Cleaning Your Air-system

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A basic knowledge of working of typical engine would tell you that internal combustion engine mix fuel with air. Combustion takes place when that mixture is ignited. So clean air going in is as important as, say, clean petrol (would you buy petrol with dirt and particles in it?). The air cleaner element or as we commonly call it the ‘air filter’ should be cleaned regularly using high pressure air blower and replaced from time to time. However it is also important to inspect and service the rest of the air system in your car to ensure smooth, clean flow of air into the throttle/carburetor. The main parts in the system, their functions and why they need to be cleaned are:

1.      The air cleaner housing – this is where the air enters your car’s air system, the air filter is also fitted in this housing and the air from here leads to the air intake pipe. It is therefore important to have it clean and dirt free so that air that enters the system is dirt-free, and the air filter fits perfectly and does its job well.

2.      Air intake pipe – this pipe leads the air to the throttle body. It’s like a tunnel through which the air passes and in most modern cars there will be a few sensors placed on this part also. It should be clean so that air passing through it does not pick up dirt/dust while on its way into the throttle body, and also to ensure the sensors attached to it work fine.

I recently did a DIY where I opened up these parts of the air system, washed and cleaned them up nicely and then fitted them back in. Below is a pictorial guide for doing-it-yourself.

Here is the air system while it is still intact in the engine bay – a lot of dirt has accumulated all over.

Disassembling the air cleaner housing and intake pipe, you can see the bolts are undone and I am ready to detach it from the throttle body.

Disconnected from the throttle body, the CNG Venturi also has a lot of gunk on it which was cleaned.

Okay, the air system is out and I took it home for the cleaning.

You can see the oily deposits here.

The housing is dirty from the inside as well as inside.

The stock intake pipe is detached and this thing on top of it is the resonator tube which keeps loud sounds from building up like you have in after market intakes – well it was an empty box so it was washed and cleaned too.

Oily dirt is deposited on either side;

So we took it for a wash.

After a nice long wash with surf;

Everything’s cleaned.

Here is the full housing, with the intake pipe attached. I did spray some Formula1 dash spray because washing it with surf left it look dry and I don’t like the grey-ish plastic color.

All installed back in.

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