Why Air Filter Oil is Essential for Your Vehicle

Air filter oil has special additives mixed with it which helps solve problems like accumulation of engine oil in an air box or being sucked into an intake tract.

Why Air Filter Oil is Essential for Your Vehicle

Air filter oil, whether sprayed or removed from a bottle, is designed to penetrate foam cells and evaporate, leaving a sticky residue that traps foreign particles. Remember to apply oil generously to the filter. The purpose of the oil is to prevent dirt and debris from passing through. If you're in trouble, you can use regular engine oil in your air filter.

If you're old school, you've probably done it on many occasions. The problem is that engine oil accumulates in the air box, is distributed unevenly and can be sucked in through the intake tract. Air filter oil has special additives mixed with the oil to solve these problems. The air filter is designed to capture debris, dirt and other contaminants, but not oil. Occasionally, when a local service mechanic replaces an air filter, the technician will indicate that engine oil has been found, either inside the air cleaner housing or embedded within the used filter.

While oil entering the air filter is usually not a sign of catastrophic engine failure, it should definitely not be neglected. Let's examine the top 3 reasons why oil enters the air filter in the first place. A second potential source of engine oil leakage in the air cleaner housing is due to worn piston rings. The piston rings are installed on the outer edge of the pistons inside the combustion chamber. The rings are intended to create a combustion ratio and allow small quantities of engine oil to continue to lubricate the internal combustion chamber during each stroke of the piston.

When the rings wear out, they loosen and can cause oil to “escape”, usually shown by blue smoke coming out of the car's exhaust pipe while driving. In the early stages of worn piston rings, excessive oil leakage can cause excessive pressure to build up inside the crankcase, sending more oil through the PCV valve and ultimately to the air inlet, as noted above. What is the solution? If you notice engine oil in the air cleaner or intake housing, a professional mechanic might recommend a compression test. This is where a mechanic will install a compression gauge in each individual spark plug hole to check the compression of each cylinder. If the compression is lower than it should be, worn piston rings are often the culprit.

Unfortunately, this repair isn't as easy as replacing a PCV valve. If worn piston rings are determined to be the source, it might be a good idea to start looking for a replacement vehicle, as replacing the pistons and rings will likely cost more than the value of the vehicle. The last possible reason engine oil enters the air intake system and eventually clogs the air filter is due to clogged oil ducts. This symptom usually occurs when the engine oil and filter have not been replaced as recommended. It is caused by excessive carbon deposits or by the development of engine sludge inside the crankcase.

When oil does not flow efficiently, excessive engine oil pressure will be created, causing additional oil to pass through the PCV valve and into the air intake. What is the solution? In this case, sometimes changing the engine oil, filter, PCV valve and replacing the dirty air filter is enough. However, if clogged oil galleys are discovered, it is generally recommended to flush the engine oil and replace the oil filter at least twice in the first 1,000 miles to ensure that the engine oil galleys are free of debris. Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in more than 2,000 U. S.

UU. Fast and Free Online Quotes for Your Car Repair. Oiled filter material relies on oil tackiness to trap contaminants, while more open media allow for higher flow. The oil acts as an adhesive trap for incoming air pollutants, providing an important layer of protection to keep the air free of debris. Usually, these filters are pre-greased with a specific amount so that they can fall directly without the user having to do anything. Greased filters are what you see in most racing applications (except off-road).

They are not always conical as shown above. Many companies offer a direct drop in replacement of the standard air filter, and there is often a slight increase in performance. As I just mentioned, high-performance air filters have larger pores to allow greater airflow for greater performance. To ensure clean air flow, high-performance air filters are greased. This oil works as a second line of defense to prevent impurities from entering.

High-performance air filters are the only type that uses oil; the others are restrictive enough to trap impurities. In comparison, an oil filter traps debris that enters the crankcase. Filter does nothing to protect piston rings, cylinders, or induction system. If the air cleaner is doing its job, the amount of outside dirt found inside should be minimal. The main function of the oil filter should be to trap microscopic wear particles from the mechanical components of the engine.

Most of these are micron-sized particles that cause minimal wear and tear. The primary concern is debris in the 10 to 40 micron size range that can damage crankshaft bearings, turbo shaft bearings, hydraulic lifters, or cam phasers with variable valve timing. Before talking further about the reasons why you find oil in the air cleaner, you need to understand the operation of the air cleaner. But what happens when there is oil in the air filter? This can be catastrophic and is often the result of a “leak”, a situation where flue gases leave your chamber and enter the crankcase. Apply some oil to the filter once it dries and clean the filter cage before reinstalling it. When the air filter is clogged with impurities, fuel efficiency and engine power may decrease. Greased filters flow more air through their media because they are made of a more open cotton material that is covered with a thin layer of oil.

Many people use dry filters in these environments because there....

Suzette Childres
Suzette Childres

Extreme sushi junkie. Typical zombie fan. Friendly music enthusiast. Professional pop culture geek. Hipster-friendly social media evangelist. Typical pop culture scholar.

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