How to Choose the Best Heat-Control Products for Underhood Applications
If you think all header wraps and thermal barriers are the same, well, we have a special room at our Heatshield headquarters with a car battery and some jumper cables for you! No, not all heat-control products are the same, and beyond the “our product versus theirs” showdown, it can be a bit intimidating to choose the best heat shields for your specific underhood application. What do you use to keep heat in, and to protect components from excessive heat? And what’s the correct heat barrier for specific systems? In our expansive lineup of thermal barriers, there are differences that set each product apart, which leads us to the good/better/best discussion.
There are quite a few things to consider here. First is whether you’re trying to keep the heat in, or protect the component from heat. The heat shield you use must be designed for this basic, specific purpose, or it won’t work correctly. For example, you’ll want to use a wrap or shield on exhaust components and turbo housings. These products are engineered to keep heat in those system. This helps with performance by increasing exhaust scavenging, and it also prevents the heat from radiating underhood, which causes the engine cooling system to work harder, decreases the efficiency of the air conditioning and can damage other components underhood with excessive heat exposure.
On the other hand, to protect other underhood components from exposure to heat, you’ll want to use a heat barrier. These are designed to reflect heat, and many have a layer of insulation. Some of these products, like our HP Sticky Shield™, are universal, and we also make items such as IM Shields™, specifically for applying to the underside of intake manifolds as a barrier between the hot engine and the intake, which you want to keep as cool as possible for additional horsepower (click here to read about gaining 17 horsepower for under $100 with an IM Shield™). Heatshield Products has other application-specific products, such as sleeving for fuel lines and wiring harnesses, shields for starters, and more.
We’re going to save discussing exhaust wraps and turbo shields for another blog post and instead concentrate right now on the other underhood areas that can benefit from heat control. For most applications, Heatshield Products offers multiple solutions, which we’ve labeled as Good, Better and Best in the illustrations. When looking at the different grades of thermal barriers, it’s important to not let yourself get distracted by what the ultimate max temp the barrier can withstand is, but rather what the maximum constant temperature the barrier can withstand is, along with the minimum amount of space/airflow required for the barrier to function properly. While the Good product might have the listed temperature capability to solve your problem, without enough airflow in the area of installation, the product’s effectiveness might be compromised. The Better and Best products will typically have more temperature ranges and improved effectiveness with decreased airflow.And we’re always here to help! If you want to make sure you get the correct product for your application, you can call us at 844-723-2665, hit us upon Facebook or email email@example.com.