The charge air cooler or intercooler is an essential part of most modern turbocharged engines. This component cools the intake air between the turbocharger and the engine cylinders, allowing for increased power and efficiency. Unfortunately, the hoses connecting the charge air cooler can degrade over time, leading to reduced performance and engine issues. Replacing the factory hoses with silicone hose kits can help maintain peak engine operation.
Installing silicone hose kits is a straightforward process that only requires basic hand tools. Be sure to lubricate the hose ends and fittings with silicone lubricant before connecting. Over-tightening the clamps can deform or crack silicone hoses.
What Are Charge Air Cooler Hoses?
Charge air cooler hoses connect the turbocharger outlet to the air cooler and the air cooler to the engine intake manifold. On many vehicles, these hoses are made from synthetic rubber compounds that break down over time due to:
- Heat exposure – The pressurized air exiting the turbo and entering the air cooler can reach temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Vibrations – The constant vibrations from engine operation cause the hoses to deteriorate faster.
- Age – The factory hoses only have a lifespan of 5-10 years on most vehicles.
Deteriorating air cooler hoses can lead to boosted vacuum leaks which reduce the engine’s boost pressure and decrease power output. In severe cases, the damaged hoses can even rupture while driving.
Benefits Of Silicone Hose Kits
Replacing the factory air cooler hoses with silicone hose kits provides several benefits:
- The high temperature resistance of silicone – able to handle temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit – helps absorb less heat from the hot charge air, improving intercooler efficiency.
- Silicone hoses are more durable, withstanding abrasions, vibrations and ozone exposure better than rubber, resulting in a longer service life.
- Properly installed silicone hoses provide an airtight seal that eliminates boost leaks, maximizing turbocharger boost pressure.
- Silicone hose kits are available with multiple hose sizes to accommodate different sized intercoolers and manifold connections.
- The flexible and bendable nature of silicone makes installation straightforward, allowing the hoses to be easily routed and connected to fittings.
- Silicone hose kits are often more cost-effective than custom silicone hoses, providing silicone hose options at an affordable price point.
Some Recommendations For Silicone Hose Kits By Charge Air Coolers
- GOOP Silicone Hose Kit – This kit comes with all the necessary hose sizes and fittings you’ll need to replace or install silicone hose on your charge air cooler. The silicone is heat resistant and rated up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit which is ideal for high temperature exhaust and intake applications.
- Mann silicone hose – Mann makes high quality silicone intake hoses for trucks and charge air coolers. Their silicone rubber can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. They have various sizes available from 1/2 inch to 4 inch inner diameter.
- Ridgid silicone hose – Another option for silicone intake hose is Ridgid silicone hose. They offer 90 and 180 day rated silicone hoses available in various colors and sizes. Their silicone is temperature resistant up to 482 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Krona USA silicone hose kits – Krona has full silicone hose upgrade kits specifically for popular trucks and SUVs including Ford F-series, Chevy Silverado, RAM trucks and more. The kits include all necessary hose lengths and fittings to replace the factory charge air cooler hose.