Cleaning Your Roush Air Filter


Well-Known Member
First Name
Jul 27, 2020
Reaction score
Toronto, Ontario
2019 XLT SuperCab
Vehicle Showcase
The Roush CAI filter for the 5g Ranger is oil-free and easy to clean and you likely have everything on-hand. I like to clean mine every oil-change or if I notice the air box has a lot of debris. This isn’t like a paper filter where you just hold it up to a trouble light to see if it’s okay and then take the compressed air to it, to blow it out. It‘s a performance part - it requires proper maintenance.

Disconnect the sensors, loosen clamps, unfasten air box clips, and lift off the air box cover, being careful not to catch any wires or the coolant overflow hose. Cover your inlet pipe with a cloth so you don’t get any debris in there.


Inspect the filter for damage and debris. Mine looked fairly clean but I knew it would be very dirty.


Loosen the clamp that holds the cone filter to the air box cover and remove the filter.

If it’s really dirty, tap the filter on the ground to loosen any debris. Rinse the filter in a bucket of clean water to remove the majority of the dust and debris. You can see the ring of debris on the sides of this bucket and the water is a bit murky.


Spray the filter inside and out with a good cleaner or mild degreaser. I use Simple Green. Let that soak for ten minutes or more - while you wait, empty the bucket and refill it with a solution of cleaner/degreaser and water.

Rinse the filter from the inside out with a light spray from the hose. Don’t spray the hose on the outside of the filter or you will drive contaminants deep into the filter.


Spray the outside of the filter once more with a bit of cleaner/degreaser. Using a clean detailing brush and a gentle touch, brush any debris from the grooves in the filter - the cleaner should help suspend any particles.


Rinse again, as above and place the filter in the bucket of solution you prepared. Let it soak for at least an hour - longer if you can. You can do some other chores such as change your oil, clean your truck, or rotate your wheels, while you wait.


It’s also a good time to clean the air box cover - microfibre cloths are best for this - no lint.


Don’t forget the outside and don’t forget the protectant.


It’s also a good time to clean that dirty air box.


Use a vacuum to suck up all the dust and debris.


Follow that up with a damp cloth to get all the dust in the corners.


After soaking long enough, remove the filter and rinse it in a bucket of clean water and spray it withthe hose from the inside once again. You might want to reserve the solution to clean your wheels, engine bay, tools, bike, whatever.


Let the filter dry completely - overnight if you can.


DO NOT OIL THE FILTER - it is not meant to be oiled.

Attach the filter to the air box cover, remove the cloth covering your intake pipe and put it all back together, making sure you tighten all clamps and replace sensors.

Cleaning Instructions from the Roush Help Center are not very detailed but are available here…