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Oiling your filter Tricks of the trade | Back End | Tricks of the Trade

ADB's technical editor, Mat Boyd runs through a few steps on how to correctly oil and fit your air filter

Oiling your filter


Having had several engines brought to me that have been seriously dusted, I noticed that on all of them, the air filters had little or no oil on them. The oil was in patches and the dust could just get sucked straight through to destroy the bore and piston rings.


This has inspired me to run through a few steps on how to correctly oil and fit your air filter so that it traps all the dirt and dust and doesn’t allow crud to get sucked into the engine.

COST: $2.00
TIME: 5 minutes
TOOLS: Air filter oil

Step 1


You can use the neck of the filter oil bottle and dab it against the air filter to apply the oil to the filter or you can pour the filter oil into a bucket and submerge the entire filter in the oil. Either way you choose to apply the oil, make sure you get plenty of it on the filter.

Step 2


Squeeze the oil through the filter so that you get an even coverage right through the filter. The filter should be completely covered and the colour of the oil on the filter should be even all over. To make sure the oil has soaked right through the filter look at the inside and see if the oil has soaked right through. If it hasn’t then apply more.

Step 3


Squeeze enough oil out of the filter so it is not gluggy. You don’t want the pores being blocked by oil. When you pinch the foam, oil should rise to the surface. Always use specific air filter oil. Normal oil is not the same stuff and will run out of the foam, leaving dirt to be sucked straight through.

Step 4


Once you have oiled the filter and fitted it to the air filter cage turn it over and apply a thin layer of grease to the base of the air filter element. There is no need to apply much, just a nice thin layer. This will create a perfect seal against the airbox that will not allow any dirt or water through.

Step 5


Fit the filter back into the airbox and tighten the bolt by hand. Do not over tighten this bolt, it only needs to be done up snug enough to keep the filter in place. Check each side of the filter with your finger and make sure the sides are still tucked under the filter cage and aren’t hanging out.


If you ever over-oil the air filter then it can become clogged and the bike will not be able to breathe properly, resulting in a drop in power.


If you are being cautious on the air filter oil because you are trying to save a few dollars, think of it this way. Air filter oil is much cheaper than an engine rebuild.

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