Diesel Engine Air Filtration Maintenance Tips

Heavy-duty filtration is easy to take for granted. High-performance filters keep engine and cabin air clean, allowing the driver and diesel power plant to breathe deeply. As the filters become more efficient over time, they reach a tipping point when they need a little truck maintenance.

“If you ignore the diesel engine air filter long enough, it’s not going to end well,” noted Donald Chilton, Director of Product Management, Wix Filters. “Just like our body, ignoring maintenance does not lead to a good result. An air filter protects the most vital areas of the engine. Once it fails to protect you from 99.9% of what If it ingests, you are guaranteed to replace an engine Rings, pistons, liners, turbos, etc. are all going to face contamination and guaranteed failure.

It only takes 8 ounces of dirt to destroy a heavy truck engine, noted Wix Filters. This fact makes Wix air filters, which are 99.9% efficient, critical to the life of an engine. When it comes time to replace the air filter, your engine air filter maintenance checklist should include:

• Make sure the housing, conduits, clamps and fasteners are in good working order. Leaks downstream of filters can allow dirt and other contaminants to enter the clean air stream.
Make sure the spillway valve is working properly;
• Remove the filter carefully so that contaminants remain in the filter;
• Replacement of the interior or safety air filter according to the schedule recommended by the vehicle manufacturer;
• Make sure filter is properly installed and clamps, bolts or wing nuts are properly tightened. Do not overtighten the plastic wing nuts; and
• Always follow the instructions provided with the filter.

If you’re wondering if you’re running your air filters too long, Chilton noted that dirt in the air filter housing is a telltale sign that you need to tighten up your air filter maintenance schedule. And this is one of the first signs.

“If severe enough and the user ignored the warning signs, the filter could disintegrate,” Chilton warned. “If you think about the volume of air flowing through the filter, it’s huge. The engine continues to pump and sucks in a huge stream of air. If the filter breaks down, you’ll find urethane, metal, or adhesive somewhere it’s not supposed to be.

And it’s not just air and debris that can cause air filter problems.

“We saw rodents, nests, nuts, bags and all kinds of trash inside the air filter housing,” he said.

When performing maintenance, it is also important to replace the air filter with a new one. Banging it on the side of the truck or running it under water to clean it can be disastrous.

“Cleaning the air filter is always 100% a bad idea,” Chilton pointed out. “Even if you don’t intend to damage the filter media, you will. Trying to clean the filter creates tiny holes in the media as particles are blown or washed away. The holes are not visible to your eyes, so don’t. Motors are expensive and filters are cheap. The risk versus the reward simply doesn’t add up.

The air filtration media will be a key indicator of filter quality when stocking new filters. Wix air filters, for example, feature raised pleats and pleat-stabilizing beads that help the filter hold more dirt and last longer. You also want to make sure your filter of choice fits snugly inside the air filter housing. Wix Premium Heavy Duty Air Filters take the extra expense out of adding metal end caps with handles, which makes installation easier and helps ensure the filter is one with the housing to protect the motor.

For more information on Wix’s line of Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Air Filters, visit the Wix website.

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