If there's any mystery that's pretty hard to solve when dealing with cars, it would have to be a vacuum leak. Vacuum is important because it operates not only the engine, but the fuel and brake systems as well.Leaks often occur on an air intake hose. The hose acts as the bridge between the air filter box and the intake manifold. The symptoms of a worn-out hose can mimic those of a fuel or ignition problem, thus misleading car owners and mechanics into repairing or replacing otherwise fully-functioning parts.Such a leak is hard to detect - almost to the point of being impossible. One way is to make sure you're dealing with a leaking air intake hose is to use an aerosol carburetor cleaner. Spray cleaner at the hose that you suspect is leaking and then look out for sudden changes in the direction of the mist.That would indicate a vacuum leak. If you do find one, replacing the hose should be your next step. Hoses of all shapes and sizes are available here at Carparts.
• Perfectly fits most air intake systems
• Made from durable materials, for long-lasting functions
• Ensures that air drawn into the engine bay reaches the intake manifold
Air Intake Hose Buyer's Guide
- The air intake hose, also known as an air intake tube, is the part that connects your air filter box to the vehicle’s throttle body. This hose is extremely important because it delivers clean, filtered air from outside the vehicle to the engine where it will be mixed with fuel for combustion.
- Cold air drawn in by the air intake system from outside the engine bay is oxygen-rich, making it better for engine combustion. If the air intake hose is clogged or broken, it will be difficult for the vehicle to achieve the proper air-to-fuel ratio for optimal engine power, efficiency, and emissions.
- The common signs of a cracked or damaged air intake hose are the Check Engine Light , engine stalling and rough idling, loud whistling or hissing engine noises.
- The cost of an air intake hose will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. In general, OE replacement parts will cost you in the range of $3 to $293.
- Replacing a cracked air intake hose is important to prevent engine overheating, fuel contamination, and poor gas mileage.
Just like humans, internal combustion engines need air to function. Oxygen, in particular, must be mixed with fuel for small explosions to ignite inside the combustion chamber and power the movement of a vehicle. Many have compared the intake manifold to our lungs since it is responsible for distributing air to each of the engine’s cylinders. But as important as this part is, there is another component that is critical to the function of the air intake system—the air intake hose.
What is an air intake hose?
The air intake hose, also known as an air intake tube, is the part that connects your air filter box to the vehicle’s throttle body. This hose is extremely important because it delivers clean, filtered air from outside the vehicle to the engine where it will be mixed with fuel for combustion.
An air intake hose is typically made of an ultra-durable rubber or plastic material. Instead of a smooth pipe, it is designed to have wide spots or empty chambers that smoothen airflow and absorbs vibrations. It’s important that all tubes and hoses in the air intake system are free from leaks and clogs so that proper airflow to the engine is maintained for ignition.
What is the purpose of an air intake hose?
To understand the function of the air intake hose, we must do a quick overview of how the air intake system works. The air intake system is typically installed behind the grille or the hood scoop where it can collect air as the vehicle moves. A cold air intake hose collects outside air and allows it to flow towards the air filter box. Any dust, rocks, pollen, and other debris are trapped in the filters, allowing clean air to flow to the next step.
An intake hose connects the filter box to the throttle body. Every time the driver steps on the accelerator pedal, a valve in the throttle body opens, allowing the filtered air to flow towards the intake manifold. The network of hoses in the intake manifold, in turn, distributes clean air to each engine cylinder where it is mixed with fuel for combustion.
What happens if the engine air intake hose breaks?
Cold air drawn in by the air intake system from outside the engine bay is oxygen-rich, making it better for engine combustion. If the air intake hose is clogged or broken, it will be difficult for the vehicle to achieve the proper air-to-fuel ratio for optimal engine power, efficiency, and emissions.
At the same time, if an air intake hose is cracked or damaged, it can introduce contaminants which could negatively affect internal combustion and emissions. Foreign matter and debris may find their way into the engine because outside air will be able to enter the system without passing through the air filter. The Mass Air Flow and Mass Air Pressure sensors may also produce faulty readings because the system is no longer airtight.
Symptoms of a bad or leaking air intake hose
Check Engine Light switches on
The Check Engine Light can be triggered by a variety of engine problems. Use an OBD-II scan tool and connect it to your engine computer to determine if the code is related to your engine running in a rich (insufficient air) or lean (too much air) condition. If it is, one of the possible causes that you must get checked is a damaged or cracked air intake hose.
Unusual engine noises
Air rushing in toward broken parts of the air intake hose can produce noises that are more noticeable as you step on the acceleration pedal. Listen for any loud whistling or hissing noises from under your hood.
Rough idling and poor acceleration
Insufficient air in the combustion chamber can result in difficulty in achieving the proper air-to-fuel ratio. This often causes vehicle backfiring and an overall lack of power due to unburned fuel.
How much does it cost to replace an air intake hose?
The cost of an air intake hose will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. In general, OE replacement parts will cost you in the range of $3 to $293. These are sold individually, in sets of two, or as part of a kit.
Why is an air intake hose replacement important?
Over time, rubber or plastic hoses can wear out due to extended exposure to heat, vibration, and moisture. It’s pretty common to find cracked air intake hoses, especially in older vehicles. Haphazard repairs or improper reinstallation can also result in breakage or leaks in the air intake system.
Replacing a damaged or leaking air intake hose is important in ensuring proper engine airflow for ignition. Without enough cold air, your engine will run lean and operate at higher temperatures than it should. This is one of the most common causes of engine overheating. As unfiltered air enters the system, contaminants may also build up in the engine which can cause parts to wear out faster than they should.
Finding the right fit
To find the right engine air intake hose for your needs, use the CarParts.com built-in vehicle selector. Simply plug in your vehicle’s correct information to narrow down your results to all compatible parts. Rest assured that our selection of replacement parts has been checked and tested for quality by industry professionals, so you’re sure to get the most bang out of your buck.
Putting the New Air Intake Hose in Place
The air intake hose is a critical part of a well-functioning engine because it bridges the air filter and the intake manifold. It plays an essential role in the engine performance and fuel efficiency. Unfortunately, leaks happen most of the time in the air intake, creating problems with the vacuum, which is necessary for the engine to work properly. That's why it is necessary to observe maintenance procedure every once in a while. But when all else fails, here is a simple guide on how to install a new one. The whole process takes only 15-20 minutes.
Required skill level: Novice
Tools and things you'll need:
- New air intake hose
- Flathead screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
Preparing for the task
Make sure the engine has cooled off for at least 30 minutes before you get to work. When ready, detach the negative battery cable from the terminal. After this, disconnect the electrical connections attached to the old air intake hose, if there are any. Then, unclamp the air filter cover so you will have enough room to work on it. Loosen the hose clamps on both of its ends and gently pull it out. Set aside that old or damaged air intake hose to be thrown away afterwards.
Installing the new air intake hose
Take the new hose and place it where you just removed the old one. Attach it and then clamp it up securely, guaranteeing no leaks. Remember that vacuum is necessary for the engine to function effectively and efficiently. Next, be careful to reconnect all the electrical modules you removed earlier. After this, make sure that the air filter is properly in its place before you clamp up the air filter cover.
Before closing the hood, reconnect the negative battery cable to its proper terminal. Once done, close down the hood and take your vehicle out for a spin to test the new air intake hose.
Another useful tip
Before purchasing a new aftermarket air intake hose, make sure that what you are getting is compatible with your vehicle. This is because sizes differ from vehicle to vehicle.
Choosing the Right Air Intake Hose
The incorrect amount of air or fuel fed to your car's engine can greatly affect your vehicle's horsepower rating. Getting the correct air-fuel mixture, therefore, is crucial to keeping your engine's performance at its peak. The air intake hose takes care of allowing air to enter the engine, and if this component develops a leak, it could mean trouble.
Reasons to buy a new intake hose
A damaged intake hose, quite simply, is a useless piece of equipment that needs to be removed and replaced with a new one immediately. Besides being really inexpensive, an air intake hose is also very easy to install. There are bolt-on types available in the market that make them a breeze to clamp on. A worn or cracked intake hose can cause the engine to idle too fast or too rough. If the signs are there-visible wear or damage, or a wheezing or sucking noise in the air system-it's time for you to replace the air intake hose.
Features to look for
Air intake hoses are usually short tubes made of metal, plastic, rubber, or silicone. The ones made of metal are more durable but are less heat-resistant. Rubber, on the other hand, is more flexible, but it resists more heat than metal. It's important to look for hoses made of the right material that fits your engine's needs.
If you are buying an air intake kit, look for one that makes use of heat shields to isolate the air filter from the rest of the engine compartment. These brands offer heat-resistant hoses that can withstand heat up to 310 degrees Celcius. Heat, along with debris that accidentally made their way into the hose, is among the top factors in the corrosion or damage of an air intake hose.
Some aftermarket hoses offer enhanced oxygen flow to your car's engine compartment. Even these are not that expensive, so you might want to consider these products to replace your old ones.
How to Repair Your Air Intake Hose
Here's a quick lesson on internal combustion: take one part air, one part fuel, put the mixture in an enclosed space, and ignite it. The expanding gas releases an incredible amount of energy. This energy is then used to move pistons inside your engine, and the constant movement is what's needed to make your car run. Now from high school chemistry, we all learned that the slightest change in the amount of chemical put in a certain equation changes the whole solution altogether. This goes the same with your air intake hose-if it is torn and not enough air is drawn into the engine, the air-fuel mixture can become lean, and the engine will give you much less power and very poor gas mileage. Unfortunately, a torn intake pipe cannot be repaired. It needs to be replaced. Luckily for you, the brave DIYer, it is a very easy task made easier by this guide.
Difficulty level: Easy
Tools you'll need:
- Phillips-head screwdriver
- Flat-head screwdriver
Step 1: Before doing anything, make sure you have allowed your engine to cool down for at least 30 minutes to prevent burn accidents. Pull out the air filter by loosening and removing the clamps from the air filter assembly.
Step 2: Locate the mounting screws at the base of the air filter assembly and remove them. You will have to use either a Phillips or flat-head screwdriver. These are small screws, so set them aside and be careful not to misplace them.
Step 3: One end of the air intake hose feeds the engine. Detach the clamps or screws from that end, and remove the damaged intake hose. If you see any electrical equipment attached to the hose, remove them.
Step 4: At this point, if you have purchased a new intake system, install it in the engine bay. You can do this by removing the old air box and air filter, and mounting the new ones. You can still use the old screws or bolts.
Step 5: Connect the new air intake hose, and attach it by clamping it on. Reattach any electrical modules you removed earlier.
Due to their low cost, air intake hoses are one of the most popular performance upgrades available. However, before buying an aftermarket air intake, make sure it is compatible with your vehicle's make and model, as intake systems widely vary in size from vehicle to vehicle.