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Ford F150 EcoBoost Blow Off Valve: Overview Guide

Ford F150 EcoBoost Blow Off Valve: Overview Guide

It’s sad to say the kink in your Ford F150 EcoBoost’s armor may just be its plastic blow-off valve. The stock unit’s flimsy design is prone to cracking, and not to mention can lead to more serious issues like complete stalling. Want to up the boost pressure? You might want to think again, as you’ll probably run into a problem there also. Fortunately, there are aftermarket blow-off valves out there capable of improving the performance and durability of your F150. Read on to learn more.

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What is a Blow-Off Valve?

The blow-off valve (BOV) on your EcoBoost F150 has a simple job—releasing the pressure in the intake system back into the atmosphere whenever the throttle plate is closed. Without a proper release, the pressure is forced back to the turbo where it hits the compressor wheel causing a compressor surge.

Over time, compressor surges will cause premature damage to your turbo, increase turbo lag, or force the compressor wheel to stall out. As you can tell by now, having a quality BOV is well worth the money.

Advantages of Upgrading Your F150’s Blow-off Valve

Swapping out your EcoBoost’s blow-off valve for an aftermarket piece can benefit in both the performance and durability departments, for a relatively low cost. Check out these points!

Higher quality materials: The plastic construction of your F150’s stock blow-off valve is subpar, plain and simple. By upgrading to an aftermarket BOV made of aircraft aluminum alloy—like a kit offered by Turbosmart—you will can eliminate any cracking or leaking issues you have experienced with your stock system.

Ability to run higher boost: An added bonus of upgrading to a BOV constructed of higher quality materials is the ability to up the boost on your F150. The stock BOV on your EcoBoost isn’t designed to handle any added pressure, meaning failure is inevitable. Units from Turbosmart are claimed to properly handle boost levels of over 30 PSI.

Disadvantages of an Aftermarket Blow-off Valve

Upgrading your BOV is beneficial in more ways than one, but you may want to check out this major point before pulling the trigger.

Aftermarket BOVs are not CARB certified unlike some other mods like cold air intakes. If you live in California, this is a big problem. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is an agency that deals with environmental issues, most notably air pollution. Aftermarket BOVs are not in compliance with the CARBs set laws, and could lead to legal trouble if found on your F150. 

CARB’s laws have also either been adopted or are pending adoption by other states, including Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Maine, Oregon, Washington and several others. Be sure to look into your state’s laws before deciding to upgrade your EcoBoost’s blow-off valve.

Stalling issues on your F150? An aftermarket Blow-off Valve Can Fix That

EcoBoost F150s are notorious for stalling issues and shuddering during normal driving, which can be traced to the stock charge air cooler (CAC) found in the turbocharger. The CAC is responsible for cooling the intake air as it travels through the turbo, but the stock unit performs its job almost too well.

As air is drawn through the CAC, moisture collects in the tubing which is the basis of the problem. From there, a quick opening of the throttle will change the volume of air pulled through the CAC and can act as a vacuum by pulling the moisture into the engine. This can cause a quick shudder in the power delivery, but enough moisture will send your F150 into “limp mode.” This problem typically exists in states with high-humidity levels, like Florida or Texas.

There are several aftermarket blow-off valves on the market, and most claim to be able to fix the problem for your F150. Typically, the CAC has been redesigned to not hold as much moisture, and effectively eliminate the issue.

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