Understanding The Importance Of Your Diesel Engine's Air Filter

Even if you take care of your diesel engine in every other way, you need to pay attention to your air filter. This one filter can, over time, cause damage to your diesel engine if left alone. As you should know, it's a lot better to maintain your engine than to have to replace it or purchase a new vehicle.

The Dangers of Neglecting Your Air Filter

Because air filters seem like the least important part of your diesel engine's operation, they're often the last thing that people check on. However, your air filter is of the utmost importance to your diesel engine. Keep in mind that diesel engines require large amounts of good air to burn fuel cleanly.

A bad air filter can allow for all types of contaminants to get into your engine. These contaminants won't only degrade your fuel economy, they can also eventually damage every part of your diesel engine.

Letting contaminants through occurs with damaged filters and cheap filters that can't block the smaller particles. The opposite problem can also occur. Your filter can clog up with contaminants. This too can lead to bad fuel economy, but it also can cause your engine to work harder to suck in the air that it needs.

Checking Your Air Filter

There's no real rule of thumb for checking your air filter. You should check the manufacturer's specifications. If you drive a lot, you will have to check it more often. If you drive a lot in dusty areas or on highly congested roads, then you need to check your filter even more often.

Some vehicles have a sensor that will let you know when it's time to check the air filter.  You can also install aftermarket air filter monitors. And while these things can help, they're not always the most accurate. Keep in mind that if you check it too often, you run the risk of introduction contaminants.

Dealing with Dirty Air Filters

When checking your air filter, turn off the engine and look in your cold air collector box. Give the filter a visual inspection.

A filter that looks dirty doesn't necessarily mean that it needs changing right away. After all, air filters will start to become dirty literally the moment you start driving. A good way to check it is to hold it up to the light. If light passes through, there's still life in it.

Another general thing you can do is to change it whenever you get an oil change. Air filters are relatively inexpensive and changing them out is better than wondering about them.

Purchase Quality Filters

One mistake that many people make is to purchase whichever air filter fits. That's not something you should do. Look for quality air filters from reputable manufacturers like Williams Oil Filter Service Co. Cheap air filters will not do you any favors. Quality diesel engine air filters will last, block the tiniest particles from getting through, and stay sturdy for a long time.