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What Does Ford Say About Catch Cans?

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So, you are concerned about the PCV system of your Ford vehicle and thus, you want to know- What does Ford say about catch cans? Usually, taking care of your vehicle’s engine is an obvious thing if you want to improve your car’s overall performance.

That’s why most Ford users want to install catch cans that prevent the buildup of carbon and re-burned oil on the engine’s valve. Especially, if the vehicle has DI-direct injected engines, it’ll require this catch can most.

However, the thing is most Ford vehicles except some sports cars don’t have this oil catch can and the Ford manufacturers also don’t recommend installing it on their designed vehicles. Therefore, Ford users are sometimes confused as to whether they should install it.

Well, to ascertain the above-mentioned fact, in this article, we’ll try to figure out why Ford doesn’t recommend this and what is their ultimate opinion about catch cans.

What is an oil catch can/separator on a vehicle?

Before you know what the manufacturer of your Ford vehicle says about installing an oil catch can let’s talk about in-details of it.

This is because surprisingly when we are figuring out the oil catch can issue on Ford vehicles, we have found out that some Ford users don’t actually know what it is and why they should install it or shouldn’t install it on their car engines system. 

So, after seeing this, we have considered that we should discuss and also let you know what is an oil catch can and what is the purpose of installing it on your vehicle. So, you have a clear idea about it that will help you to decide whether your Ford vehicle requires it or not.

Oil Catch Cans

Oil catch cans or separators are typical devices that are placed between the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve and the cam or crankcase.

When your car’s engine is in a functional state, it produces an excess amount of oil vapors that usually pass through the engine’s piston seals. And, finally, this vapor goes into the intake manifold or crankcase ventilation system of your vehicle which may cause serious engine damage.

To prevent this engine issue, oil catch cans help to capture and reduce those re-circulated oil vapors. By doing so, it prevents the damage of oil seals and the buildup of not only re-burned oil but also the other contaminants inside the intake manifold of the vehicle’s engine.

Basically, lubrication of the piston is really important if you want better engine performance. However, the thing is, this lubrication process generates an oil blow-by into the air intake of your car’s engine. In this case, installing an oil catch can device will help you to avoid this incident by stopping the oily blowby.

Besides, it will assist in enhancing the engine efficiency, and stopping the oil blowby cycles will fresh the air. Overall, it prevents disruptive idle shaking of the vehicle, unexpected pre-ignition failures, etc., and keeps the engine of your vehicle in a better condition which is the ultimate purpose of an oil catch can.

Considering the above-mentioned reasons, Ford vehicle owners especially those having direct-injected engine’s want to fit the oil catch cans on the car’s crankcase. Usually, the DI engines get a great benefit from this oil separator.

This is because direct-injected engines spray fuel directly into the engine’s cylinder. Therefore, it’s not possible to prevent the buildup of gunk, unfortunately causing engine issues.

In this case, if you plug the catch cans into the hose line, it will catch deposits and contaminants before these buildups reach the engine intake and thus act as a fuel filter.

image 2
A flow chart showing the entire oil catch can work process

Blow-By Gases and Positive Crankcase Ventilation System

By now you have already known about oil catch cans and their purposes, however, before we demonstrate the oil catch can issue on Ford vehicles, let’s talk about their existence in the very first place.

But for this, you have to understand a couple of significant terms including blow-by and the positive ventilation system of your vehicle’s engine.


Let’s talk first about blow-by gases. Blow-by gases are the result of the engine’s combustion event that drives the piston seals in the internal combustion engine.

Here, the gas and air are stored and are being ignited by the spark plug and causing a blast. Due to the explosion, most of the remnants are pushed out through the engine’s exhaust valves.

However, here, the thing is still there are small amounts of fuel/ gas mixture left that don’t get the chance to expel. And thus, these leftover gas mixtures are typically pulled down the past rings and goes into the crankcase which is termed as blow-by gas.

In the forced induction application, these blow-by gases are significantly increased since the pressure inside the cylinder of the engine is also increased. Now, these burned vapors or blow-by gases require a suitable place so they can escape properly.

Well, until the early 1960s these blow-by gases would either sneak out gaskets or seals or a road draft tube at the time that was essentially the first iteration of a compatible crankcase ventilation system. However, unfortunately, this road draft tube wasn’t that constrainedly ideal.

This is because it led to a bunch of environmental pollution and produced a strong odor when the vehicle was idle. Besides, if the tube ever got clogged, the pressure from the cylinder would force that entire unburned vapor to go through several gaskets or seals that ultimately lead to the oil leak.

image 3
A flow chart of Blow-by events

Positive Crankcase Ventilation System

As you see, the blow-by gases from the internal combustion engines cause oil leak due to the clogged tube, it led to the implementation of the positive crankcase ventilation system which is short for PCVs on most new vehicles by the year 1964.

This PCVs system was typically the first control emission device of the vehicle and it’s actually been in vehicles pretty much ever since.

The Positive crankcase ventilation re-routed or re-cycled the blow-by gases back into the engines through a PCV valve instead of dumping those entire unburned vapors back into the atmosphere. Moreover, during this time, a series of hoses are to be burned off through the combustion process all over again.

Well, it may sound good, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case exactly. This is because all of that blow-by gases or unburned oil mixtures actually don’t get rerouted back into your vehicle’s engine through the engine’s intake manifold.

Therefore, these unburned fuels or gases can be re-ingested by your engine. Here the significant issue is this stuff is basically oily and sticky. Thus, over time, they get stuck in the areas that are not absolutely ideal which include also the intake manifold of your vehicle’s engine along with the intake valve’s backside.

Here, the point is if you have a DI-engine such as the 11-14 3.5 liter Ecoboost engine of a Ford vehicle, it can lead to valve coking which will be turned into a big issue over time. This valve coking is basically the extreme buildup of junk deposits, you will find on the backside of your engine’s intake valves.

The buildup of the junk will cause engine damage and thus you will experience poor engine performance, rough idle, misfires, and even more than that.

These issues are found on those early 3.5 liters Ecoboost Ford trucks which indicates that they lacked a port fuel injector so it can clean the backside of those intake valves. Considering this issue, the manufacturer Ford decides to include port fuel injectors alongside their direct-injected engine set up in 2015.

Hence, the unburned oil vapor still coats the engine’s intake manifold although there are now port injectors. Therefore, it causes engine issues and sometimes it even dilutes the fuel’s octane ratings in extreme situations.

Moreover, while figuring out this catch can issue, we have found out many examples regarding the oil leak issues, engine damage issues, etc.

The Opinion of Ford Vehicle Users Upon Installation Of Catch Cans

We have diagnosed this issue by visiting many Ford forums and also been informed of their views on the installation of catch cans on their engine’s Ford vehicle.

Surprisingly, we’ve found a lot of controversy surrounding the installation of these catch cans. You will be astonished to know that some users spoke in favor of it and some spoke in reverse.

According to some Ford users, they claim that installing an oil catch can on their DI-engine Ford vehicle helps to prevent valve problems. Besides, this catch can device also keeps the entire crap out of the intake, compressor of the turbo engine, intercooler, piping, etc. of their vehicle.

As the intercoolers of Ford vehicles are easily coated with inefficient oil and not only the throttle bodies but also the sensors get fouled with the buildup junk, they need to be cleaned more frequently to get better engine performance. Therefore, they go for installing oil catch cans on their vehicles.

However, some users also report that after installation of catch cans on their Ford Ecoboost truck, they had experienced several engine-related issues, oil leak issues and thus got code on their vehicle for the PCVs system.

They said that they found some oil on the vehicle’s air filter that was coming from just the fresh sideline causing code-related issues.

That is not expected as an oil catch can device was installed there to capture the excess oil. However, since the vehicle still threw the error codes, it indicates that there occurs more likely to engine damage and thus the vehicle down the road.

Besides, some also claimed that they experienced freezing issues. The users who live in a cold climate that is generally prone to freeze experience this freezing problem, if they forget to empty their installed catch cans.

As a result, the moisture that remains inside the catch can lines will freeze and thus will cause serious engine damage to the vehicle.

Not only that but also, the Ford users said that due to the installation of a catch can on their Ford vehicles, Ford void the warranty as it’s kind of a modification and doesn’t belong on the vehicle. Therefore, Ford didn’t recommend installing an oil catch can ever.

Although some users claim that voiding an entire warranty is not possible due to installing a single modification. This is because according to federal law, the Ford manufacturers have to prove that this catch can modification causes the engine or other failure if they deny repairing and fixing the issue.

What does the Ford manufacturer say about installing catch cans?

So far, we have discussed in detail what the catch cans are on a vehicle, and some other important terms and highlights several opinions of the Ford users about installing catch cans on their vehicle.

All right, now come to our main concern that is what the Ford manufacturer says about installing catch cans on their designed Ford vehicle.

Well, there is a quote that is if the Ford vehicle actually needed oil catch cans the Ford engineers must design to include it.

As we have mentioned above, Ford claims it as a modification and thus won’t recommend installing it on their designed Ford vehicle. Besides, Ford thinks that placing catch cans isn’t a good idea ingesting it into the Positive crankcase ventilation or breather system of your vehicle.

Moreover, not only the Ford engineers but also the GM engineers also said that oil catch cans are predominantly considered a gimmick device that just creates a few extra bucks on the vehicle’s engine modifications.

Besides, Ford simply stated that catch cans are not truly the savior of the direct-injected engines although some users claimed that. They said that installing a catch can between the valve and the crankcase causes engine damage over time although it seems now a normal modification.

And therefore, they usually limit and void the powertrain warranty for a catch can. Although we have found that Ford uses oil catch cans on their designed Ford race vehicles for aesthetics including super mustangs.

Furthermore, there isn’t any beneficial proof regarding installing catch cans for the long term, thus as per Ford and some users also say that it will be a waste of money. And for this single modification, it will not be a wise decision to destroy your powertrain and mechanical parts warranty.

So, based on the above discussion, it is clearly noted that if the catch can is really that necessary, Ford manufacturers would have engineered and included it on the Ford vehicle.

Here, this catch can issue was actually with the DI- engines, and Ford has these DI engines on their 2.7L and 2.3L Eco-boost F150 trucks. So, users may worry about choking the valves, however, the thing is Ford manufactures a newer generation of engines in their F150 vehicles that have Port injection instead of having Direct injection.

Besides, as we know, since 2018, Ford added port injection back into the 3.5 liters Ford Ecoboost truck motor. Therefore, the coking of the valve won’t be a worrisome issue at all. And, if you use good quality synthetic oil, it will also prevent leaking of the recycled oil and gas mixtures.

Ford vehicle modelsEngine
2.3L Eco-boost F150 trucksDirect-injected turbo engine
2.7L Eco-boost F150 trucksDirect-injected turbo engine
3.5L Eco-boost F150 trucksPort fuel and direct-injected (PFDI) engine

This Video Will Help You Too!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does the Ford manufacturer recommend installing a catch can?

The short answer is a No. Ford doesn’t recommend installing a catch can and also you actually don’t require it for your vehicles newer than the model 2018.

Do catch cans void your Ford vehicle’s warranty?

For a single modification such as installing a catch can, Ford can’t void the entire powertrain warranty. However, here, the worst thing, in this case, is that Ford just denies a specific fixation for a single and specific modification.

Should you put a catch can on your Ecoboost truck?

Basically, you don’t need to put a catch can on your Ecoboost truck as the Ecoboost vehicle got not only the Port but also direct fuel injection. So, installing this one is no longer really necessary.
Besides, the Ford engineers also don’t recommend putting this catch can on Ecoboost engine vehicles since they require great maintenance.

Can a catch can device damage the Ford engine?

The Ford vehicle users usually use catch cans on their Ecoboost vehicles having direct-injected engines. However, the thing is some catch cans allow the vent out of the pressure using a small-sized breather filter.
Therefore, the unburned vapors tend to stay inside the crankcase ventilation and the longer the recycled mixtures stay in it, the more the vapors will condense which causes the internal engine components damage and ultimately leads to thin engine oil.

Final Verdict

So, we have finally reached the last section of our article regarding the topic- What does Ford say about catch cans? Well, we have tried to clearly explain the catch can issue in detail about what the Ford opinion is and whether you should install it or not on your Ford vehicle.

Although DI-engine vehicles are benefitted amazingly by using oil catch cans, however, to be honest, any vehicle can run without using a catch can. Besides, no one ever recommends you to install the catch can on the very first day.

Yet, if you really need a modification regarding the catch can system, installing a good one will be absolutely a great modification.

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James Noah

Ah! Driving your King has no twist when you have zero knowledge! Yes, Noah is here with his core experiences about trucks, cars, suvs and atvs. Working as a cheif editor for Automasterx to make you satisfied with solid data driven post.

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