Author Topic: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?  (Read 12829 times)

vsanjay

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Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« on: May 25, 2013, 03:53:11 AM »
My car's paper air filter comes surrounded by heavy plastic and rubber and I can't imagine throwing one of these every 10-15K km into the landfill. I've a spare filter because the service guys replaced mine when the car was still in warranty. Just today, I washed the spare filter and set it outside to dry (in shade). But I have my concerns about using this washed filter in the car. Google got me confused further.  So I wanted to find out from you guys what you think about doing this.

Also, a new filter costs around $10 for my car which is not cheap if your earning is in Indian rupees.

Thanks!

BlueMR2

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 06:23:04 AM »
It's not recommended.  If you want to reuse filters, they make a specific washable type.  Basically they are oiled cotton.  It costs more to buy initially and the cleaning procedure requires "degreasing" and then re-oiling it.

MrMoneyPinch

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 09:38:07 AM »
My advice is: don't.
Paper is bound to lose it's structure in water, and will become less porous (ever did paper mache?).
I second the suggestion for finding a reusable filter.  You usually can find those at auto parts stores or online.  K&N filters are expensive, but I am sure other brands exist. Cotton and oil are not inherently expensive materials, so I am sure you can find some made in India that will have a reasonable price for you.

Spork

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 09:44:52 AM »

As the others say: not advised, but....   You CAN make them last longer if you carefully blow them out with an air compressor.  Don't set the air too high as you might damage them.

I blow out the cars filters every now and then... but the tractor -- holy crap.  I blow that out after about every 10 hours of use.

vsanjay

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 09:49:40 AM »
Thank you all. My car's engine is dearer to me than a few rupees saved so I'll follow your advice and buy a new filter when the time comes. I bought my car (a hatchback) new 3 years ago (which I do regret not buying used given my usage, now that I have changed), and I plan to drive it to the ground. So I wouldn't take a chance with being cheap and destroy this beautiful machine.

Thanks again!

Greg

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 01:53:27 PM »
K&N type re-usable filters don't filter as well as stock paper elements so I'd stick with the paper element.  You can cover the inlet (if you can find it) with 1/4" mesh wire hardware cloth to prevent mice and other large debris getting in and causing premature clogging.

notquitefrugal

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2013, 07:09:39 PM »
I agree that it's not recommended. How dirty was the filter when you changed it? You'd be fine to run it longer than 10-15,000 kilometers if it's not clogged up with dirt.

Joel

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2013, 07:49:46 PM »

As the others say: not advised, but....   You CAN make them last longer if you carefully blow them out with an air compressor.  Don't set the air too high as you might damage them.

I blow out the cars filters every now and then... but the tractor -- holy crap.  I blow that out after about every 10 hours of use.

This is about the only way to prolong the life of an air filter, and it is vital in dusty conditions.
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notquitefrugal

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2013, 08:12:34 PM »
This is about the only way to prolong the life of an air filter, and it is vital in dusty conditions.

I've heard that tapping it against a hard surface can also help. In my area, car air filters still look almost new after 30,000 miles, unless you're driving off-road.

MrMoneyPinch

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2013, 07:54:25 AM »
K&N type re-usable filters don't filter as well as stock paper elements so I'd stick with the paper element.  You can cover the inlet (if you can find it) with 1/4" mesh wire hardware cloth to prevent mice and other large debris getting in and causing premature clogging.
That's why they have to be oiled.  If you follow the manual, those filters are just as good as paper.   I have kept my last car 10 years on one without adverse effects, and I can assure you the roads are *dusty* here after the snow melts :)

DirtBoy

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2013, 10:26:35 AM »
I used to be a K&N guy too.  Then I read these kinds of reports:

http://www.nicoclub.com/archives/kn-vs-oem-filter.html

And just by doing a visual inspection it is pretty clear that they do not filter as well.

Eric

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2013, 11:24:54 AM »
My car's paper air filter comes surrounded by heavy plastic and rubber and I can't imagine throwing one of these every 10-15K km into the landfill.

Holy cow, I can't imagine throwing one out at that interval.  Unless you drive on dirt roads daily, you will rarely need to change your air filter.  I'm talking like once every 50,000 miles rare (80K km), because that's how long it will take to get dirty.  No longer white does not equal dirty, except at the quick oil change places where they're trying to upsell you.
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Spork

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2013, 12:59:33 PM »
My car's paper air filter comes surrounded by heavy plastic and rubber and I can't imagine throwing one of these every 10-15K km into the landfill.

Holy cow, I can't imagine throwing one out at that interval.  Unless you drive on dirt roads daily, you will rarely need to change your air filter.  I'm talking like once every 50,000 miles rare (80K km), because that's how long it will take to get dirty.  No longer white does not equal dirty, except at the quick oil change places where they're trying to upsell you.

Maybe.  But if the owners manual says "every 15,000" I'd do it just to remain "in spec".  Sometimes it's not that it gets dirty, but that it starts to fall apart.

SnackDog

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2013, 01:01:00 PM »
We reuse paper towel in the kitchen.

Has anyone figured out a way to re-use toilet paper?  It's so expensive!

BlueMR2

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2013, 03:02:04 PM »
Unless you drive on dirt roads daily, you will rarely need to change your air filter.  I'm talking like once every 50,000 miles rare (80K km), because that's how long it will take to get dirty.  No longer white does not equal dirty, except at the quick oil change places where they're trying to upsell you.

I rarely drive on dirt roads, but find that they're pretty dirty by 15,000 miles and nearly completely clogged up by 30,000 miles.  :-)

George_PA

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2013, 11:10:48 PM »
vsanjay, you should try riding a bicycle or getting a scooter; if you get use of one of these, you will not need to worry about your air filter anymore


If you really want to try keeping your air filter, I would recommend taking a vacuum cleaner hose to it to suck out the dust, and avoid putting any water on it.


MrMoneyPinch

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2013, 11:11:29 AM »
I used to be a K&N guy too.  Then I read these kinds of reports:

http://www.nicoclub.com/archives/kn-vs-oem-filter.html

And just by doing a visual inspection it is pretty clear that they do not filter as well.
Wow, THAT's useful information!   These tests give a lot of interesting info.    the difference between 96 and 99% filtering is not that big, but to maintain the performance you have to clean the filter a lot more often.

Thanks!

vsanjay

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2013, 11:33:14 AM »
Well, now that I've sold away my car, this thread can be locked!

George_PA

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Re: Can you wash and reuse a car paper air filter?
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2013, 07:27:40 PM »
congratulations on selling your car; you can try out a bike to get exercise or use a scooter that uses less gas to run