Thursday, June 23, 2011

Air Filters 101: Why, when and how to service my engine’s air filter

Why do I need to service my air filter? The air filters job is to filter out dust and dirt from the air entering the engine. Even a very small amount of dust will lead to rapid cylinder wear and high oil consumption, regardless of the age of the vehicle.
The dirt that is cleaned from the incoming air builds up on the air filter surface, as the dirt builds up, the resistance to air flow increases, at some point the dirt will be drawn through the filter element and into the engine causing premature engine wear and increased oil consumption.
Servicing a Foam Filter
Watch this video to see how to carry out the steps outlined below.
Step 1 – Remove the air filter from the ATV, then remove the foam element from the filter guide. TIP: The end cap is a press fit which will require a good pull to remove.
Step 2 – Soak the element in solvent for several minutes to break down the oil then rinse in solvent to remove as much dirt as possible.
Step 3 – Squeeze out the solvent and wash the element in warm soapy water, then rinse in clean water. Squeeze out the excessive water and let the element dry. Use rubber gloves.
Step 4 – (Don’t skip this step, it’s the most important of all) Apply a liberal amount Yamaha foam filter oil to the element. Completely saturate the entire foam element, and then squeeze out the excess filter oil.
TIP: Its difficult (and expensive) to fully saturate the element inside and out using aerosol foam filter oil. It can often require ½ a can per filter and any missed spots will result in engine damage, for this reason aerosol foam filter oil is not recommended.
Step 5 – install the element onto the filter guide, replace the end cap and re-install the filter assembly into the ATV.

Dirty air filter can result in engine damage
Dirty air filter can result in engine damage
When do I need to service my air filter? The actual miles or hours will vary widely. For someone riding in a low dust area that could be many miles and months. On the other extreme, as with desert riding in groups, it could be as little as a few hours. The only way to know for sure is to check it frequently. It’s quick and easy and much less hassle than replacing the cylinder, piston and rings.
You will know it is time to clean it when; a) Any part of the filter oil has dried out from dirt or debris as this spot has lost its ability to capture dirt. b) When any of the filter pores are completely blocked from dirt or debris causing reduced air flow.
More details:

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