Garages warned against cleaning air filters

Blasting compressed air can reduce effective airflow and increase risk of contaminants

Garages warned against cleaning air filters
Image: Bigstock.

Comline has warned garages not to ‘mechanically clean’ air filters because of the risk of permanent and irreparable damage to the porous, multi-layer structure of the filter media.

A Comline spokesperson said: “We have seen a worrying number of instances where air filters are being mechanically cleaned rather than replaced to save money on a vehicle service.

“Whilst blasting the air filter with compressed air may appear to remove some of the dirt and debris that has previously accumulated, the effect is superficial.

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“The reality is that cleaning an old air filter in this way pushes the fine particles and contaminants that have accumulated deep into the structure of filter media.

“This is hugely detrimental to air filter performance as there is permanent and irreparable damage to the porous, multi-layer structure of the filter media.”

Air filters are manufactured from highly specialised media, carefully selected for its structural properties.

Comline says blasting the cabin filter with compressed air will cause the pores to either become too small to allow effective airflow, or too large to filter out contaminants.

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The spokesperson added: “It’s important to remember that the very purpose of an air filter is the protection of engine components from contaminants that can cause enormous damage within the combustion chamber.

“A mechanically cleaned air filter is not going to fulfil its brief or be fit for purpose and the use of such a filter will expose an engine to damage which carries a potentially huge repair bill.

“Put simply, this is a risk not worth taking.

“Air on the side of caution and always fit a new Comline air filter in-line with the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals.”

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