MXA TEAM TESTED: UNI AIR FILTER SERVICE KIT
WHAT IS IT? The Uni kit includes a 5-1/2-ounce aersol can of foam filter oil and a 14-1/2-ounce can of foam filter oil cleaner.
WHAT’S IT COST? $15.95.
CONTACT? www.unifilter.com or (714) 535-6933.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with Uni’s service kit.
(1) Filter oil. Many brands of filter oil use additives to make the oil easy to apply to the filter and easier to remove when cleaning. Carriers, such as alcohol or water, are used to thin out the oil and help it seep into the air filters foam membranes. The aerosol can facilitates application, but the formula itself is all about function. Uni believes that those carrier additives hinder performance, so they steer clear of them. The lack of carriers may make the filter oil more difficult to apply and remove, but the upside is that there is no need to let the filter sit before use because there are no carriers that need to evaporate.
(2) Bench-test data. Uni got the best airflow through the filter when the filter oil was wet. Many filter oils get thicker as they dry, which can hinder performance. Uni isn’t additive-free; they do use a tacker additive (as most or all filter oils do) to help the oil stick to the foam, but the formula is designed to keep the oil wet over time.
(3) Cleaner. Many riders use gasoline to clean their foam air filters. This is not a good idea. After one gas bath, the foam becomes saggy and the pores open up. MXA tested two filter cleaners on a plastic bag full of dirty filters half with Uni filter cleaner and the other half with a competing filter cleaner. In our unscientific test, the Uni-cleaned filters were significantly cleaner, and their foam was in better overall condition. The Uni filter cleaner wasn’t the strongest cleaner we have tried, but the strongest stuff can damage the foam.
(4) Cleaning procedure. Uni’s wide spray nozzle made the cleaner easy to apply. Patience is important, because the cleaner doesn’t immediately penetrate into the filter. We sprayed both sides and waited three minutes, then we washed away the dirt with water.
(5) Spray-on oil. When using aerosol filter oil, you are the person who determines how good the saturation is?especially because Uni doesn’t use carriers. The Uni aerosol can be sprayed in a wide, flat pattern, which we applied to both sides of the filter before massaging it deep into the foam pores.
(6) Options. The cans of oil and cleaner are available individually for $7.95 each. The oil is available in liquid form too. A 16-ounce bottle of liquid filter oil costs $7.95.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We had two complaints. (1) Penetration. To be 100 percent sure that the filter oil has saturated the foam, you have to work a little harder, which defeats the purpose of an aerosol filter oil. (2) Cost. Spray-on filter oil doesn’t last as long as a tub of liquid air filter oil.
We liked Uni’s “wet” oil formula, no drying time and ease of aerosol application, but you have to understand that the burden of a well-oiled filter still rests with you.