change air filter?

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  #1  
Old 06-30-12, 09:56 AM
sgull's Avatar
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change air filter?

The service/maintenance guide for my 1998 Ford vehicle says to replace the air cleaner filter at 60,000 miles. The vehicle has 97,000 miles on it and I can't recall that I've ever changed the air filter since I've had the vehicle for the last 13 years or so. I pulled it out to take a look and it looks pretty clean to me, not particularly dirty anyway. I noticed its a Fram filter, so I would guess the original filter has been changed at some point since I think a Fram filter is probably not OEM (I suppose maybe a Motocraft brand filter would be the original?). Here's a few pictures of it: http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...1/IMG_1819.jpg
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...1/IMG_1818.jpg
Comments/advice? How dirty do these filters have to look before its obvious they need replacing anyway?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-30-12, 11:20 AM
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In the photos it doesn't look too bad at all. It also doesn't look like a filter with that many miles on it, either that or you are driving in one of the most dust free environments around. If you are looking for someone to tell you to change it out, just take the vehicle to any quick lube. They will open up the air intake and look at the filter before they even pull out the dipstick and will gladly tell you how it needs changing for probably $40. Next will come the 'your brake fluid is dirty' story, followed by the various $100 fluid flushes they offer. For the $10 or $12 an air filter should cost you can always change the air filter but from the photos it looks OK at this point but you need to shine a light behind it to confirm things also.
 
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Old 06-30-12, 11:55 AM
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Okay I'm shining a flashlight and an under-hood type work fluorescent light behind the filter in these photos. Probably not a bright/strong enough light back there to do any good, but anyway here's the pictures: http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...IMG_1822-1.jpg
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...1/IMG_1821.jpg
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...1/IMG_1820.jpg
Still looks about the same as before, to me. Clean enough I suppose. No, not looking for a quick lube employee or anyone else to tell me to change it out if it's fine. Guess I'd need a stronger light to confirm things, but don't got one. I did hold it up and looked through it to the brightness of the sky. Still looked pretty much the same...
 
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Old 06-30-12, 01:42 PM
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Buy a new one...do a comparison. If it looks significantly darker...put the new one in. If not, mark the date and mileage on the old one and put the new one away for later.
 
  #5  
Old 06-30-12, 03:19 PM
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I have a pretty good idea already that my old one here isn't going to be "significantly" darker than a new one. So if I'm going to go by appearance as opposed to manufacturers maintenance recommendations on this, then I'll just worry about replacing it when it gets dirtier. Thanks for the input here.
 
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