CAI For Towing - Any MPG Benefit?

CAI For Towing - Any MPG Benefit?

This is a discussion on CAI For Towing - Any MPG Benefit? within the F150 Ecoboost Performance forums, part of the F150 Ecoboost Garage category; Currently have ~77k bone stock miles on my 2016, and I'm considering some aftermarket upgrades to try and eek out any fuel efficiency that I ...

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Thread: CAI For Towing - Any MPG Benefit?

  1. #1
    Ecoboost Regular tobyw's Avatar

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    CAI For Towing - Any MPG Benefit?

    Currently have ~77k bone stock miles on my 2016, and I'm considering some aftermarket upgrades to try and eek out any fuel efficiency that I can, particularly while towing. I have done some research on the common CAI's out there, and they all seem to provide a little extra HP and TQ, but has anyone seen that translate into increased fuel economy under normal use? I'm not a stop light racer, and quite frankly could care less what happens much above 3,000RPM because even while towing I rarely see that. Appreciate any feedback.
    2012 FX4 SCREW, 6.5' bed, 3.73's, UPR Dual Valve w/ CSS, 285/65-18 BFG A/T's - SOLD

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    Eco-Beast mass-hole's Avatar

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    CAI For Towing - Any MPG Benefit?

    No.

    And if they produce more power/tq it is extremely minimal. The only time they would make a meaningful difference is if your turbos were at their flow limits and you could get less pressure drop across the filter. As you stated, since basically all towing happens below 3500 rpm, you are nowhere near the flow limits of the turbos.

    An upgraded intercooler could arguably help improve MPG by keeping the spark timing more advanced but i dont have proof of that.
    Last edited by mass-hole; 01-31-2019 at 08:58 AM.
    2014 Lariat Screw, 157", Max Tow, 502A - Gearhead Tuned, AFE Intercooler, RX Catch Can, Bilstein 5100(.8" level), AirLift RideControl bags, 275/60R20 Wrangler Duratracs

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    Eco-Beast Chris H's Avatar

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    The most notable difference you can make is reducing speed. The topic of improving fuel mileage has been beaten to death hundreds of times on this forum and that's pretty much the ONLY real world solution. If you already drive slow, drive slower.

    The other solution is a 2.7 EB. It gets notably better mileage than the 3.5 EB. I'm kidding, but that's the extent of it.


    PS: you couldn't care less.
    Grim Reaper likes this.
    2011 F150 Platinum screw 2WD 6.5' bed, 3.73 Max Tow pkg | Full Race FMIC | EPP catted downpipe | PowerStop Extreme | OEM Harley front end | Belltech 3/4 drop | Black Rhino Traverse 22" | built motor & EFR's coming soon...
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    Ecoboost Sr Member F150STX's Avatar

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    Won’t make a difference, save that money for gas, drive slower, and don’t haul unnecessary weight if possible


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Eco-Beast Grim Reaper's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by mass-hole View Post
    No.

    And if they produce more power/tq it is extremely minimal. The only time they would make a meaningful difference is if your turbos were at their flow limits and you could get less pressure drop across the filter. As you stated, since basically all towing happens below 3500 rpm, you are nowhere near the flow limits of the turbos.

    An upgraded intercooler could arguably help improve MPG by keeping the spark timing more advanced but i dont have proof of that.
    ^^^^ THIS ^^^^

    I personally agree that the FIRST Modification (other than a tune ... depending on your needs) is an Intercooler on these trucks. And possibly the ONLY modification needed (other than a tune, for most people) ... especially if you don't want to make the engine louder.

    Hot air is a power robber for these engines. When I first installed mine, I was amazed how much more it would pull at higher rpms. Passing big-rigs on two lane highways is much easier now. And for daily driving, it definitely keeps the air cooler.
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    Ecoboost Regular tobyw's Avatar

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    More or less what I had figured, thanks for the responses guys!
    2012 FX4 SCREW, 6.5' bed, 3.73's, UPR Dual Valve w/ CSS, 285/65-18 BFG A/T's - SOLD

    2016 Platinum SCREW, 6.5' bed, 3.55's

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    Ecoboost Jr Member FullRaceMotorsports's Avatar

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    The bases have been covered here, Intercooler upgrade is the best thing you can do for these trucks. Skip the intake upgrade and ditch the stock charge air cooler.
    milesej05 and Grim Reaper like this.

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    Super Moderator milesej05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FullRaceMotorsports View Post
    The bases have been covered here, Intercooler upgrade is the best thing you can do for these trucks. Skip the intake upgrade and ditch the stock charge air cooler.
    Great additional information here @tobyw

    This would be your best bang-for-your-buck along with a tune from a reputable company.
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    Ecoboost Jr Member torchred's Avatar

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    Are you guys serious that an intercooler is a better mod than a downpipe when you are tuned already?

  11. #10
    Eco-Beast Chris H's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by torchred View Post
    Are you guys serious that an intercooler is a better mod than a downpipe when you are tuned already?
    Downpipes haven't been discussed in this thread. CAI's an CAC's have.
    milesej05 and Grim Reaper like this.
    2011 F150 Platinum screw 2WD 6.5' bed, 3.73 Max Tow pkg | Full Race FMIC | EPP catted downpipe | PowerStop Extreme | OEM Harley front end | Belltech 3/4 drop | Black Rhino Traverse 22" | built motor & EFR's coming soon...
    2018 Ford Transit XLT 12 passenger van 3.5 EB | stock for now...
    1992 Mustang 5.0 coupe bolt-on play thing.
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