fantasy land! ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Walter says:

    Jason: Thanks for the response. I knew it was too good to be true and I thought there got to be some true to the 50HP gain claim but it might not be for the 5.7L gas Tundra. I even chat live with one ot their sale rep confirming this issue. So if the AFE only gave 5 HP gain in the rear, then as far as horse power gain, it’s pretty much the same with any air intake out in the market such as K&N, Volant etc if it’s only giving 5HP right? The AFE claiming it gives up to 50HP the Volant claiming 27HP and K&N claiming 14HP. So thinking logically if AFE claiming 50HP and only give out 5HP then these others claiming less than 50HP will give out even less than 5HP?

  36. Walter – Glad to do it – hopefully I’m helping you out! ๐Ÿ™‚ My opinion: The amount of horsepower and torque that you can add with an aftermarket air intake on any engine built in the last 5 years is negligible. The best reason to upgrade the air system is that 1) You will increase the benefits that other accessories (like exhaust, performance chip, etc.) can bring. 2) You’ll see a slight increase in fuel economy – probably about 0.5 mpg. It’s not exciting, but it’s not bad either. Taken over the lifetime of a vehicle, it’s a good deal. Finally, 3) the engine sounds nicer. In regards to Volant vs. AFE vs. K&N, after reviewing all three, we found Volant’s quality to be a little lacking (and their customer service was unresponsive as well), K&N’s kit is poorly designed (they make the customer do entirely too much assembly, and the pipe-clamps they supply are low quality), and aFe’s kit fit and finish was excellent. All three had similar performance numbers, so in our mind the aFe is the way to go. All three manufacturers claimed high horsepower improvements, yet all three showed about the same results.

  37. Will says:

    I just installed this kit along with the Silver Bullet Throttle Body spacer. Kit was OK, the Lid is of poor fit and does not seal well. I thought that was the problem with a vacuum leak noise coming from the engine bay towards the passenger side, but it was not. I used some weatherstripping to seal the lid but the noise is still there. Checked all connections and they are solid. I will drive it for a few hundred miles, but if it continues I will remove it. Anyone else experiance this?? It is a very noticable vacuum sounding noise almost like an air driven acuator. It is present while on the throttle and accelerating. Gone at idle or cruising speeds.

  38. Will – That sound you’re hearing – is it the throttle body spacer? A few people have mentioned that happening.

  39. Mickey says:

    Also Jason they had a few issues with AFE plastic pipe. AFE has admitted that some hole wasn’t big enough causing this issue. Will contact AFE and find out.

  40. Will says:

    I don’t think its the spacer, its not a whistle sound and it sounds like it is literally coming from near the firewall on the passnger side. Its a real noticable vacuum sound thats present while on the throttle. It might be the tube. I just went ahead and ordered the TRD kit and I will see if it goes away. AFE can keep their kit, Im not real impressed with it.

  41. Will – Fair enough. If you manage to isolate it, please let us know.

  42. Will says:

    Thanks for the responses. The problem was in fact with the intake tube. The port for the EGR was never drilled. This was later confirmed by AFE who advised it was the vendor they used. They hoped to have the problem taken care of, but mine still made it through and who knows how many others.

    I was not impressed with the AFE kit, and because of everything combined, I ordered the TRD kit. This way if I have an issue it goes to the dealer and they can fix. I will report back on the TRD, but expect power and performance to be similar. The nice part on the TRD is no tools are required to service the filter. I also do not like the front port on the AFE box and do not think it is required. I like to keep my engine clean and this just makes one more thing I need to be aware of when using water.

    If anyone wants a barely used AFE kit, let me know. I will make you a deal.

  43. Mickey says:

    Will like I said it was. Glad AFE took the stand and admitted it. Will I have an AFE stage II already. Apparently this issue was after I got mine.

  44. Will – Thank you – that would explain the noise alright. It’s disappointing that aFe won’t accept your return. They made the mistake – did they at least offer to send you a new tube?
    Mickey – Good call man – your internet diagnostic machine is working better than mine!

  45. Mickey says:

    Jason it was pointed out on Tundra I just passed on the info.

  46. Mickey you had me convinced man.

  47. Will says:

    UPDATE…..The AFE kit, IMHO, is junk. No quality control. The EGR tube was never drilled, hence the noise, the fit and finish sucks and I actually lost mileage driving the same way I always do.

    I ditched the kit after two weeks and installed the TRD kit. MUCH Better. Fit and finish is great, No tools are required to service air filter, and no hole in the front to cover when washing engine. Picked up about .7 to 1.0 MPG and it sounds nice. Crisp throttle response with no annoying noise.

    Save your money and go with the TRD.

  48. Mickey says:

    That’s your opinion Will. I haven’t had that issue with the AFE Stage II that I have. I did picked up 1.5mpg with mine.

  49. Will says:

    To each their own Mickey. Simply put, I was not impressed with the AFE. Glad it works for you, but it did not for me.

  50. Aaron says:

    I know this is a little of topic but has anybody tested the trueflow?

  51. Aaron – We have not tested it. In fact, I’ve never heard of it. Feel free to contact us with your notes if you decide to put one on your ride.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jason, I just installed the trueflow. Nice pick up, great looking. The one thing I don’t like is the noise level. I had other cai on other trucks but this by far is the loudest one. My advice is if you tow anything this is not the intake for you.

  53. Thanks for the quick review.

  54. John says:


    I just installed the AFE open style stage 2 in my 05 Tundra. I am just wondering about your dyno tesing on the AFE. You saw a gain of 9hp near the top end but what about mid range and low RPM? I think with mine it feels like I have lost some mid range power but your dyno only starts at around 4250 RPM. Like I said, I just installed it and I know you have to give the ECU time to reset but I am surprised that I am feeling a loss of power like I am. Has anyone else commented on this or do you have a more detailed view of your dyno results that show mid RPM range?

  55. John says:


    I also forgot to mention that like most people, I found the directions to be terrible at best for my model. Not to mention some bad fit problems with the hoses. I called AFE and told them about the directions and they said no one has ever called them to complain about their directions before. When you did your testing I was under the impression that someone from AFE was there with you or you had contact with them. Did you ever tell them how bad their directions were? Just thinking that we can all complain amongst ourselves how bad the directions are but if no one tells AFE it’s kind of point less.

  56. John – We had contact with aFe, but they weren’t present for testing. We did communicate the instructions problem to them, but I think that’s par for the course with after market accessories. With only one exception, none of the parts we reviewed had solid instruction. As for your power gain (or lack thereof), no idea. No one has told us about a mid-range loss. Every truck is different, but my guess is that the kit shouldn’t be hurting overall power. Perhaps the engine needs more time to map. The RPM range we tested in was fairly limited simply because it’s hard to get the 6-speed to stay in one gear on the dyno. Our data wasn’t very useful until about 4000 RPM or so.

  57. Josh says:

    INJEN???? does anyone know how they stack up?

  58. Josh – According to their website, they only offer intakes for the first gen 4.7 through 2004. Since this is outside our scope (the second gen is our cutoff), we won’t be reviewing it. However, to answer your question, I like Injen’s stuff. It’s good quality…but I have no idea about power. My guess is that it will offer about the same amount of performance as any similar design (also true of all the intakes we tested).

  59. Nick Busta says:

    I have a 5.7 with an AFE filter and my truck has a very annoying squeak and my dealer it is b/c of the airfilter. There is now way this is possible and they say Toyota wont let them try and fix it. They say they have seen this problem many times and I want to know if any of you have ever seen or heard about this because I feel like I am getting shafted.

  60. Nick – I’ve never heard of a squeak, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. The solution is to put the stock intake system back on your truck and see if the noise goes away. If not, they’ll have to get off their you-know-whats and figure it out.

  61. […] Originally Posted by skidoo so from all the forums i read i decided to get a afe air intake kit. but there is 2 versions. the first one is. Cold Air Intake System Stage 2 Toyota Tundra- 07-08 V8-5.7L 54-11172 – aFe Power for $313 and the 2nd one is Cold Air Intake System Stage 2 Si Toyota Tundra- 07-08 V8-5.7L 54-81172 – aFe Power for $425. not sure if the enclosed one will give anymore performance than the other one. I have the open style one. Mine is an 05 so slightly different than for your truck but basically the same. I like the open style better because it is cheaper. The only reason it is less money is because you are not paying for the enclosed box. It is not lower quality. Lots of guys will slam CAI’s but just make sure that if you buy one, its for the right reasons. Truth is neither one will provide a lot of power and true, most of that is at wide open throttle. But ask yourself what you want it to do. Personally, I like mine. I like how it looks and how it sounds. I would think the open style would be louder but as for which one gives more hp not sure. I can tell you for a fact that the oiled filter pulls in more air as opposed to the Pro Dry filter that AFE offers. That right from AFE. Its on their web site somewhere. Just search around and you can see it for your self. As for pulling heat into the engine and whether they work or not. Read the attached and judge for yourself. The second paragraph after the install video explains about pulling in warm air from the engine and why that may not be a big deal. Ultimately though Gorilla is right. If you want true bolt on big HP gains, buy a super charger. If you want to spend less than a grand for a little bit of power and some nice sound, do the CAI and a cat back exhaust system. If you do buy the AFE let me know and I will give you some info on the install. Their directions are garbage to say the least but the install is pretty easy if you are somewhat mechanically inclined. Good luck aFe Air Intake Toyota Tundra Review with Video Sound Clips | Tundra Headquarters […]

  62. […] there are also video clips of the installation and sound. good luck with your decision bro! aFe Air Intake Toyota Tundra Review with Video Sound Clips | Tundra Headquarters __________________ is this thing loaded? 08 Tundra 5.7L DC 4×2 slate metallic mods completed: […]

  63. […] Re: Volant CAI installation I have an AFE on my 05. You should read the attached. Second paragraph after video explains that its necessary to have a gap since the new intake needs to pull in more air than stock inlet can provide. They are talking about AFE here but I would guess similar reasoning for Volant as well. An intersting read to say the least. aFe Air Intake Toyota Tundra Review with Video Sound Clips | Tundra Headquarters […]

  64. Chuck says:

    the squeak is coming from your crank seal the AFE system is creating a extreme vacum in your crank case, with the enginge running pull out your dipstick and see if the noise goes away. I have the same problem and don’t know how to fix it.

  65. butah says:

    I recommend you DONT BUY TRD CAI!!! IT FAILED for me,,,READ THIS,,i have some things to share about the TRD cai as i havent seen much feed back about it. I am compelled to tell my story/oppinion of the TRD cai. I have a 08 tundra dc 5.7 w/35k on it. I had a trd cai installed on purchase and the other day I went out to clean the filter and found leaves and debre on the wrong side of the filter stuck on the screen filter at the top of the air box, bad deal to say the least. Upon further investigation, the seal was fine and in place properly- what happened is the engine side of the lid had warped for some reason(heat) and was bowing out enough to allow leaves ect to directly pass the filter. Typically, you dont have to clean these very often; it appears to have been leaking for over a month. To make matters worse the dealer i bought mine from- mark miller in slc utah will not refund, and will only replace the lid. In additon, they are making me wait 7-10 days(i got rid of the stocker) and their remedy for the problem was to wrap the lid seam with masking tape and send me on my way…pretty shoddy bs in my opinion . john miller was the service guy in charge of my truck this day,,,, i let him know it was shoddy ect but to deft ears, long story short save yourself the aganoy i have gone through and get a AFE or Volant even though both have their ups and downs. I have never read of either one of them failing,,, and i found out the hard way you cant count on TRD cai. I have pics but i dont know how to load them from here, and if you are one of the unlucky owners get rid of it and keep your eye on the inside(engine side) of the lid and watch for this or you will regret it!! O yea and also i never have overheated my truck so cant blame the failure on that!! I am going to contact TRD next cuz in my oppioion they need to recall.

  66. Mickey says:

    Thanks for the post Brody. Glad to see you found the issue early. Who knows what the engine could have sucked in. Now you bought the truck new? Also you got the TRD CAI upon buying the truck. So if the truck was new when you installed it and you have 35k then I can see why they offered to replace the lid only. Now the tape job well that brings back memories. Ford ran a wire on my new truck outside the wire harness and out loosely in the engine bay to a sensor to try an remedy my computer issue on my 1 year old F-150. It looked jerry rigged. They even placed a sticker on the radiator cover to state that it was an authorized fix. For my 06 Silverado I needed duct tape to hold my tail lights in place because they kept falling down because of a defect till GM could fix it. Sad to see that good old duct tape does it all.

  67. Ryan says:

    I installed the AFE kit last year and had a bad whistle noise through all rpm ranges. I swapped between the OEM and AFE systems twice just to confirm the source and it was definetly caused by the AFE kit. My kit was the older AFE model with an open guard, rather than enclosed box. I was reluctant to try another brand of CAI for fear of the same problem so I just returned the AFE kit and put a stock K&N filter in the OEM box. No more whistle.

  68. Jason says:

    Ryan – Thanks for sharing. Glad to know the whistle is gone, sorry to hear it was the kit.

  69. John Francoeur says:

    Jason, do you have any info about the gains, if any, by dropping in a k&n filter to the stock box?

  70. rob says:

    What is the power curb below 4300 RPM….?
    I’m usually staying below that and there is no information the power gain there.
    Im about to order one but it bugs me the power gain information about this intake is about roughly 7-800 rpm range. Why is that? Makes me wondering…
    i never saw dyno chart from 4300 rpm to 5100 rpm.
    Or its just me?

  71. Jason says:

    John – Sorry I didn’t get to this comment earlier. The stock K&N doesn’t add any power. However, we did measure a fuel economy improvement and better throttle response.

    rob – We don’t have any data below 4,300 RPM because of the way the dyno tests worked. The Tundra’s transmission isn’t dyno friendly, so we had to pick an RPM band to do our tests in. Generally speaking, these kits don’t add significant power until the throttle is opened up and the RPMs are high.

  72. rob says:

    thanks for the respond

  73. […] aFe Engineering? Good choice, that is the one I'm going with. Here is a link aFe Air Intake Toyota Tundra Review with Video Sound Clips | Tundra Headquarters If you really want to make the AFE work, check on e-bay for tundra ram air hoods, a company called […]

  74. Mike says:

    I just bought a 2010 Tundra DC 5.7L and put on a magnaflow cat back exhaust and now im interested in a CAI. I had a K&N intake on my 05′ Tundra and it worked well at the time, but after reading your reviews and studying up, it seems to me that theyre being surpassed not so much in performance but in design and appearance. I had my eye on the volant, but seeing your reviews on the afe has made my decision a bit tougher. I was wondering, based on your tests, if you can give me an estimated 1-10 number rating on both the volant and afe kits in these catagories : performance(hp increase ect.) , look , sound , design quality (fitting, durability ect.). It would really help. Thanks

  75. Jason says:

    Mike – If 1 is poor, 10 is exceptional, and 5 is average, the Volant gets a 6 for performance, a 4 for looks, an 8 for sound, and a 2 for quality. The aFe gets a 5, 7, 5, and 8.

  76. […] PVC. Not sure if AFE sells CAI for your ride but I would assume it is same as Tundra. Have a read. aFe Air Intake Toyota Tundra Review with Video Sound Clips | Tundra Headquarters By the way, you will probably get a dozen people telling you CAI's are garbage. Just dont buy one […]

  77. Cesar says:

    I want to get the AFE CAI, but I was wondering if you recommend the Throttle Body Spacer with it. Not really mentioned much.. I would like to think that the combination of the two would make the CAI work better, but there is a lot of not so positive info on Throttle Body Spacers. AFE claims that it would make it work better, but I have not seen any info on how this tested.

  78. Jason says:

    Cesar – I’m not a fan of throttle body spacers in modern vehicles. Unless you’re running a vehicle with a carburetor or throttle body fuel injection, it’s a worthless add-on.

    To put it another way, adding a throttle body spacer to a modern vehicle is like installing a hand crank starter. Totally unnecessary! ๐Ÿ™‚

  79. Rob says:

    I’ve been looking at all the different brands of CAI and I still cant deciede which one to get. Im sure yall tested them on a 5.7L and I need to know what the best one would be for the 4.7L. Do you know how the TRD compares to the other companies you have already reviewed?

  80. Jason says:

    Rob – The TRD air intake is about the same as all the others in terms of performance. In terms of quality, it’s decent. I like the aFe kit the best, and I wouldn’t recommend the K&N or Volant kits because of quality issues…neither of the kits is *bad*, but both of them have some silly little problems that make them a second-place choice behind the aFe kit.

    The TRD kit is pricey, and as far as I’ve found no different than the aFe, so that’s the one I always recommend.

    You can read reviews, etc. here:

  81. Rob says:

    Also I wanted to know what model should I get from the brand aFe cause I noticed they have different all different ones? And another thing, what website should I purchase it from? In means of price and customer sevices if I ever had to return it.


  82. Rob says:

    I remind you that I have a 2008 4.7L

  83. Jason says:

    Rob – I didn’t know that there was more than one aFe model available for each engine. There are different filters – and perhaps that is the difference – but I think the actual box is the same for every 5.7, 4.7, etc.

    As far as which filter, the more you spend the less maintenance will be required.

    Finally, in terms of where to buy, we have been sending people to AutoAnything for the better part of 2 years and I know of only one problem…and AA took care of it perfectly. I have spoken to their sales team a few times and always been impressed – can’t recommend them enough.

  84. Pete says:

    Hi Jason,
    I noticed that aFe has a OE replacement filter, has anyone tested the gains of just the Pro Dry replacement filter in the stock intake box in comparison to the aFe CAI unit? I just wonder how far off the gains would be, if any…


  85. Jason says:

    Pete – No, but that’s a good idea. I’ll put it on the old to-do list!

  86. […] wish I had…. This video pretty much shows how to do the install quickly. I might go back and install that piece of weather stripping today. aFe Air Intake Toyota Tundra Review with Video Sound Clips | Tundra Headquarters […]

  87. Nick says:

    Just a quick thought…since it allows more air, does it allow more “dirt” (for lack of a better word)? Does it allow more air because it doesnt filter it as much as much as the factory one?

  88. Jason (Admin) says:

    Nick – No. The difference is the type of filter used as well as the presence of a big foam “hat”. The foam hat is designed to silence the intake to prevent the characteristic “woosh” or sucking sound most after-market intakes make during idle.

    The foam also “soaks up” a lot of throttle noise (which most people really like, but can get loud).

    The paper air filter that Toyota (and almost all OEMs use) is the other reason after-market intakes perform better. Paper doesn’t flow as much air the as cotton gauze used by K&N, aFe, etc.

    The factory intake is good at getting a lot of air into the engine quietly. The after-market intakes are good at getting more air in, but they do so at the expense of noise.

    One other note: Buying a K&N air filter for about $50 is a steal of a deal. Not only will it help with throttle response, but we measured a nice gain in fuel economy:

    An air filter is a good compromise between a factory air system and a full cold air kit.

  89. Dustin says:


    Just curious if the AFE stage 2 for the 2010 5.7 will fit a 2011 model? If that’s not a recommended practice, do you have any idea when they might release the 2011 package. Autoanything didn’t have it for the 2011, bit I haven’t searched really hard for the 2011 package. Thanks.

  90. Jason (Admin) says:

    Dustin – There are no changes between 2010 and 2011 that I’m aware of and I say go for it. However, it you want to be certain, you can call aFe to verify: 951.493.7100

  91. Todd says:

    Im looking to get a cold air intake for my 2010 V8 5.7 Tundra. I am looking for feedback regarding the noise level increase compared to the driving style. I am looking to purchase one (TRD if possible based on feedback) that is relatively quiet unless you are towing or running it hard. Any feedback would be appreciated

  92. David says:

    Does anyone know if you can use the same intake for both the 5.7 and new 4.6 model? I can’t seem to find a similar one just for the 4.6 model.

  93. Jason (Admin) says:

    Todd – The biggest noise difference is during WOT. You’ll also hear some sucking “whoosh” sounds at idle, but they’re slight. Wide open throttle (WOT) is the big time when things change.

  94. Mike A. says:

    I too want to know if the TRD cold air intake from Toyota can be used on my 4.6l tundra. I know that the factory air box is the same on the 2010 at least, for both engines (same OEM filter for both). I guess it’s a matter of the engine air intake tube connection being of the same diameter or not. Does anyone else have this information? 5 HP and 0.5 to 1 MPG would be very nice, thank you!

  95. Luis says:

    aFe or TRD intake? – in reading some of these posts, it appears as if aFe is a bit unrealiable. Curious for more opinions or suggestions, I have a ’10 5.7L, thanks!

  96. Jason (Admin) says:

    Luis – Never reviewed the TRD kit, but by all accounts it’s plenty good. I’ve heard bad things about aFe too – all the kits, in fact – but this was the nicest one we tested.

  97. Luis says:

    Jason – My ’10 is a flex fuel truck and I have read the TRD supercharger is not compatible, what other options do I have to upgrade performance, thanks!

  98. 2007 Tundra Crewmax says:

    I would like to hear what the AFE exhaust sounds like on a 5.7. Have looked everywhere and cannot find it. Thanks.

  99. Jason (Admin) says:

    2007 Tundra Crewmax – Didn’t know aFe made an exhaust system for the Tundra…or any exhaust system, for that matter.

  100. v says:

    Does anyone know what happens to the MAF sensor that is removed. Is that installed somewhere else. I didn’t see in the video wat happened after it was removed.

  101. Jason (Admin) says:

    v – It’s re-installed in the new tube provided by AFE.

  102. Priceboi82 says:

    Has anyone had any problems after installing the aFe cold air intake? My friend just installed the CAI dry filter system on his 2007 5.7l Tundra yesterday and today his check engine light came on. Any solutions to what the problem could be? I would like to know before I install my aFe CAI on my 2010 5.7L Tundra.

  103. Priceboi82 says:

    The code is p2441…Air injection stuck closed

  104. Jason (Admin) says:

    Priceboi82 – That code is for a separate problem – see this post:

    Did your friend just buy that 07′? Sometimes people sell their trucks rather than fixing this problem.

  105. Norm says:

    I recently installed an aFe intake system on my 2008 Tundra, but the engine shuts down after 1-2 seconds of running. All the dash systems lights come on. The engine will not stay running with the aFe intake hooked up. When I replaced the stock intake, the engine rstarted right up and stayed running. Has anyone else had this problem?

  106. Jason (Admin) says:

    Norm – Any chance that the MAF sensor wasn’t plugged in when you had the aFe kit installed?

    Unless the airway in the aFe kit was blocked, I can’t imagine why this would happen.

  107. […] the engine breathe a little easier. Tell me what you think. Here's a link for a review of it: aFe Air Intake Toyota Tundra Review with Video Sound Clips | Tundra Headquarters __________________ 2008 Crewmax Limited 4×4 Have a Facebook? Become a fan of Toyota Trucks […]

  108. […] across the Volant and Afe styles. I went with the aFe 51-81172 model primarily due to this article: aFe Air Intake Toyota Tundra Review with Video Sound Clips | Tundra Headquarters I would have posted pictures of the install but the link above is pretty comprehensive except that […]

  109. Carl says:

    Did you notice a loss of any low end power after installing the CAI? My bottom end power feels softer than with the OEM setup. I am wondering if a chip and/or exhaust with tune is needed to leverage the CAI without losing any hp/torque throughout the curve.

  110. Jason (Admin) says:

    Carl – The installation of the air intakes definitely changed the shape of the dyno graph in all of our tests. There is some point that the air intake robs a little power at some RPMs to add some elsewhere.

    However, none of the changes were significant (a few hp). Therefore, it’s probably not something you would feel…so you might check for something else.

    Jack at Unichip told us in our interview that they could optimize the performance of an after-market air intake, and based on Jack’s knowledge of engine management systems, I’m inclined to believe him.

  111. Carl says:

    Jason – Appreciate the information. I have decided it’s best to leave my truck stock as the pro’s do not outweigh the cons here IMHO.

  112. RIK says:

    Looks like I’m getting in on the back side of this conversation but I only have a quick question…

    I just purchased a 2007 Tundra 4×4 SR5 w/TRD package. I’m assuming that includes the TRD CAI and if so would I receive any benefit (power, gas mileage, sound) by swapping out for an after market filter like the AFE?

    Appears to be a great resource of info here, thanks!

  113. Jason (Admin) says:

    Carl – Completely understand – it’s a very reasonable decision to leave the stock air box in place.

    RIK – None of the Tundras have come from the factory with the TRD CAI. Unless the previous owner put one on your car, there’s a benefit in swapping in terms of slightly better fuel economy, better throttle response, and a much “cooler” engine sound.

  114. Jason says:

    Just installed the AFE Stage 2 CAI yesterday, wow, what a difference, great sound, install was pretty easy, love the sound. Looking to put an exhaust on, any recomendations? I dont want it loud at idle, but want to hear it when i give it gas, i was thinking borla. I also want to avoid that annoying drone like u get with other systems

  115. Jason says:

    oh yea i have a 2010 tundra 5.7, double cab

  116. Jason (Admin) says:

    Jason – Borla makes a great system, and very few people report drone. The new Dynomax VT might be worth a look too: – it’s supposedly drone-free.

  117. Chris says:

    Will the AFE CAI work with the new 4.6L?

  118. Devo says:

    The video included here shows an incorrect placement of the seal between the intake and the fender well. The seal should be placed on the unit itself and not the fender well.

  119. Jason (Admin) says:

    Chris – I don’t think so.

    Devo – Thank you. I feel like we followed directions there, but it could be that we missed that.

  120. Carl says:

    @Devo: The instructions I received from AFE showed fender installation but I did have to trim some off.

  121. Jason (Admin) says:

    Carl – Thanks for posting that…aFe may have changed the instructions somewhere along the line. We try to follow them and then verify them when we’re done.

  122. New Money says:

    I saw a guy on the web who took the fender-well attachment from the stock air intake box and with a little modification, attached it to the AFE cai system. I sealed up the fender-well gap like they were meant for each other.

  123. Jimmie says:

    I am really impressed with what I read about the INJEN/Amsoil CAI. I have worried that the increased air flow from some filters may allow larger particles of dirt/trash to flow into my engine. Amsoil has a fine nano filter that I believe is worth a try. Have you tested CAI’s for the 4.7L 2005-2006 Tundra?

  124. Jason (Admin) says:

    Jimmie – Have no plans to test parts on gen 1 Tundras, but I suppose that could change. We’ll see.

  125. Mark says:

    Hello everyone,

    I just installed the afe CAI on my ’08 5.7L yesterday. Installed an MBRP exhaust the day before that. It looks like afe did modify thier instructions since this CAI setup was reviewed by TH. However there are still improvments to be made. They are still vauge in some areas and I noticed that some minor information was just not right. It was all minor stuff and I was able to figure it all out but the installation did take longer than expected because of this.

    The fender seal worked and sealed great once I figured out that it should be installed on the filter housing and not the fender. The instructions don’t do a good job of explaining that, but if you put the seal on the fender you will see that it just doesn’t look right and it does not allow the new intake to seal properly. To fully seat the seal on the filter housing I used a small amount of WD-40 and a rubber mallet.

    After installation my “VSC” and “4WL” light were blinking, but after a couple 20 minute trips they turned off.

    Does anyone know exactly why these came on? Obviously it had someting to do with what the computer was sensing from the MAF sensor or vacuum hoses. I just like knowing how things work. And why did they turn off? Does the Tundra’s computer recalibrate itself? Any info is appreciated.

  126. Jason (Admin) says:

    Mark – Yes, when you install the new air intake it can cause a check engine light to set. However, if the warning was mild, the light will reset on the next drive cycle.

    As to why they came on, I’m not sure. It’s never something I’ve been able to figure out, but I’ve heard of it happening a few times.

  127. John says:

    Does anyone know if installation of after market will void the warranty? The local dealer stated if I install the filter, my warranty is no longer valid. Seems odd considering these are much better than stock.

  128. Jason (Admin) says:

    John – Your dealer is absolutely, unequivocally, wrong. There’s a federal law called Magnuson-Moss that makes it illegal for any manufacturer to void your warranty if you use after-market parts. You can learn more here:

  129. maz says:

    hi guyz ,, can I fit this air intake ( afe ) on my supercharger tundra .

  130. Jason (Admin) says:

    maz – No.

  131. Jeffery says:

    Installed aFe P/N 51-81172 in my 2011 Tundra this weekend. (Pro Dry S filter). Not very good instructions but removal of OEM unit and install of the aFe was fairly straight forward. I wonโ€™t disagree that the instructions provided were fairly useless. Not sure if aFe fixed something over prior packaging or not but with the seal provided in my kit, the filter box sealed very tight to the fender well opening. Other reviews complained of a gap. Available on Amazon for $304, great deal and Iโ€™m very pleased I bought it. Amazon parts verification says doesnโ€™t fit 2011 Tundra but itโ€™s the same as 2010. I like the Pro Dry S over the filter that needs oiling (aFe p/N 54-81172), no warranty issues or concerns with damaging MAF sensor.

  132. Thomas says:

    Just got my CAI in the mail today, after about 20 minutes the new kit was in place and ready to roll, can not complain about the instructions at all as every step was identified. Only issue I had was having to replace the two 10mm bolts that held the factory air box as they were badly stripped for some reason. Want to thank the team for posting the review on this product and will keep an eye out for more recommended accessories and service. First test drive was a thrill to say the least, certainly feel like my 0-100(km/h) was attained faster. Good Product!

  133. transamjmr says:

    Does either intake system void the manufacturer warranty

  134. Lance says:

    Does anyone know if the TRD drop-in air filter for the ‘stock’ air box is ‘better’ than the K&N drop-in for the stock air box? Thanks

    • Lance – I’ve never tested them side-by-side, mostly because it would be very hard to get any meaningful data. I’ve looked at them side-by-side, however, and they’re damn near identical…so I’d say get whichever one is cheaper.

  135. Mike says:

    I have had the AFE for about a month and a half now, love it. My “maintenance required” and “check engine” lights have come on, anyone know how to fix this? I love the sound, MPG, and power I have recieved from it but I just want to make sure I am not damaging the engine? I remember some other folks found this issue as well, is it the MAF sensor, and can I just clean it to have it go away? Any help would be much appreciated.

    • Mike – It could be any number of things, you won’t know until you pull the code. However, if the code says MAF sensor is the issue, you can try cleaning it.

      Keep in mind that MAF sensors can go out anytime for a while variety of reasons…no guarantee the air intake is to blame. If the dealer tries to tell you the air intake caused the problem, ask them to prove it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just fyi, took it in, and apparently toyota had sent out a recall letter on the 2010 tundra, which I missed, to replace the secondary air pump. I don’t know what that is or what it does, but all fixed and running great, no more worry lights on.

  136. […] using Free App Looking at about a 5-10 hp increase on a Tundra due to a CAI. aFe Air Intake Toyota Tundra Review with Video Sound Clips | Tundra Headquarters Blog K&N 63 Series Air Intake Kit Review | Tundra Headquarters Blog Volant Cold Air Intake Toyota […]

  137. Billy says:

    Just ordered the AFE cold air intake on the advice of your review, wont be able to install it for a couple of weeks since i wont be home. But very excited, i hope i’m not disappointed. Thanks for the in depth review. Its going on a 2011 tundra Crew RW. I will let you know how it works out after i install it. Thanks again for the good review!

  138. Sam says:

    I’m having issues with the grommet. Can’t/not sure how it’s supposed to fit. You don’t use the old one right? Well the new one doesn’t appear to fit right either. Can someone help?

    • Sam says:

      Well I got the grommet to kind of fit on the fender but saw some comments about using WD-40 and a mallet to mount it on the filter box itself. Which is correct? The latter would certainly be a tighter for I think.

      I also had an issue with the small vacuum hose brass fitting. There was plastic (I guess from the molding process) on the bottom threads inside the tube. I had to use a lot of torque to get it in and it is still 2.5 threads from being fully seated. I was afraid to over torque and crack the tube. I will be calling aFe about replacing this.

      Finally, I know have a slight whistle that occurs right before the groan starts and right after it goes away. Any thoughts on fixing or do I just have to deal with it?


      • Sam says:

        One more update: Got the grommet to fit on the filter box with WD-40. It’s a much better fit the on the fender. Wasn’t easy though. During the reinstall it looks like I eliminated most of the whine/whistle. I think it’s a liveable volume.

  139. Billy says:

    Installed mine last week and so far love it. The sound is perfect and installed fairly easy. I also could not get the brass fitting all the way in, but i have it in there enough so that i know it is not going to come out.

  140. scott says:

    Can I use a AFE CAI and just a different filter? Not really interested in a wet filter, much rather have a dry filter

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