Ecoboost Cold Air Intake Problems (Reasons + Solutions)

You have a classic Ford Ecoboost machine car and are a newbie to the car. After some months,  the vehicle is not performing well.

And one of your friends suggests checking the intake. And you feel there could have been some problems.  

You want to solve the puzzle of EcoBoost cold air intake problems. 

The symptoms of cold air intake problems are poor engine performance and surging idle. Hydrolocking, air rolling, and dirt in filters are some of the problems that CAI could face. To solve the issue, either change the intake or clean the dirt.

That was the short part of what’s coming next. Stick with us to know more.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Cold Air Intake? 

Cold air intakes are designed to allow air to enter the engine in a convenient way. If you wonder does a cold air intake improve performance, the answer is it does unless it has symptoms of problems in CAI.

1. Poor Engine Performance

The engine performance loss is a typical symptom of a crappy or failing CAI. The car can reduce strength, acceleration, and fuel savings if the engine is clogged or dirty.

 A dirty air filter also may create issues having started the vehicle in more extreme situations.

2. High or Surging Idle

An overly high idle is also another sign of a possible issue with a CAI. An abnormally high idle speed could indicate a vacuum leak.

Numerous intake devices include vacuum ports to facilitate the vacuum forwarding specified by the manufacturer. 

If either of the hoses on ports loses or breaks, a vacuum leak will occur. They are resulting in an absurdly high or surging idle.

3. The Check Engine Light Illuminates

An illuminated Check Engine Light is another classic condition of a faulty cold air intake. Any detectors could have been placed in the intake to diagnose a problem. Hence, the Engine Light will illuminate to alert the driver.

One of the most frequent causes of the Check Engine Light illumination is vacuum leakages.

The cold air intake is the induction system that feeds airflow. Hence, stay alert when you see those symptoms. 

Reasons for EcoBoost Cold Air Intake Problems 

Can a cold air intake cause problems – you are often confused about the question. There are many reasons to malfunction the cold air intake in EcoBoost. 

1. Dirt in the Engine

Depending on the model, aftermarket cold air intake units feature filters constructed of various materials. The filtration system is the only thing preventing particles from entering your engine.

Foam filters provide greater horsepower and attract dirt and debris into the engine. It can result in many other performance issues.

How to Clean Cold Air Intake in Ecoboost?

Make sure to wash cold air intake at the appropriate intervals. and apply the suitable volume of oil.

A basic rule of thumb is cleaning the cold air intake after 30K miles. To avoid potential problems, you also should read the company’s recommendations.

Bring the filter for the CAI close to a beam of light to inspect it. A replacement filter is required if there are any air leaks.

When installing the component, make sure nothing rubs against it. And that the bolts are slack enough just to provide for minor modifications as needed. This will reduce the possibility of cold air intake deterioration.

2. Hydrolocking

Hydrolocking is among the most serious engine-related issues when employing a cold air intake. This happens when your engine pulls in water instead of air.

CAIs operate by positioning the air entrance beneath the front cover, far from the engine compartment. The air filter is lower and near allows bottom. Hence, there is a risk of it sucking up water and hydro locking the engine.

In a nutshell, hydro locking is a disastrous circumstance in which water comes from the car’s cylinder. This is a concern since engines work by compressing gas and controlling combustion. 

Water is non-compressible. Thus if the cylinder is full of water during the compression stroke, the machine will fail.

The connecting rod may usually twist or break. It will certainly cause the piston to crack or wiggle inside the cylinder. Thus it will lead to becoming stuck or locked.

As a consequence, the hydro lock was developed. So, avoid getting water into the motor!

There are many solutions to these problems. We discussed each one of them briefly down below. 

Using Hydroshield

Is most likely the most appropriate method for the hydro lock situation with cold air intake. Hydroshields are intended for use with air filters.

Once correctly installed, it will shield your car’s air purifier from water. Besides, it also protects from sand and grime.

Simply remove the air filter and replace it with the hydro shield. After you’re finished, replace the air filter. You may now go on any route you wish.

The most excellent part about this idea is that a hydro shield only costs approximately $30.

Water Bodies to Avoid

Our first line of defense is to avoid the perpetrator. If necessary, take a longer path, but eliminate any bodies of water.

You cannot know what can have an impact on the engine. Even a small spray of water might penetrate your car’s air filter.

Reviewing (If Possible)

You can proceed if the bottom of the automobile is at a safe distance from the puddle. Calculate the distance between the bottom of your automobile and the road surface by measuring the depth of the puddle (X) (Y).

If Y > X, you may go through. However, you must avoid proceeding if X > Y.

3. Problems with Air Roll

The intake might bend 90 ° angle. It allows the air to roll as it enters the engine. Although rolly air may seem appealing, it is not suitable for your engine!

If this occurs, the precision of the mass air meter measurements may suffer. When this occurs, the fuel-to-air ratio changes, which may cause your car to stall.

Use Straight Cold Air Intake 

Hydraulically, the elbow increases frictional resistance, allowing less air to travel through the intake. Consider the engine an air pump; more air means higher performance. 

The following are the benefits of OTR configuration: 

  •  a smaller total intake run, 
  •  no elbow
  •  air flowing directly to the throttle body.

We know you have so many questions about cold air intake damage related. But that’s all about it from our side.

Now you understand the problems and think about how to change the intake. Fear not! We give a simple suggestion for changing the CAI.

How to Update Cold Air Intake in Ecoboost? 

Aftermarket cold air intake system manufacturers often build these devices to fit specific automobiles. So, check the product documentation to see if your device is appropriate. 

Research as many products reviews online as you can. Then consult with expert mechanics to see which ones offer the best outcomes. Once you’ve selected a reliable product, follow these procedures to install a cool air intake:

Preparation Phase

Unplug the battery connections. And assure you get the intake kit’s components and instructions. And the necessary equipment.

Remove the Old System

Remove the air intake pipe and filter. Be careful not to disconnect any sensors that govern engine operations.

Aftermarket System Installation

To install the aftermarket system, follow the directions that came with it. And ensure that everything is safe. Reconnect the sensors and battery connections. Next, reinstall any parts that were removed in order to get access.


Take a test drive to confirm that the engine is operating smoothly. Confirm that no dashboard lights are illuminated.

For your convenience, we give the best cold air intake for the f150 ecoboost product table.


Here are some of the common questions for you on today’s topic:

Should I spray or blow dry the filter element after cleansing it?

You shouldn’t ever utilize compressed gas or highly pressurized water on the intake. Applying any of these high-pressure components can harm your filter’s fibers. Defective fibers will not adequately hold oil.

And it will not collect all of the specific stuff flowing through the filter. If the filter is unclean, simply follow the company’s cleaning recommendations again.

Should I Get A Sealed Or Open Cold Air Intake System?

The primary function is to compress the air before directing it to the intercooler. When air is cold, it is significantly easier to compress. An open intake permits the turbo to pull in more hot air from the engine.

A closed intake is meant to pull air via the fender well of the car. As a result, for performance considerations, a sealed intake is the ideal alternative.

Can I use any oiled cleaning kit to clean the filter?

No! Each manufacturer develops its filter to operate with a specific amount of oil on it. Or too little oil on the filter. Both of these might cause issues with your intake or car.


So, what are your thoughts after reading this article? Apart from mentioning those problems, do you face any other problems with your CAI? 

We hope to answer the EcoBoost cold air intake problems briefly

Be careful when updating the intake. If you face any problems regarding your, talk with experts. 

Do let us know about your valuable comments. Wish you the best of luck!

Jerry Ellis

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