Sparesbox Blog

How To Clean Your Air Filter

By Linda Quan

Wed May 13 2020

Given the sudden and unwelcome downturn in how much use our vehicles are seeing, it’s important to find ways to be productive, and ensure that when you get to take your baby for a spin in the future that it’s ready to rock.

So today we’re going to look at cleaning your air filter. Why exactly is it so important, and how exactly do you do it.

Put simply, your air filter strips out all the dust, particulates and sundry other crap from the air that roars through your system while you’re driving. To get the right performance out of your vehicle there’s a specific mixture of air versus fuel required for the combustion process. A clogged, blocked, or dirty air filter can’t regulate air properly, so your vehicle’s performance suffers. 

Over time, in addition to the inefficiencies created in the system, your engine also becomes prone to degradation from all the bits of gunk that your air filter is no longer able to catch. So your air filter, despite being a relatively inexpensive part in your car, can mean all the difference when it comes to avoiding damage or big mechanic bills down the road.

First things first, if you’ve got yourself a paper air filter, you don’t need to clean it, you need to replace it. Paper filters typically last your vehicle anywhere between 30,000 and 50,000km but will degrade once they’ve been in use for 3 years or more, whichever comes first. Grab a replacement filter at Sparesbox today. We highly recommend upgrading to a cotton filter, by the way.

For anyone with a cotton air filter, you’ve got 3 easy steps and you’re on your way. We highly recommend using K&N’s Power Kleen kit as it has everything you’ll need to return your cotton filter back to its absolute best.

First, use the Power Kleen cleaner in the kit to spray down your air filter liberally on both sides, leaving it to sit for 10 minutes but no longer. This breaks down any caked-on dirt that’s accumulated during use, and makes it easier to clean off in the next steps. 

Second, use cool water to spray the rest of the filter cleaner off your filter, then give it a bit of a shake and let it drip dry. Don’t try to rush the drying with a towel or sponge as this will just apply microfibres back to the filter and defeat the purpose of this whole operation.

Third, when the filter is completely dry once again, reapply the supplied filter oil. Sqeeze the oil along the ridge of each individual pleat, ensuring full cover for the entire part. K&N filter oil is great for this as it sinks into the filter quickly and stays there until its next cleaning. Let the oil sink in for 20 minutes; any sections that are lighter than the rest at this point haven’t been sufficiently covered in oil, so touch those up as needed.

And there you have it. Your air filter is as good as new, and ready for your next adventure.