It is common for air hoses to go bad or become damaged. When this happens, a leak in the CAC system, or a loss of pressure, will affect power output and reduce fuel mileage.
There are also long-term side-effects to running your vehicle with a leaking system such as turbocharger wear or failure. The engine needs a particular amount of boost for optimal performance. If a leak is cutting boost, the turbocharger will be forced to work harder to produce the necessary amount. This will increase wear on internal bearings, and will also introduce greater heat into both the CAC and coolant systems.
Some leaks may be difficult to detect. You should check all the boots in your system for wear and splits. Flex each boot in your hand and check for any damage in the bends. Also, check for any rubbing damage incurred by other engine bay components.
If no leaks are found, check all clamps to ensure they are tight and secure. Finally, a CAC boost leak tester can be used to confirm the proper sealing of your system. Most workshops should have this tool or even let you borrow it. You can also buy or make your own leak tester. There are a lot of instructions on the internet showing you how to make your own DIY boost leak tester. This could help you save quite a bit of money.
The basic function of this kit is simple. The system is capped from both ends and the piping, boots, and cooler are exposed to specific air pressure. Once filled, it is easy to see the pressure quickly drop if a leak exists in the system. A small loss in pressure over a longer time period is normally acceptable.
Newer vehicles are equipped with more plastic components in the engine bay. It saves money, but it also provides yet another compromise. A few newer trucks are using plastic CAC piping, primarily on the cold side of the system. Plastic components exposed to the heat and pressure from a CAC system will likely degrade and eventually fail. This is especially common with modified examples.
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