Air Filter @ 67K..warning, GRAPHIC PICS!

JOD

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PNW/WA
I finally decided to change the air filter on my '05 Ford Freestyle. This is a Motorcraft filter. I installed this filter at 88K miles. I opened the air box up @ 92K and installed a restriction gauge--but didn't change the filter. I did actually visually inspect the filter one a year, but without removing it or opening the air box. I have to lift the air box out of the way to access the transmission dipstick, so I can look inside and inspect the filter without actually opening the box. The business end: [img:left][/img] Pleats opened up: [img:left][/img] Top side: [img:left][/img] The filter is 3.5 years old. I was going to go 4 years or until the restriction gauge told me to change it; however, since I had to open the box up once--and since I never went this long on a filter before--I was a bit concerned about the gasket material. I should mention that the filter gauge didn't move at all. The restriction was never more that 2kPa. I tested the filter minder when changing the filter and it works fine. My general thoughts: -the gasket was fine, still pliable and no cranks. -visually, it looked terrible on the underside--like it would be "choking the engine" -I didn't need to change it. But, since I already opened the air box, I did. I probably won't open the box for another 5 years. Given my climate/conditions, I probably don't need a restriction gauge. Time/gasket life will be the determining factor, not dirt. I plan on going 5 years on the next one, or if the filter gauge hits 4 kPa (which I seriously doubt will happen in 5 years). YMMV and all that. It's just not very dusty here, and the climate isn't harsh on gaskets. Flame away!
 

JOD

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Originally Posted By: satinsilver
Have you noticed a difference when accelerating?
Nope.
 
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5,172
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Great White North.. eh
Amazing... another example of testing and getting to the truth. I believe I've changed my air filter 3-4 times now, and I've got about 90k miles on the forester. I'm leaving the most recently installed filter in for a couple of years at least. Thanks for the pics, exactly what I come to BITOG for!
 
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4,574
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Merritt Island FL, USA
No flaming;) You probably live in one of (if not the best) area in the US for extended air filter use. Very clean air and constantly raining which removes particulate from the air. I have found 2 year/30k intervals to be appropriate in my neck of the woods, although I could probably extend as well.
 
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5,142
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Midwest
Originally Posted By: millerbl00
So again as with the OCI lets risk in my case a $17000 auto for a $20 air filter. No thanks
What are you really risking? I mean a dirty filter will actually let LESS particles through it. Unless there is a leak and you are getting excess silicon, there essentially is no risk here.
 
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15,689
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N.H, U.S.A.
Those who open up the airbox box and "overservice"say annually will do more engine damage than those who change a filter, lets say every 30K or 3 years. our forester airbox is notorious for allow dirt intrusion during servicing. I changed it at 36K (wife's car) and it looks like a large birds nest and a rats nest was on it. Long term ave gas mileage went down ~ 2 mpg on the DIC with the new filter likely due to improved airflow.
 
Last edited:
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5,503
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Florida
Originally Posted By: millerbl00
So again as with the OCI lets risk in my case a $17000 auto for a $20 air filter. No thanks
X2. I change the cabin air filter in my cars frequently not because the filter gets clogged but because it's DIRTY and i want to breath clean, fresh air, which went through a clean air filter. The same goes for my engines. Although the air filter isn't clogged to the point of restricting air, it's still dirty and I want my engine to breath fresh air. Of course I have an aftermarket performance cold air intake, so the Amsoil cone air filter at the end is washable, so I really don't waste any money by cleaning it thumbsup Thank you to the OP for posting the info. Good to know that if NEEDED, the air filter can be pushed for several years.
 
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NW Ohio
Nice demo and kudos on having the courage to test this idea... which runs contrary to ad hype and maybe what your daddy told you. Correlating this appearance with a 2kPa restriction gauge reading is useful information. What brand of restriction gauge do you have and what is its (from-to) range? What is the new WOT reading? No real surprises here for me. I plucked a filter out of the trash at a Ford dealer two years ago that happened to fit an air filter housing I have used for flow bench tests. It looked a lot like yours. When compared to a new filer, it had only lost about 40 CFM off the top... certainly not enough to effect the performance since the dirty flow rate was still higher than the theoretical airflow the engine could use. For the air filters I have data on, there is a 15-40 % overage of airflow in the stock element to account for dirt loading. Only when you are near or at the place where airflow needs and available airflow are close do you see a power drop. The point will be variable across the wide range of engines and driving environments out there but this overage is designed in so that the owner doesn't need to change filters every whipstitch
 
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5,909
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San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted By: ARCOgraphite
Those who open up the airbox box and "overservice"say annually will do more engine damage than those who change a filter, lets say every 30K or 3 years. our forester airbox is notorious for allow dirt intrusion during servicing. I changed it at 36K (wife's car) and it looks like a large birds nest and a rats nest was on it. Long term ave gas mileage went down ~ 2 mpg on the DIC with the new filter likely due to improved airflow.
Do you use OEM oiled cellulose or aftermarket? I walked into WM yesterday and was curious about what they might have (pretty much only Fram in the radioactive orange box). The part for my WRX is CA4309 and it was less than $8. It says made in U.S.A. for Fram on the box and it's their typical soft orange foam with a wire mesh backing and the media has no oil. It also flexes like crazy. I really prefer the oiled paper OEM. Those have a metal frame and a stiffer foam surround. I bought a bunch in 2004 and have been using them ever since except for one I bought at a dealer. The ones I got were labeled as made in U.S.A. while the last one I bought was made in Mexico. It seems to be about equivalent quality.
 
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12,200
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OH
Originally Posted By: zzyzzx
You installed that air filter at 88K miles and took the pictures at what mileage???
I think he took the pictures after the filter had 67k on it per the thread title. Add 67k to 88k = 155k on the car currently. I agree a little confusing though.
 
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5,909
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San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted By: Jim Allen
Nice demo and kudos on having the courage to test this idea... which runs contrary to ad hype and maybe what your daddy told you. Correlating this appearance with a 2kPa restriction gauge reading is useful information. What brand of restriction gauge do you have and what is its (from-to) range? What is the new WOT reading? No real surprises here for me. I plucked a filter out of the trash at a Ford dealer two years ago that happened to fit an air filter housing I have used for flow bench tests. It looked a lot like yours. When compared to a new filer, it had only lost about 40 CFM off the top... certainly not enough to effect the performance since the dirty flow rate was still higher than the theoretical airflow the engine could use. For the air filters I have data on, there is a 15-40 % overage of airflow in the stock element to account for dirt loading. Only when you are near or at the place where airflow needs and available airflow are close do you see a power drop. The point will be variable across the wide range of engines and driving environments out there but this overage is designed in so that the owner doesn't need to change filters every whipstitch
I mentioned looking at Fram air filters at WM yesterday. Every single box had something about changing at 12,000 miles or 1 year intervals. And is there any data about OEM style oiled cellulose? I've mentioned that it's what Subaru uses, and I remember that some AC filters were lightly oiled. With the Subaru filters there's an appreciable amount of oil, but the AC ones I've seen have a yellowish tinge to the oil but not where there's any drops of oil on the frame. http://www.subarugenuineparts.com/product_info.php?products_id=1096
 
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14,517
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The Old North State
Interesting, gotta say though that is one nasty looking filter. How did you test the filter minder to determine that it is still functioning properly/calibrated correctly? I'm currently a ~30k AF fci guy which is what Honda also recommends. Learned last year that the 12k/1year filter makers recommendation is more to sell filters than anything else, and longer is much better than shorter with AF's. I wouldn't go as long as you, but would feel more confident perhaps not to be concerned about going beyond 30k if I didn't get to the AF maintenance exactly on the mark. Great that you have confidence in the filter minder. If it works for you that's what's important. Thanks for the pics.
 
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5,909
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San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted By: sayjac
I'm currently a ~30k AF fci guy which is what Honda also recommends. Learned last year that the 12k/1year filter makers recommendation is more to sell filters than anything else, and longer is much better than shorter with AF's.
The first "repair" that gets suggested when a car fails a California Smog Check is replacement of the air filter. The test might fail if the filter is too restrictive. Even if the air filter has plenty of life, a less restrictive filter might compensate for something else. Now I remember all the stuff that used to be done with a tuneup. My parents had GM cars with a round air filter in a metal housing where the cover was secured with a wingnut. They took it to a retired mechanic who still did shadetree work at his house. He'd take off the cover and spray carb cleaner right into the butterfly valve. I was wondering how safe it was to operate that thing without the air filter. I also remember spraying throttle body cleaner once. The instructions said to start the engine and remove the air duct. It was taking in unfilter air in massive quantities.
 

JOD

Thread starter
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3,577
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PNW/WA
Originally Posted By: chubbs1
No flaming;) You probably live in one of (if not the best) area in the US for extended air filter use. Very clean air and constantly raining which removes particulate from the air. I have found 2 year/30k intervals to be appropriate in my neck of the woods, although I could probably extend as well.
You're totally right on this one. If I lived on the other side of the mountains I would definitely keep an eye on the filter gauge and I'm guessing I would change it based on restriction. It's just not very dusty here and the air is clean. The moderate temps are easy on the gaskets, too. I have had the car on quite a few fire-roads with a lot of gravel and dust when traveling to the dry side of the state, but most of the time it's in the perfect climate. Still, it's all guesswork unless you have a restriction gauge. To Jim's questions, it's a "Filter-Minder" brand grommet-type filter, and the range is 2-8.7 kPa. It moved, slightly, when I first installed it (like 2.1). Then, it never moved again. I put a vacuum pump on it when I changed the air filter and it correlates well to the gauge on my Mityvac. "Different than what my daddy taught me?". Well, as a kid I was instructed to (get ready to cringe) pull out the filter and bang it on the ground to "get out the dirt". Widman's posts on that subject still linger in my head! As far as engines "liking fresh air"? I think engines like clean air better than "fresh air", and there's an overwhelming amount of evidence to suggest that used filters offer significantly better filtration than used filters. Still, different strokes... I realize this isn't for everyone but hopefully this information can help someone else. And yes, the car around 155K, filter @ 67K.
 
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2,191
Location
VA
Originally Posted By: volk06
Originally Posted By: millerbl00
So again as with the OCI lets risk in my case a $17000 auto for a $20 air filter. No thanks
What are you really risking? I mean a dirty filter will actually let LESS particles through it. Unless there is a leak and you are getting excess silicon, there essentially is no risk here.
Exactly. Looks like the filter did its job.
 
Messages
14,517
Location
The Old North State
Originally Posted By: y_p_w
Originally Posted By: sayjac
I'm currently a ~30k AF fci guy which is what Honda also recommends. Learned last year that the 12k/1year filter makers recommendation is more to sell filters than anything else, and longer is much better than shorter with AF's.
The first "repair" that gets suggested when a car fails a California Smog Check is replacement of the air filter. The test might fail if the filter is too restrictive. Even if the air filter has plenty of life, a less restrictive filter might compensate for something else....
That may well be true for the Cali smog check of which I have no knowledge. But, the statement and information quoted regarding AF change interval(s) comes directly from the head engineer at the Fram Test Labs that I visited last fall. As said, I don't follow the 12k mi/1year box recommendation, but it was good to hear the thoughts of an authoritative person/employee on the subject of AF fci's. At that same time also saw AF testing and where Fram uses actual vehicle air boxes in it's testing, it was fairly impressive.
 
Messages
5,172
Location
Great White North.. eh
Originally Posted By: y_p_w
Originally Posted By: Jim Allen
Nice demo and kudos on having the courage to test this idea... which runs contrary to ad hype and maybe what your daddy told you. Correlating this appearance with a 2kPa restriction gauge reading is useful information. What brand of restriction gauge do you have and what is its (from-to) range? What is the new WOT reading? No real surprises here for me. I plucked a filter out of the trash at a Ford dealer two years ago that happened to fit an air filter housing I have used for flow bench tests. It looked a lot like yours. When compared to a new filer, it had only lost about 40 CFM off the top... certainly not enough to effect the performance since the dirty flow rate was still higher than the theoretical airflow the engine could use. For the air filters I have data on, there is a 15-40 % overage of airflow in the stock element to account for dirt loading. Only when you are near or at the place where airflow needs and available airflow are close do you see a power drop. The point will be variable across the wide range of engines and driving environments out there but this overage is designed in so that the owner doesn't need to change filters every whipstitch
I mentioned looking at Fram air filters at WM yesterday. Every single box had something about changing at 12,000 miles or 1 year intervals. And is there any data about OEM style oiled cellulose? I've mentioned that it's what Subaru uses, and I remember that some AC filters were lightly oiled. With the Subaru filters there's an appreciable amount of oil, but the AC ones I've seen have a yellowish tinge to the oil but not where there's any drops of oil on the frame. http://www.subarugenuineparts.com/product_info.php?products_id=1096
A basic FRAM paper filter has double the pleats of the OEM, like the one posted in this thread by the OP. I've never had an issue without the solid frame of the OEM. In fact I feel the FRAM (or puro, or similar designed filter) seals better in the airbox IMO.
 
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