How to Maintain an Oiled Air Filter

oiled air filterAir filters come in lots of different varieties.  Cone filters, panels filters, fabric, foam, paper, they all have their benefits and drawbacks.  For example, panel filters are very easy to install and can be very space-efficient when they need to be.  Foam filters can do a great job filter air even in very dusty environments and can be washed and reused rather than just thrown away.

The ability to wash and reuse an air filter is a huge advantage.  For starters disposable air filters are wasteful, but they can also be expensive.  If you change your air filter as often as it gets clogged the cost can really add up.  Besides being expensive, disposable air filters also don’t always filter as efficiently.

When it comes to filter efficiency, you need to look at how small of a particle they can filter out of the air, but also how much they restrict airflow.  These two things are often reciprocal in nature meaning the better the filter is at removing dirt and debris from the air, the worse it is and allowing air to flow easily into your engine.

The best of both worlds is to use an oiled air filter.  A fabric or foam filter with a large weave will allow air to flow easily into your engine and the oil on the fabric will catch dirt and debris very efficiently.  Once the oil gets dirty from collecting junk from the air you can simply wash the dirty oil off and re-oil the filter. To find out how to wash your oil air filter, check out our article on air filter cleaning.

Once you’ve got your air filter completely cleaned out it’s important to let it dry.  If you install a wet filter into your vehicle you can risk engine damage. Leaving your filter in the sun and leaving it by a fan can help speed up the filter drying.  Once you have a clean dry filter you’ve got to oil it. If you install an oiled air filter dry it won’t have nearly the ability to filter the air that it should which will allow contamination to enter your engine.  

Choosing the right kind of filter oil is essential to the correct operation of your air filter.  If you’ve got a fabric filter like a panel or cone filter use PJ1 Fabric Air Filter Oil to oil it before install.  If you’ve got a foam filter use PJ1 Foam Air Filter Oil.  In both cases, it’s important to make sure the filter is completely covered in oil.  With a fabric filter, coat both sides of the filter with oil. After allowing it to dry, check the filter for complete coverage.  With a foam air filter, spray the foam with oil then massage the filter to work the oil through the foam.  

Now you’re ready to ride with maximum power!  Don’t forget to check your filter often for clogging especially if you are riding in dirty or in a dusty area.