Best Air Filter for 3.5 EcoBoost

Drivers think of their car’s stock equipment as the best. Hence the continuing popularity of OEM air filters, fuel filters and a long list of other car products. But high-end air filters show that aftermarket products can outperform their built-in counterparts on many counts.

Start with combustion efficiency. The best air filters for 3.5EcoBoost straighten the airflow to the combustion chamber while keeping dirt particles at bay. This allows the fuel to burn more efficiently. Increase in mileage, acceleration, and uphill performance follow suit.

Then comes the ease of maintenance and shelf life. Most stock air filters require you to clean them after every few thousand miles and replace them altogether after every few years. Aftermarket air filters require neither. They go maintenance free for years and still outlast your vehicle’s shelf life.

Read on to know more about the best air filters for 3.5EcoBoost:

Best Air Filter for 3.5 EcoBoost

K&N 63-2592 Cold Air Intake Kit

K&N 63-2592 Cold Air Intake Kit

The K&N cold air intake kit offers many outstanding features. Foremost among them is its ultimate longevity. Its manufacturer has warrantied this unit for 10 years/1 million miles. That means you can count on this product to outlast the life of your vehicle.

Its ease of installation is equally impressive. K&N delivers it to your doorstep pre-oiled, so you just have to take out your existing air filter and drop this one into the factory air box. That is why we call it one of the easiest upgrades for your vehicle.

Then comes the ability of this intake system to enhance the engine’s horsepower. It achieves that objective with a restriction-free design that delivers 50% more to the engine, thereby allowing it to make the most use of added O2 particles and provide better acceleration and uphill performance.

You might find it useful to note that this kit’s filter is washable and reusable. The filter doesn’t require any cleaning for the first 100,000 miles as well. That means that you can simply install this system and forget it for the first year of its working.

Pros

  • 10-year/million-mile warranty
  • Provides 50% more airflow than disposable paper filters
  • Won’t require any cleaning for the first 100,000 miles

Cons

  • Won’t come cheap

K&N 69-3531TS Cold Air Intake Kit

K&N 69-3531TS Cold Air Intake Kit

The vast majority of air filters that you see on the market last between 10,000 and 12,000 miles. Some of them go the extra step by lasting up to 15,000 miles. Only a few are warrantied for the next decade or 1 million miles on the road. This K&N cold air intake kit is one of those few.

Its manufacturer has equipped this system with a high-end filter. One that keeps dirt and dirt particles at bay while also allowing 50% more air to the engine. That is how the filter will help increase your vehicle’s mileage and acceleration. But it won’t stop at that.

The low-maintenance design of the filter helps it go the first 50,000 miles without needing cleaning. It also saves you from the trouble of having to repeatedly open the hood, take out the filter and rinse it with soapy water. You can keep on enjoying the filter’s offerings without maintaining it.

On top of everything else, K&N has made this kit easy to install. It has done that by making sure that you can fit it in place with basic hand tools. There is no compulsion that you have to hire a mechanic or invest in expensive-looking equipment for its installation.

Pros

  • Easy to maintain
  • Increases engine’s HP
  • Warrantied for 1 million miles

Cons

  • Won’t come cheap

Roush Cold Air Intake Kit

Roush Cold Air Intake Kit

Are you looking for an intake kit that would improve your engine’s sound? Won’t mind if it also helps your 3.5L EcoBoost deliver better mileage and uphill performance? Then you certainly don’t want to miss out on the Roush cold air intake kit. Here’s why we’re saying that.

This cold air intake system comes with a bend-free design that improves airflow to the engine. Its ultra-long pipe gathers area from outside the hood before passing it to the engine. But not before the air is screened through the dry filter.

Aside from being washable and reusable, the filter is long-lasting as well. Roush’s decision to keep it dry means you won’t have to worry about re-oiling. Merely cleaning the filter after every few thousand miles would keep it going for years to come.

To further sweeten the deal, it has a hydrocarbon-trapping lid that ensures that your vehicle’s emissions remain under the permissible limits. Also on offer are EPDM rubber couples that help it fit properly under engine load. The entire system is CAD designed to keep heat out.

Pros

  • Won’t void factory warranty
  • Excellent filtration properties
  • Provides aggressive performance sound

Cons

  • Only a marginal increase in MPG

Spectre SPE-9034 Performance Air Intake Kit

Spectre SPE-9034 Performance Air Intake Kit

Almost all Spectre air intake kits are dual-purpose devices. They house a built-in filter that screens and removes particulate matter from the air about to enter the engine. Their bend-free design, meanwhile, expedites the air’s flow rate and helps give engine’s performance a shot in the arm.

That is precisely what the SPE-9034 does as well. It comes with polished aluminum intake tubing and a black powder-coated 2-piece heat shield that prevents the engine heat from interfering with the air. This makes sure that only cold air makes its way to the engine’s inlet.

Its washable and reusable filter remains effective for years to come. The pre-oiled design of the filter ensures that the airflow remains undisturbed even as the filter is teeming with dirt particles. Spectre says that the filter won’t need any cleaning for the first 100,000 miles.

All the hardware that is necessary for an OEM finish comes in this model’s package. That includes a coupler, velocity stack, edge trim, stainless steel clamps, among other essential hardware.

Pros

  • Has powder-coated steel heat shield
  • Increases torque and horsepower
  • Washable and reusable air filter

Cons

  • Won’t impact fuel economy

AEM 28-20385 DryFlow Air Filter

AEM 28-20385 DryFlow Air Filter

The AEM 28-20385 DryFlow air filter is rated very highly by 3.5L EcoBoost users. It has a simple yet effective filtration mechanism that separates dirt particles from air entering the engine. The paper pleats of this model are so effective in what they do that they keep 99.9% of particulate matter out.

Next comes the aluminum wire meshing of this model. AEM has designed it in a straight and smooth way to ensure that the airflow always remains consistent. That is to say that there won’t be any impediments blocking the flow of air to the engine.

Equally noteworthy is this air filter’s OE specific molding. It helps create a tight seal in the OEM airbox to allow the unit to achieve a snug fit. Also on offer is DryFlow synthetic media that requires no oiling throughout its shelf life and is washable and reusable.

What is more, installing this model under your head won’t void your vehicle’s warranty. Its ease of installation means you can install the air filter with a screwdriver in less than 20 minutes. AEM sweetens the deal even further by supplementing this product with a lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Washable and reusable
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Pricey for an OEM filter

Motorcraft FA1883 Air Filter

Motorcraft FA1883 Air Filter

Here is a budget-friendly air filter that keeps your engine safe from harmful dust particles. The straightforward design of this model encourages more air to make its way to the inlet, whereas the paper pleats in its design prevent particulate matter from accompanying the air.

You can keep on using this competitively priced model for up to 1 year. That is because it has moisture- and oil-resistant design that keeps both types of irritants at bay. This allows the filtration media to deal with the incoming dirt particles without getting burdened in the process.

Motorcraft has given the dry elements of this filter a chemical treatment. Hence the reason why they can withstand the extremes of temperature to which they’ll be exposed to under the hood. The chemical treatment also enhances the efficiency rating of the filtration media, taking it to up to 98.5%.

On top of everything else, the FA1883 boasts a leakproof design. It won’t collapse when facing negative pressure and will stay rigid under bulks of air. That is probably the reason why its manufacturer has warrantied this air filer for 12 months.

Pros

  • Draw large volumes of air
  • Perfect OEM fit
  • 12-month warranty

Cons

  • None

K&N 33-2385 Engine Air Filter

K&N 33-2385 Engine Air Filter

Everything you might expect from K&N air filters is on offer with this one. It comes with an extended 1 million mile / 10 year warranty. One that ensures you that the filter would keep going as long as your vehicle stays on the road. But the good news doesn’t stop there.

This model’s state-of-the-art filtration media has huge filtration capacity to trap layers after layers of particulate matter on its surface. That’s precisely what allows this OEM air filter to provide up to 50% more airflow to the engine than stock filters.

K&N has done all it can to make this model a cinch to install. The reputed manufacturer has pre-oiled this unit, thereby reading it to drop into your stock air box right out from its package. There won’t be any need for costly upgrades to replace your factory filter with this one.

You might find it pleasing to note that this filter is washable. That is to say that you can quickly rinse away any impurities you may see embedded in its filter media. But you won’t have to do the rinsing thing any soon as this model’s low maintenance design empowers it to go 50,000 miles before needing cleaning.

Pros

  • 10-year/million-mile warranty
  • Provides 50% more airflow than disposable paper filters
  • Won’t require any cleaning for the first 50,000 miles

Cons

  • Won’t improve mileage

FRAM Extra Guard Air Filter

FRAM Extra Guard Air Filter

What do you expect from an air filter that is the cheapest among its peers? Do you think it would have the quality to rival its much pricier counterparts? Will it have the filtration capacity to last for thousands of miles? Is there any chance that it would come with a warranty?

Most people would answer all these questions in the negative. They might think that the model’s low asking price would have robbed it off all the features that drivers normally look for in an air filter. Prepare then to be surprised by the offerings of the FRAM Extra Guard.

Start with its filtration capacity. It has a larger surface area to accommodate more paper pleats than a typical aftermarket filter. This allows this model to boost 12,000 mile change intervals. It provides 2x the protection than other filters in the same price range and comes with a 30-day moneyback guarantee.

 Pros

  • Extremely low asking price
  • 12,000 mile change intervals
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee

Cons

  • Thinner

aFe Power 54-32112-B Magnum Force

aFe Power 54-32112-B Magnum Force

Multiple features of this intake system justify its above-average asking price. Most noteworthy among them is its 5-layer cotton filter. This unit has equipped its built-in filter with a 5-stage filtration mechanism to trap particulate matter from the incoming air.

Next comes its one-piece heat shield. It saves the air inside the tube from encountering engine heat and getting hot in the process. Another remarkable thing about the heat shield is that it comes in a one-piece design and utilizes stock mounting locations. You won’t have to modify anything to install it.

Equally impressive is this model’s hassle-free installation. All clamps, silicone bolts and the hardware necessary for installation are included in its package. There is no need for you to purchase anything extra from the market if you decide to purchase this kit.

Pros

  • 5-stage filtration
  • One-piece heat shield
  • Heat-insulating molded plastic tube

Cons

  • Might not help with the mileage

Best Air Filter for 3.5 EcoBoost – Buying Guide

You’d face the following questions when finding the best air filter for 3.5 EcoBoost:

Generation of 3.5L EcoBoost

You might be aware that Ford produced the 3.5 EcoBoost engine in two versions: Gen 1 and Gen 2. Both of them have different HP ratings, consume a different percentage of air, and deliver different power. Knowing which of the two engines you’re using is essential to get the best air filter for it.

3.5L EcoBoost (Gen 1)

It was in 2007 that the 3.5 EcoBoost was first introduced to the market. The Gen 1 engine was fitted in the “TwinForce” Lincoln MKR concept vehicle. Ford stated at the time that this engine rivaled V8 when it comes to power and torque, while still consuming 15% less fuel.

This engine is capable of achieving pressures up to 2150 psi. Its F-series EcoBoost can provide a boost of up to 15 psi and can revolve at 170,000 RPM. The transverse EcoBoost 3.5L, meanwhile, consumes  25% more air yet provides only up to 11psi of boost.

3.5L EcoBoost (Gen 2)

Ford introduced the next generation of 3.5L EcoBoost engines in 2017. This model is equipped with seven-speed semiautomatic transmission and is capable of delivering 647 HP. It was revealed at the time that this engine was going to replace the first-generation F-150 line-up.

Later on it was unveiled that the 3.5 EcoBoost Gen 2 would be paired with the 10R80 10-speed automatic transmission. The new transmission, which was co-designed with General Motors, was then made available on all 2nd Gen 3.5L V6 EcoBoost F-150s.

Style of air filter

Most drivers don’t know that there is not one but two types of air filters on the market. The first type are those all of which are familiar with. ‘OEM’ filters, as they are called, are incredibly famous. Less popular are the ‘cold air intake’ kits that you can also install in your 3.5L EcoBoost.

OEM Filters

Also referred to as ‘stock’ filters by drivers and car mechanics, OEM filters have the same dimensions as that of the filter they’re going to replace in your engine. This is what makes them extremely popular as the similarity of dimensions makes these filters a cinch to install.

Yet another way these filters attract potential customers is their low asking price. They prey on the mindset of those drivers who are unable or unwilling to pay above a certain amount on an air filter. Needless to say that their meager price tag comes across as a double-edged sword.

While it does make them an affordable option for many, the low asking price of these filters masks their shortcomings. You cannot count on them to last extremely long, have a measurably positive impact on your engine’s performance or push up your car’s mileage. The benefits that they provide are limited.

Pros

  • Easy to replace
  • Competitively priced
  • Require no modifications

Cons

  • No measurably positive effect on engine’s performance

Cold Air Intake Filters

Cold air intake filters have a peculiar construction. They have a built-in air-filter that separates dirt particles from incoming air. Also on offer is a long pipe that sucks relatively cold air from outside the hood. The filter might be dry (pleats of cotton or paper) or oily whereas the pipe is rustproof.

Their working mechanism helps your engine immensely. It welcomes cold air and burns the fuel more efficiently – as cold air has more O2 particles than hot air. The increase in combustion efficiency also has a positive impact on the engine’s acceleration and uphill performance.

It also allows them to push up your vehicle’s mileage. The engine’s torque and power also see a shot in the arm because of this arrangement. The only area where they lag is that these units aren’t easy to install. Those of you with no prior experience might have to hire a mechanic for their installation.

Pros

  • Improve combustion efficiency
  • Enhance vehicle’s mileage
  • Positively impact engine’s uphill performance and acceleration

Cons

  • Extremely difficult to install and replace

Type of air filter

Once you have decided in favor of OEM or cold air intake, another question will be staring you in the face. Do you want a dry or an oiled filter? Your answer to this question will determine how regularly you may have to clean the filter and how much time the filter will last before needing replacement.

  • Dry Filter: Such filters have a synthetic or cotton gauze to separate dirt particles from incoming air. They are competitively priced and are easy to install and replace. But they don’t last long and require regular maintenance.
  • Oiled Filter: These units have oil on their inner surface to trap dirt particles that accompanied the air that just entered the filter’s tube. These filters last longer, are mostly washable and reusable and last between 15,000 miles and a million miles.

Fitment of air filter

All the air filters that we discussed above are either universal air filters or custom-fit air filters. Here’s what both these terms mean for the performance of the filter.

  • Universal Air Filter: Aside from being less expensive and easy to install, universal air filters are also extremely flexible. You can count on them to fit a wide variety of design configurations and types. One can even match them with old air intake systems.
  • Custom-Fit Air Filter: These filters are designed to deliver an increase in torque, horsepower and MPG to a specific engine. You may have to pay more to purchase them but they justify their high asking price with easier installation.

Conclusion

 The best air filters for 3.5L EcoBoost don’t just stop dirt particles from entering the engine. They also have a bend-free design to smoothen the airflow. Only then can they have a positive impact on the engine’s uphill performance and acceleration and the vehicle’s mileage.

Ivo Gievski
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