LawnSite Gold Member
With the cost of things these days and the profit margins being what they are, I am trying to run things as long as I can and save a few dollars. I know an air or oil filter is not something to stretch too long before changing but I wanted to know how long everybody else runs theirs and how do you clean them. For the last 2 seasons I have been washing mine in warm soapy water and letting them dry overnight. I read in one of my manuals not to use compressed air to blow them out because it would mess up the pleats or something. One filter is not too bad, but all total I now have 13 I have to keep up with. Any ideas, what do ya'll do with yours?<p>Homer


LawnSite Bronze Member
We clean/re-oil the foam weekly and replace all air filters the first Tuesday of every month.


LawnSite Senior Member
Central Florida
Hey Homer. I was wondering if your Choppers had a pre filter system? The Walker I run has a Donaldson pre-filter. I've been told not to blow them also. I do anyway from the intake side out. Every two days is enough to keep the primary filter looking new. I check it anyway , but it never needs cleaning.<p>----------<br>Bobby <br>Ft Lauderdale

JJ Lawn

LawnSite Senior Member
Homer,I know that the cost of things is high and we need watch those profit margins, But.....<p>Air filters are cheap compaired to replacing an engine. I clean my air filters every day, and replace them every month whether they need it or not. Worth it to me. Dirt (IMO) is the #1 cause of engine failure. <p>Generally you can just tap the filter on a flat surface to shake the dirt out. Now you can and should wash the foam pre-cleaner, which if you usem them can help keep the filter cleaner, and extend the life. <p>Not too sure about washing paper filters though, seems to me that this can clog the pores of the paper filter? And using compressed air can make pores bigger. And any damage to the filter can let dirt in to the carburator, and it does not take too much dirt to prematurely wear an engine.<p>I have a Walker mower and one thing I did was to get the Donaldson Turbo air cleaner system which greatly reduces the dirt to the filter.<p><p><br>Jim<br>


LawnSite Silver Member
The paper filters are much more fragile then we all think. Like someone said earlier, the only thing you can really do to them w/o defeating they're purpose is tap the dirt out. During some preventive maintenance courses we took for our larger equipment (I would imagine smaller filters are even MORE fragile) They showed us a couple filters that had been cleaned various ways, and by looking at them you couldn't tell there was anything wrong with them. We looked at each under a microscope and.....(paper filters, not the foam pre filters)<p>water - closed up the pores, insuffeciant air intake to the machine<p>Compressed air - opened the pores up to 5 times original size, letting large articles of crap in to your engine <p>Not changing / dusting out filters - leaves the pores clogged, and eventually all the debris will be sucked in, opening the pours wider and wider. <p>It's worth it in the long run to do the proper factory preventive maintenance on equipment (if not better), rather then going through engines.<p>----------<br>&quot;guido&quot;<br>David M. Famiglietti


LawnSite Senior Member
Air filter is cheap insurance. We run mostly<br>diesel gear here and its a hell of a lot<br>cheaper to replace a filter than rebuild a<br>20k truck or tractor motor.With the diesel<br>filters I just blow them out ONCE with <br>compressed air and when they get dirty again <br>i throw them out.

Eric ELM

Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
Chicago, IL USA
I wash the foam prefilters out with gas/oil mix. The gas washes out the dirt, the oil coats it so it's ready to put back on.<p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>


LawnSite Senior Member
southern ontario
We wash our foam filters in soapy water then coat them lightly in oil. I'd like to say I'm right on top of it like everyone else, but we only do it probably once a week. The air filter we just smack on the ground and replace when its dirty.<p>----------<br>Dave in S.Ontario<br>


LawnSite Silver Member
Central CT
Same procedure as cutntrim. My paper filters will usually last a season as long as I keep the prefilter washed at least every 25hrs of run time.<p>Bill


LawnSite Member
Lexington, KY
I'd like to know a little more about this oil/gas mixture. What relative amounts of each are used, how long do they soak, how often, how long do you keep them, when do you change out filters and prefilters? Equipment maintenance is my one weak suit of the bunch and I know I need to learn more. Additionally, what kind of short courses can be taken to be better prepared/are there any good books out there?<br>TIA(thanks in advance)<p>----------<br>Integrated Landscape Solutions<br>Lexington, KY