Sweeping Tip Clipboard

Lengthen Air Filter Life

Paul Cripps, owner of Idaho's PC Maintenance, sent us this creative moneysaving idea:

Over the long-run, air filters are an expensive routine maintenance item. At about $10 apiece, they add up. We have found that stretching a piece of panty hose around our filter, after first spraying it with WD-40, picks up a lot of the fine dust that isn't otherwise stopped. I change this 'pre-cleaner' out about every 20 to 30 hours, before it gets too plugged up.

Editor's Note:Although it sounds fine on the surface, this Tip can lead to trouble unless precautions are taken. For one, be certain to get the okay from the manufacturer of your engine, because if you don't you may well void your warranty. Also don't cover any portion of the rubber gasket which secures the filter to the housing. It would interrupt the seal there, and allow more dust to 'wick' in underneath.

We also spoke to John Sandkamp, project engineer with Donaldson Filter, Co., about the idea. His concern was that there was no data on how the petroleum in the WD-40 might affect the paper element of the air cleaner filter, and that it may potentially degrade it. Also, because it isn't pleated, panty hose doesn't have nearly the surface area of pleated paper. As a result, frequent changeouts would have to be the norm; which is no real problem as long as you don't have to disturb the air cleaner filter when changing the 'panty hose pre-cleaner' out.

Thanks to Paul for his Tip. Have an idea that would be helpful to others in the industry? Please let us know what it is.

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