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Old 12-04-2015, 12:37 AM   #1
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Seems like a waste to change air filter after 6K miles

Wanted to get some opinions (and logical reasoning) for some of the maintenance items that are listed as "Change Annually or 15K miles".

Changing oil annually makes sense to me because of the acids that it can contain and problems it might cause when storing a coach with dirty oil.

But something like an air filter or transmission oil seems like a waste to change if it only has been driven 6K freeway miles over the past year.

I feel that many of our coaches fall in between the areas addressed by the manual. Usually the manuals list normal service (everyday driving (normal & FWY speeds), or severe service (low speed and lots of idle time).

So ignoring oil changes, who is basing most of your parts changes strictly on mileage? A $100 air filter is a terrible thing to waste...


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Old 12-04-2015, 01:53 AM   #2
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I change air filters when they are DIRTY

Pull and inspect.......clean leave it/dirty replace it

Don't have a MH and my truck doesn't sit -----errands/pleasure drives
I change engine oil/filer/fuel filter at 5000 miles. Yeah I know way early BUT oil is the engine blood and I keep it clean and flowing.

Transmission oil/filter at 25K
Engine coolant 100K/5 yrs.

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Old 12-04-2015, 02:15 AM   #3
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Dan.......You would be surprised how many people go 5-6 years on an air cleaner and use the useless Filter Minder as a guide. You're right, you don't need to change the filter every year, unless you're doing 15K plus mileage. In your situation, I would change every two years. Many like to go three and I wouldn't argue with them, but there has been more and more evidence that some of the sealed units (replaceable can) can go bad after two years and the paper start to come apart, especially if they sat on a shelf for awhile before you purchased them. I'm averaging about a 1000 miles a month, so I've been changing mine at every 18 months.

Inspecting an air cleaner on a gas RV and then putting it back in is fine, but not a good practice on a diesel. If your diesel has a removable element, you shouldn't remove it, unless you intend to replace with new. NEVER blow out a diesel filter with compressed air and replace. Unlike a gas engine, a diesel engine can easily be damaged by small particles of dust.
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:59 AM   #4
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I have my annual maintenance done at Gaffney each year (two years). Last trip they inspected the air filter but did not change it. Had about 12K miles at that time.
I assume that they will change it this time around as I'm sitting at 18K+ and three years.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:15 AM   #5
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Let me share what I learned at a half day Spartan presentation this summer, regarding air filters. It was a totally new thought process to me.

They discussed people's tendency to not change air filters. The point was that the air filters media is made of paper, and what happens to paper when it gets WET, and drys out, several times? It gets brittle, flaky, comes apart. So when it comes to changing your air filter, certainly dirt is important, however, if you have driven in the rain with some frequency, you better add that factor to your decision process.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:21 AM   #6
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those recommendations are to give the lesser mechanically inclined people a good idea of when to do things. I don't use those recommendations when doing any maintenance to my vehicles because the use of our vehicles determines my schedule. Sometimes they fall in line....sometimes they don't.
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Old 12-04-2015, 09:18 AM   #7
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You guys ar making me feel better, thanks

2014 40QBH Phaeton DP Cummins 380HP ISL, Freightliner XC, 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk TOAD
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Old 12-04-2015, 09:45 AM   #8
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Don't know what vehicle/engine you are dealing with (doesn't show up on mobile version anyway) but my Cummins ISC schedule says "per filter minder or 3 yr". My first change was at about 6 because I thought it was time. The old filter was still structurally sound. Since that first change it has been every 3-4 yrs.
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:11 PM   #9
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Since our mileage is nearly always low, I change things based on time rather than miles. My air filter does not get wet, but some of them do. Thus the aggressive change schedule that some are starting to recommend. I check mine at about 3 years but it has never shown any sign of physical deterioration. Just some dirt. But my performance begins to fall off when the filter minder indicates much less than 50% remaining capacity, so I change before the minder says it is necessary.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Filters and fluids are cheap insurance. But I have to figure out how to best spend my limited funds, and buying stuff before it is needed is wasteful. If you don't know how to evaluate wear & tear , you probably need to blindly change on time or miles. But if you can check and apply some wisdom, you can often safely use longer change intervals.
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:33 PM   #10
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I agree with all above on changing air filters when needed, instead of every year. I personally change my engine oil every year along with fuel and water filters, whether I have driven alot of miles or not.
I have had my own class 8 trucks and driven many for large companies, and they change everything by the amount of hrs, of use. If a truck is in full service 24/7 they can need an oil change every two weeks. If it sits for 10 months it does not matter, it is changed when it hits the required hr mark. This is big fleet maintenance and it does work.
I am not trying to convince anyone of anything this is just food for thought.
In my years of trucking I have never trusted the filter minder. In driving in heavy dust conditions you can pull a filter and the dirt will fall off the thing and it can be plugged. The filter minder can be still showing things are ok. Just sayin.
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:03 PM   #11
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Fleet operations rely on lowest cost approach to the whole not the individual units.

Manuals are general instructions to their average user conditions. One size does not fit all.

Motorhome operators do not fit the profile of an average user.

I was encouraged when I read my 1995 Cummins engine manual that included a phrase something to the effect that (oil change intervals may be extended if oil analysis is conducted).

I remember that Dodge Motors 5 yr or 50,000 mile warranty of the 1970's was a great financial benefit to our Fleet operations. Our Dodge Garbage truck engines operated @ 8 hours a day but accumulated only about 30 miles per day or 7,800 miles per year. The warranty was good for all 5 years and then the trucks got sold. I do not think the Warranty authors anticipated our application.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:14 PM   #12
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Air filters

Manufacturers would love it if you changed filters monthly. It's all about selling product.
Worked years ago in heavy truck fleet facility when we used to inspect any air filter with light shining from inside element. If you can see light thru element it's fine. If they were dirty but not covered in oil we used compressed air to blow from inside to out being careful not to damage paper element. Could get years of service. Good way to clean cabin filter as well. Today we live in a throw away society and pretend to do things to save the environment. Much better way is to reuse and recycle but then that would cut into the bottom line of the corporations.

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