Do We Need Off-Road Vehicles Snorkels? And Why?

What is an Off-Road Snorkel?

Off-road 4×4 snorkels increase the air intake point in your car, truck, or SUV, so it is mixed with fuel and burned in the cylinders. Generally, factory air intakes are installed in a relatively low area of a vehicle’s engine bay or fender well. It can result in excessive dust, debris, or water being sucked into the intake, causing premature air filter failure or (in the case of water) potentially catastrophic engine damage. We’ll share everything you need to know about selecting, installing, and using an off-road snorkel on your overland vehicle in this blog to protect your vehicle from these issues while driving off-off-road.

Advantages of an Off-Road 4X4 Snorkel

1. Clean air

The off-road 4X4 Snorkel is primarily intended for deep water crossings. However, the advantage of a 4×4 snorkel is that it keeps the air intake of your 4wd vehicle higher than the road surface, where there is more dust. 4×4 Snorkel increases air intake

When dirt and dust particles are collected from your vehicle, especially when the dirt and dust are moving quickly, the largest amount of these particles are mixed in the air just a few feet above the road surface. It is where the air is usually used in the factory. This vehicle has a well-designed and installed air intake system like an off-road snorkel that will easily pick up the air intake above most of the dust and debris.

2. Cold Wind

The 4×4 Snorkel also provides cool and clean air to the engine. This cold air entering the combustion chamber is denser. It helps increase the undercarriage’s fuel efficiency while providing a moderate improvement in power.

3. Safe Water Crossing

A 4×4 snorkel is essential for deep water fords. Many cars, trucks, off-road wheels, and SUVs will start drinking water at bumper-to-height crossings. Because water cannot be compressed like air, even a small amount of water in an engine’s combustion chamber can be harmful. An off-road snorkel will draw air above the normal water crossing depth towards the roofline if properly fitted and sealed.

You can safely ford deep water crossings in your overland vehicle by raising the air intake with a 4×4 snorkel. Also, you need to:

  • Waterproof the Ignition System

The high voltage ignition system of gasoline (petrol) engines must be water-sealed to cross the same depth of water as a 4×4 snorkel. It is pretty well water-sealed in today’s non-carbureted distributor’s ignitions (also known as coil packs). A coil-on-plug design is used in all newer trucks and SUVs, such as Jeeps and Tacomas. 

  • Raise the Differential and Gearbox Breathers

Extending and raising differential and gearbox breathers is imperative to prevent water from getting into the gear oil and possibly damaging these components. What should extend lines to the highest point in the engine bay or other elevated dry locations on the vehicle? 

  • Never attempt crossing water that is too deep.

Never cross standing water over the vehicle’s hood height, and avoid fast-moving water over the vehicle’s axle height.

Choosing the best off-road 4X4 Snorkel for an all-terrain vehicle

There are many types of off-road snorkels on the market today, and most are used for car, truck, or SUV models, so they can be easily attached to the factory air intake and match the body shape of your vehicle.

  • ARB Safari Snorkel

The Safari 4×4 Snorkel is essentially an off-road snorkel of the highest quality and was the first air intake designed specifically for use as a 4wd snorkel. Its body uses high-quality UV-stable polyethylene and heavy-duty EPDM molded rubber ducting. It has been tested on vehicles worldwide for the past 40 years. It is what we use on our overland truck.

  • Off-Brand Snorkels

 There are several off-brand 4×4 snorkels on the market to fit your car, truck, or SUV that fit your budget. You can find snorkel kits on many online platforms. Yes, this will significantly reduce the quality of the material, and your used plastic may deteriorate faster.

How to Install a 4X4 Snorkel on a Car, Truck, or SUV?

The Safari 4×4 Snorkel has excellent instructions, including installation drawings and a detailed list of components specific to your vehicle. While the installation of each 4×4 Snorkel varies depending on the year, make, and model of the vehicle it is designed.

How to use the 4X4 Snorkel?

Once you have a 4×4 snorkel installed, it doesn’t require much maintenance. However, if you plan to use a factory air intake head on your Snorkel instead of a pre-cleaner, you should take some additional steps into account depending on the area and climate.

  • On normal days when driving on pavement, the snorkel head should be positioned forward. It will ensure the highest air flow rate in the engine and provide increased power and efficiency.
  • Using a snorkel with a pre-cleaner: If your Snorkel has a pre-cleaner installed instead of a ram air intake, it does not need to be replaced anywhere.
  • The snorkel head should be positioned backward for dusty or bad weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow. It will prevent most dust particles, water, or snow from entering the SUVs or off-road truck vehicles.

Do You Need a Snorkel for Off-Roading?

If you plan off-roading through creeks, streams, or deep water, you need a snorkel. A snorkel will raise your vehicle’s air intake, so it is higher. In most cases, who will raise it above the hood’s level and just below the roof? It means you can run your truck through some fairly deep water.

Can You Use a Snorkel to Cool a Truck?

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.


Having an off-road 4×4 snorkel on your car, truck, or SUV is one of the best ways to prep your vehicle for various off-road adventures and driving conditions. A snorkel provides clean and cool air to your engine and significantly increases the vehicle’s wading depth. We hope this article will help you choose and install the best 4×4 Snorkel for your land adventures.

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