Why You Should Clean Your ATV Air Filter And How To Do It

If you have an ATV or a four wheeler, then you have a fun piece of equipment that you can casually ride through the yard or use to go off-roading through the nearest mud puddle. While ATVs are wonderful pieces of recreation equipment, they do need care, just like your car. Much of the care you need to provide to your ATV is required to keep the engine in great shape. Keep reading to learn about why you need to change or clean the air filter and how you can do it. 

Why You Need To Change Or Clean The Air Filter Often

If you have a car, then you may know that it is advisable to change the air filter inside the engine compartment every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. This is not very often and translates to an air filter change about once every one to three years. However, this same time period should not be used when changing the air filter in your four wheeler.

The air filter likely needs to be changed quite a bit more often than this, for several reasons. The engine in your car is covered completely by the hood and the front grill, and air moves into the engine compartment through the grill. The small openings are meant to keep some of the dirt and debris from infiltrating the engine. Your four wheeler has a much more open construction, and more dirt can get into the filter. While the filter is encased in a housing, like your car, the air pulled through the filter will typically contain more dirt, and the filter is much smaller than the one on your vehicle. 

Also, you are much more likely to drive through piles of dirt and mud with your four wheeler than your car. A good rule of thumb is to change or clean the air filter if you and the ATV are covered in dirt after a ride. The filter will likely be dirty too.

If you do not change the air filter as often as you should, then your ATV will not have as much power as it should. The clogged filter will prevent air from moving into the engine compartment, which is essential for proper combustion of the fuel and good engine torque. A dirty filter can also let some dirt move into the engine, and this can damage its interior. Piston damage is also likely, especially if you have a four-cycle engine instead of a fuel-injected one. Engine damage can result in the need for a rebuild. 

Cleaning The Filter

Unlike your car, ATVs have air filters that can be cleaned, and you can clean the filter several times, until it becomes permanently stained or encrusted with debris. Most filters will sit underneath the seat of the four wheeler, so lift up the seat and look for the filter housing. Remove the bolts from the housing and lift it up. You will see either a foam or a pleated fabric filter. 

Remove the filter and use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to vacuum the filter. If the filter still appears dingy, then you can wash it. There are several ways you can do this. Many filters can be placed in your washing machine or dishwasher to clean them thoroughly. This is often a good idea if you notice a green tinge to the filter. This means that mold spores have gathered inside. The heat from your dishwasher and washer can kill the mold spores and remove them, but make sure you are using the high heat setting on the appliances.

Once the filter is washed, stick it in your dryer to dry it. Once the filter is dry, purchase a spray can of air filter oil. This product may be foreign to you if you have never changed the filter. The product is a penetrating oil that clings to the filter and collects dirt. This allows some air to move through the filter even if you fly through a dirt mound for several hours. You will want to completely saturate the filter with the oil. Replace it when you are finished. 

If you notice that your Kazuma ATV needs to have some parts replaced while you're cleaning the filter, contact a company like Kazuma of America.