Is the desert dust choking your truck?



Dear Al Shirawi Enterprises (ASE) Customer,

Welcome to my next step towards getting the most from your vehicles. This week, I’ll show you how good air filtration protects your trucks engines.

There are some myths about air filters and I would like to wipe them out here and now.

  1. Clean air filters are better than dirty. Wrong. I spoke to the air filter designers at a leading truck manufacturer recently and they said that their filters were designed to hold around 1kg of dust. They reached full filtration once the dust level on the outside of the filter had reached 200g.
  2. Air filters should be cleaned every day. Wrong. Air filters will get damaged if they are sprayed with compressed air and will then let more dirt into your engine.Every time an air filter box is opened it is estimated that around one gram of dirt enters the inlet system. Done daily, around 300g extra of dirt will get into the filter per year.
  3. It’s OK to use non-genuine filters. Wrong. A genuine filter is designed to filter 99.99 per cent of dirt during its lifetime.If the filter is designed for 1kg of dust, this means one gram went through. A decent non-genuine filter may deliver 99.9 per cent filtration. Not a big difference, but it means 10g of dust or 10 times more abrasion on your engine. It will have consequences on compression, fuel economy and engine life.

There are only four reasons why you should ever open the filter box and they are as follows:

  1. The filter indicator is red. (You should however test the indicator from time to time to ensure it works properly).
  2. There is excessive black smoke during acceleration. (Normally an indication of too little air in relationship to fuel.)
  3. The driver senses lack of power during acceleration.
  4. The air filter has been fitted for more than 18 months. (In our environment that would almost never happen.)


Air filter field tests in Dubai

Scania’s Research and Development department ran some field tests on air filters in Dubai, testing different types of filters and installations to see what gave the best result.

Some of the filters were fitted on 6×4 rigid tippers that work on very dusty off-road sites. One type was a double filter system which was left untouched for 167,000km.

In the air box we found six kilograms of dust, but the gauge had not yet gone to red. There was no visible wear and tear or any sign of dust in the inlet system which confirms the points made above.

We strongly recommend that you work with your maintenance team to stop this misconception about cleaning the air filter on a daily basis. It will save you time, money, fuel and engine life giving you more time on the road.

Also, keep in mind that with proper air filtration you protect some of the main parts in your engine, such as the crankshaft and the turbo charger.


One day only
At ASE, we can do an in-line engine overhaul (pistons, liners, bearings, cylinder heads, etc. with block in the truck and crankshaft in the block) in one working day (terms and conditions apply). That’s another way for you to maximise your uptime and get more time on the road.


Next Week

I will let you in on some inside information about engine oil filtration and oil storage.

More Time on the Road
with Al Shirawi Enterprises (ASE)

Lars Möller, General Manager, After Sales