How To Prevent Hydrolock With Cold Air Intake [4 Easy Methods]

If you ride your car through puddles or deep water, chances are your vehicle has contracted hydrolock. But you don’t have to worry about this issue because we will discuss how to prevent hydrolock with a cold air intake in 4 methods in this article.

So, if you want to save your car from the damages of hydroblockage, read this article thoroughly. Here you will definitely find what you need.

Why Is It Important To Know How To Prevent Hydrolock With Cold Air Intake

People usually buy performance intake systems to boost up their cars’ efficiency. But mismanagement can easily lead to irrevocable damages. The air inlets of a car are usually placed at the bottom behind the bumper cover. Therefore, it is usually away from the hot engine bay. 

Air filters are usually low and closer to the ground. This holds the chances of water entering the air inlets. Gradually, this water can hydrolock the engine. For such reasons, driving with a cold air intake in rain leads to disastrous conditions.

Here we have shown 3 things that can happen due to hydroblocking with cold air intakes.

1. Water is a non-compressible element. And unlike air, the liquid doesn’t change its position on its own. So when the air filter sucks in the water, all the liquid gradually accumulates in the cylinder. Too much water can fill up the compression stroke and eventually break the engine.  

2. A vehicle with a hydrolock problem will not run smoothly at all. It has been found that the hydrolocking condition directly affects the air/fuel ratio. An imbalance in air/fuel ratio prevents the proper emission of the vehicle. As a result, inconsistent movement takes place. This can lead to too much fuel consumption as well.

3. The situation can get very problematic. If your air filter is somehow exposed to deep water for a long time, it can make the hydrolock more severe. Too much water in the system will hinder your engine’s performance. As a result, your engine will remain idle, and you won’t be able to move at all.

As you can see, the complications that occur due to hydrolocking are very irritating. But, most importantly, its effects can permanently damage your car.

How To Prevent Hydrolock With Cold Air Intake In 4 Easy Methods

Your car is at risk of hydrolocking if you are planning to set off on a rainy day or if you already know that you are going to face a puddle on the way. But don’t worry, we have the best solution for you. Here we have 4 points for you to maintain. These steps will prevent the risk of hydrolock with cold air intake.

Do not forget to try these methods out.

Method 1: Using Hydroshield

This is probably the most effective solution to the problem of hydrolock with cold air intake. Hydroshields are designed for air filters. Once you have properly installed one, they will protect your car’s air filter not only from water but also from dust and dirt.

For this, you just have to take off the air filter and put the hydroshield on it. Finally, re-install the air filter after you are done. And now, you can travel on any road you want. 

The best thing about this solution is that a hydroshield costs less than $30. K&N Hydroshield is a better option as well. In fact, it’s a popular cold air intake filter shield.

Method 2: Avoiding Water Bodies

Our first solution for prevention is to avoid the culprit. Take a longer route if needed, but avoid any form of water bodies. You never know what might affect the engine. Even a slight splash of water can enter through the air filter of your car.

Method 3: Going Over (If Possible)

If the bottom of your car is at a safe height from the puddle you are about to encounter, then you can advance. Measure the depth of the puddle (X) and then estimate the distance between the bottom of your car and the surface of the road (Y).

You can drive through if Y > X. However, you should avoid moving forward in case X > Y.

Method 4: Pushing The Car Over

This method is a bit hard, but it should be easy to do if you have to help hands. But remember, you should use this method as your last resort. If the puddles are deep and you have no other route available, then follow this step.

Firstly, turn off your car engine. If the car engine is on, the air filter will be active as well. As a result, the water will get sucked all the way in. Now slowly push the car forward till it’s on the other side of the puddle.

Give your car a little shake, once you are in a safe position where there is no water beneath the vehicle. This will remove the excess liquid from the air filter. Now start the engine and continue your voyage.


Can a cold air intake filter get wet?

Yes, a cold air intake filter can get wet. But the damp level will be mild. However, the dampness can increase. If the cold air intake filter gets wet enough, it can affect the engine performance. 

Do you need to tune your car after cold air intake?

Well, you actually don’t need to tune your car after cold air intake. Just taking care of the air filter will be sufficient.

Will a cold air intake damage my engine?

Unfortunately, yes, a cold air intake will damage your engine. The air intake system is directly connected to the engine. So if water enters here, it will damage the engine bit by bit.

Will a cold air intake make my car faster?

Yes, installing a cold intake will make your car run faster. In fact, modifying a car with a cold air intake can be the best way of increasing a vehicle’s engine efficiency.

What problems can a cold air intake cause?

A cold air intake system mainly causes the problems: a) dresses gas mileage, so need to fix gas mileage b) increases idle hesitation c) causes hydrolockage


No one can blame you for being worried about the hydroblock of your vehicle. Though it’s a severe problem, it has simple and effective solutions. And the good news is you already know about them all.

From now on, any water body should not be an obstacle for you. You can always keep your vehicle safe if you consider either of these 4 points discussed in this article. But if you are having further issues or have any queries in general, let us know in the comment below.

About John M

John contributed as a technical head at an automobile company just 2 years after his post-graduation in Automobile Engineering. He loves to lead a free life, so he left his job & started blogging. Now, he does research on every automotive problem, part & product and seeks a better solution & best products & shares his findings with his readers to help them as well as to minimize their struggle.

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