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#4574326 - 11/14/17 09:50 PM wild fires and air filters
vavavroom Offline


Registered: 10/31/17
Posts: 13
Loc: California
We recently had a few large wild fires and air quality was very bad for a couple weeks. After noticing a nasty grey film on the inside of my car's windows and on all surfaces, despite the climate control being equipped, I am worried that the EAF and CAF are maybe in need of being replaced. Both filters look okay, but we are talking about ultrafine particles clogging the filters. Both were replaced only a few thousand miles ago. Would you replace the filters just to be on the safe side?

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#4574341 - 11/14/17 10:04 PM Re: wild fires and air filters [Re: vavavroom]
BJD78 Offline


Registered: 08/05/17
Posts: 115
Loc: Nebraska
I would think that if the air was smokey for 2 weeks it would be well worth it to go with new filters, and cabin filter as well if vehicle has one. might be a good idea to spray the throttle body and MAF sensor as well.
_________________________
2002 Honda CRV:155K
2009 Hyundai Sonata :189K
2010 Hyundai Tucson:55K

OCI 5K using cheapest regular 5w20 I can buy, often NAPA or TSC Travelers oil.

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#4574445 - 11/15/17 01:36 AM Re: wild fires and air filters [Re: vavavroom]
OneEyeJack Offline


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 6959
Loc: S California
Be a big spender and opt for new filters. If the air quality was really bad a shorter oil change interval might help.

I got caught up helping neighbors with horses in the Kitchen Creek Fire of September 1970 in San Diego (officially known as the Laguna Fire). The fire was mostly east county but you couldn't see the sun at noon driving at the beach. I helped move horses out of the burn areas. We rescued a lot of wild animals too. I was driving in that stuff for 5 days.

At the time I had access to a lab and the oil analysis on my vehicle was terrible. I changed the air filter, oil and oil filter. My vehicle was a new 1970 Ford E-300 Econoline van with a 302 V8 and a stick shift. Cars in those days did not have cabin air filters. I also changed the fuel filters and poured in a lot of fuel system cleaner. I had an Oildex catch can/PC valve on the engine with a 2-barrel carb and the jar was full of nasty, gooey, oily stuff. I drove hundreds of miles towing a horse trailer overloaded with cranky, scared horses. Horses don't like catching on fire. It took me some time to recover too from burns, singed hair, burning eyes, plugged up nose and blisters. After that, you couldn't pay me enough to be a firefighter. I like being able to grow hair and breath through my nose.

The soot was difficult to remove from everywhere and it got into everything.

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#4574686 - 11/15/17 08:43 AM Re: wild fires and air filters [Re: OneEyeJack]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 3043
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: OneEyeJack
If the air quality was really bad a shorter oil change interval might help.


I wouldn't say that.

Some people actually DRIVE on wood gas (as a fuel)

A little smoke in the air isn't enough to cause oil problems.

Also, with the air filter, you didn't state how much driving you did during this period. That makes a difference.

All in all, I wouldn't worry about the filters.

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#4575006 - 11/15/17 01:37 PM Re: wild fires and air filters [Re: vavavroom]
vavavroom Offline


Registered: 10/31/17
Posts: 13
Loc: California
I drove about 1,000 miles during that period. The normal OCI is 8k miles.

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#4576663 - 11/17/17 01:11 AM Re: wild fires and air filters [Re: Linctex]
OneEyeJack Offline


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 6959
Loc: S California
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Originally Posted By: OneEyeJack
If the air quality was really bad a shorter oil change interval might help.


I wouldn't say that.

Some people actually DRIVE on wood gas (as a fuel)

A little smoke in the air isn't enough to cause oil problems.

Also, with the air filter, you didn't state how much driving you did during this period. That makes a difference.

All in all, I wouldn't worry about the filters.



I stated that I drove hundreds of miles. To be more specific I drove about 100 miles a day for 5 days but a lot of that was narrow dirt roads in second gear working hard pulling that 4 horse trailer often with 6 to 8 horses. On one of those days, it took more than 8 hours to go about 100 mile making lots of stops and hauling lots of horses and other stuff including deer, cows and other people including firefighters and a veterinarian and local residents.

This was a really bad fire and the area where I lived was completely burned out. The part that scared me was the heat waves the preceded the fire. Many of the trees would not burn like I expected. They would turn grey or white and just disappear. Often times the flames were up in the tops of the trees and never touched the ground and the noise was really loud. Anyone that gets that close and claims they were not scared is just plain stupid. I was terrified.


I shook out or blew out the air filter with compressed air every day.

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#4577042 - 11/17/17 11:48 AM Re: wild fires and air filters [Re: vavavroom]
nthach Offline


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 3093
Loc: California
I'm curious to see the shape of the cabin and engine air filters in my parent's cars. They live 10 miles south of Napa and 30 miles southeast of Santa Rosa. I plan on opening up the oil filter to see if there's excess dirt(and if the Tearolator syndrome afflicted an Ford service filter).

Oakland/SF got its share of bad air quality. My engine air filter looks fine.

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