What is an Oil Bath Air Cleaner?
An air breather, or better known as an air cleaner, is a device usually mounted to the top of an engine and is designed to provide clean, filtered air to the vehicle's intake system. The air cleaners in most modern vehicles use a dry paper cartridge that must be changed periodically. Oil bath air cleaners were used primarily on early trucks and cars, but for the most part were phased out in the 1960s. Today, oil bath air cleaners are used mainly in large farm tractors where extremely dusty conditions may exist.
How an Oil Bath Air Cleaner Works
The oil bath air cleaner consists of a reservoir (or cup) that holds the oil. The reservoir is located at the bottom of the air cleaner. The body of the air filter rests on the reservoir and is clamped or screwed down. The air filter can be mounted and attached directly to the top of the carburetor, or it can be mounted remotely and connected to the carburetor via hoses or tubing.
Air coming into the oil bath air cleaner's inlet is forced vertically down toward the oil reservoir. Once the air reaches the oil reservoir at the bottom, it changes direction rapidly and is then forced back up to the engine's intake system. It is the rapid change of direction in the air mass that cleans the air--while the air has no problem making such an abrupt change in direction, the sluggish dirt particles carried in it cannot change direction as quickly and end up being trapped in the oil reservoir.
Maintenance of an Oil Bath Air Cleaner
Accumulation of dirt, condensation and water from driving through rainy conditions will cause the oil level in the reservoir to rise. This necessitates regular servicing of the air cleaner to keep your engine running efficiently. In normal driving conditions the service interval may be 2,000 to 3,000 miles. But in extremely dusty conditions, an oil bath air cleaner may require servicing as regularly as once a day.
The air cleaner will need to be disassembled for servicing by removing it from the engine. Dirt and sludge is normally cleaned out of the cup with a solvent such as kerosene. To complete the servicing, the cup is replenished with fresh oil and then the air cleaner is reassembled.
What Are the Causes of an Oil-Saturated Auto Air Filter?
Oil anywhere other than in the crankcase of an automobile is a cause for concern. In newer cars, the cause may be...
How to Clean Foam Air Filters
Foam air filters are used on vehicles or engines subjected to an excess of dust or dirt, which would require replacing a...
How to Boil a Carburetor
If your car has been sitting for a long time, you may want to consider cleaning the carburetor. Spray-on carburetor cleaners are...
How to Oil K&N Filters
The less restrictive an air filter is, the better your vehicle's mileage and performance will be: your engine has to work harder...
How to Repair Oil Bath Hubs
Several boat trailer companies have adopted the technology long used by over-the-road truckers who pull heavily loaded trailers millions of miles on...
How to Clean an Oil Filter
Everyone seems to be going "green" lately. Many people feel that to truly be good to the earth means completely giving up...
How to Use Bath & Body Works Oils
Bath and Body Works sells items such as lotions, soaps and oils. These products come in several scents. Among the store's products...
How to Clean an Oil Bath Air Filter
An oil bath air filter is the type of air filter used on tractors to keep dust and dirt out of the...
How to Stop Engine Oil in an Air Breather
The crankcase air breather is opposite the PCV valve on the engine to allow air flow to enter the positive crankcase ventilation...
Different Types of Oil Filter Designs
Oil filters have come a long way over the years. Engines were originally designed without an oil filter, but filters were needed...