Cleaning or replacing the air filter element is one of the most important inspection work. But that is what is often forgotten. With fatal consequences! Because soiled or even defective air filters can cause considerable damage. We help you.
Press your hand to your mouth – firm! Take a deep breath. Does not work? Well, your vehicle feels the same way if the air filter is dirty, wet or even muddy. The task of the air filter is to filter the air drawn in by the engine and to prevent dirt particles from entering. The foam “lungs” eke out their existence in the air filter box, which has to be kept extremely clean. If all of this is no longer guaranteed, dirt, sand or other foreign matter can get into the combustion chamber and lead to heavy wear on piston rings and cylinders. In the worst case, even major engine damage can result. In addition, the filters are generally adapted to the intake performance of your engine. If the filter is clogged, the engine tries to draw in more fuel. The result is a richer mixture, poor combustion and ultimately reduced engine performance. Some engine stuttering can be eliminated by cleaning the air filter.
It’s actually very easy
The air filter box is usually easily accessible. A clear indication from the designers that you should look here often. Down the bench and the thing is accessible. Remove the cover of the air filter housing to remove the filter element. Most of our quads and ATVs are made of a foam element soaked in air filter oil. But there are also different types of filters. Dry air filter with filter inserts made of folded paper and permanent air filter with wire mesh. Depending on the model, paper filters last a few thousand kilometers. Permanent air filters also last a long time, special covers provide additional protection. You clean this type of filter with a special liquid and blow it through with compressed air. After drying, it is sprayed with a special oil.
However, our common wet air filters with foam insert have to be cleaned more frequently. Off-road drivers in particular should check it out often. It is no coincidence that racing drivers always carry clean and prepared air filter inserts with them. The filter element is dismantled, removed from its holder and washed out with cleaning agent. Please never use gasoline, as the foam in the filter can be damaged. Either blow out the filter with compressed air or allow it to air dry. Never wring it out! The filter can tear or lose its shape. Finally, the cleaned and dried foam is oiled. Ideally with special air filter oil. Motor oil is also possible. If you squeeze the filter, no oil should drip off. Too much oil pollutes the vehicle, dirt sticks when the oil escapes from the also dirty air filter box. If, on the other hand, the oil pulls delicate threads, similar to a cobweb, then it has been treated correctly. When installing, you have to make sure that the sealing edge of the filter fits snugly everywhere. Sometimes old foam elements cause problems, they are “worn out”. Replacement costs only a few euros. With a new filter insert you proceed as with the used one. Uniform coloring is important.
Before installation, you should coat the sealing edge with grease. It works like a seal. Now even the smallest grains of sand have a hard time getting between the air filter and the housing. It is also important to take a quick look at the connections in the entire intake system. The cleanest air filter is of no use if the little bastards are sucked in elsewhere through holes in the plastic, loose connections.
Text: Ralf Wilke; Photos: archive