Scheduling preventive maintenance and repairing identified defects helps to control your running costs and stay competitive in your market space - and one key area to focus on when it comes to your preventive maintenance plan is your engine air filter and HVAC cabin filters.
Failure to identify when these filters require replacement can destroy a $50,000 engine or create a $2,000 air conditioning job due to compressor failure.
Understanding when to replace an engine air filter can be tricky. First off, never remove an air filter unless you intend to replace it. The inner seal on an air filter compresses slightly when installed. If you remove the filter and reinstall it in the air filter housing, the seal will not spring back enough to prevent the engine from pulling dirt and sand around the seal and into the engine. This could totally destroy the engine, or at best, require an in-frame.
Fortunately, a restriction gauge and a tracking sheet can help you decide exactly when it’s time to replace. Every time you service your vehicle, document the restriction reading and the truck. Use logic to determine if the restriction on the gauge is realistic or just a false high reading due to your truck running through an abundance of rain, which will cause the gauge to move and show a high restriction.
Use logic to determine if the restriction on the gauge is realistic or just a false high reading due to your truck running through an abundance of rain, which will cause the gauge to move and show a high restriction.
Reset the gauge, run another trip and then recheck it. If it goes past 18 inches of restriction or hits the red scale, you need to replace the filter.
Finally, keep a close eye on the HVAC filter, which is usually on the driver’s side under the hood. This filter can be removed and visually checked.
This process of checking and maintaining filters may sound simple, but experience tells me that it is not often done. So, watch those filters and you will be able to watch your money stay in your bank account longer.