Your bike engine needs loads of air to run at full potential. A clean air filter will help to do that, but most bike owners often fail to maintain the air filter as is required. If air filters are damaged, which might happen with neglect, then they will let dust particles enter the combustion chamber, which will hamper the performance of your bike. Check out the ways to clean air filter of bike and keep it running smooth and easy!
How to clean air filter of bike
Whether your air filter is fabric or foam, the ways to clean it is almost the same. The drying process is quite different, as the two are very diverse materials. In both cases, the air filter has to be removed from the chamber and the dirt either knocked out or washed. To maintain motorcycle filter, it is best to clean after every 15,000 to 20,000 kms, but you might need to clean it sooner if your favorite sport is dirt bike riding.
Use air -filter cleaner
To clean air filter of bike, you have to use a cleaning solvent, which is recommended by the manufacturer. You have to knead this into the air filter gently, and the cleaner will get rid of the grime which has lodged inside the air filter. Bear in mind – not to use cleaners which are corrosive, which might clog the cleaner. And also, never squeeze or wring the cleaner.
Rinse, then wash
Put the air filter through several rounds of washing and rinsing, and the water should be warm. After that, use soapy water made out of dish soap to get rid of the grease. Do this a quite a few times, till the water does not look dirty. Then give a final rinse.
Let it dry thoroughly
Let the air filter dry completely, because if there is any moisture in the air filter, it may cause the bike’s engine to fail or underperform. Some people use air compressors to dry foam air filters faster. Fabric air filters dry faster just by air drying or tossing them into air a couple of times.
Clean the air box
Cleaning the air box is also essential, or else your work will be half done. Spray it lightly with a soap detergent, and let it remain for a while to soak in the dirt. Wipe down the air box /air filter compartment a couple of times with a wash cloth or clean microfiber, while you clean air filter of bike.
Oil the box
Saturate the dry air filter with just the right amount of oil. Too much oil, which makes it soggy, will restrict the airflow and affect the motorcycle’s performance. Too little oil will allow dust to come through and cause aging of the engine. So apply just the right amount of oil. At the end, apply grease to the lip of the filter as well as the mounting hole, so that the air filter is sealed in tightly inside.
Types of filters
There are three basic air filter types – paper, foam and cotton filters.
If you do not want the hassle of washing and rinsing, etc to maintain motorcyle filter, then you can use paper filters, as they are disposable. They are quite cheap too, and most bikes come with a stock of them. If you try to clean paper filters, you will just render them useless, as they will just break down.
You may be thinking why, if paper filters are so convenient, should you go for cotton or foam filters. It’s because paper filters may not remove all the dust and some dust does manage to go inside the engine. Cotton filters are denser and provide better protection, even though they are slightly more expensive, but the price is justified as you can clean and reuse cotton filters numerous times.
Ordinary dish soap may not work on some cotton filters, as they need special cleaning solvent. Most cotton filter manufacturers have complete cleaning kits which you can buy and get everything at one go. So, there is no need to hunt for cleaning solvent, as you will get what you require in the cotton air filter kit.
Foam air filters are considered to be the best for off-road bikes. Foam filters too, like cotton filters, can be reused. Foam air filters do not allow dust in, but some say they block air passage too. Though this could be true, the denser foam filters are better for dirt bikes or bikes which are used for off-roading, as they protect the bike engine in dustier and dirtier environments.
Whatever the kind of air filter you are using apart from paper filters, you should try to clean air filter of bike regularly to enhance the performance of your bike.