Will Dirt Destroy an Engine? See what it does to this Engine!



How important is it to ensure an engine is getting clean air? In this video, you’ll see first hand the damage that can be caused by dirt getting into the engine through the air intake. The engine gets disassembled at the end of this video for a look at the damage.

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45 thoughts on “Will Dirt Destroy an Engine? See what it does to this Engine!

  1. I went 4wd in a Nissan Navara D40 down the beach. When I checked the air filter a few months later (intake near front wheel arch) it was fucking FULL of sand. Your highway Camry might never get a spoonful without an air filter but go on gravel track and your air filter is the wisest $10 part on the car.

  2. I bought an 86 Toyota pickup years ago from a highschool student. It was rough and needed starter fluid to get running. I took it to a shade tree mechanic. A couple hours later I returned. He handed me a plate of dirt. He said he figured it was sunk in a creek. Ran smooth as silk after.

  3. Hey I just wanted to say great job on the video. I was wondering one thing, at the beginning of the video you were standing beside the lawn mower and at the end of this video your were standing by the as well. What do you have two of the the same lawn mowers? if you don't mind me asking. Can you do a demonstration video how to rebuild a push lawn mower carburetor please and thank-you. The final thing that i would like to say is that you did a great job on the video.

  4. Awesome vids. Would like to see one of products that seal engine oil leaks. Want to know if it's worth it because replacing gaskets and seals would be too expensive. Thanks

  5. Did you really need to do that to prove what damage sand will do to an engine? That did not simulate years of use without an air filter either unless one lives in a desert. That was just pointless destruction.

  6. bosses dad took a 150 iron duke pontiac motor out bad noise . I found 1 bad rod and had it resized crank ground . gave back to old man to put back in 2 weeks later I checked the oil metal flake city !! Told the old man I must have done something wrong . He said no I reused the oil that I drained from the motor it was NEW OIL !!!

  7. Too much sand at at a time. Could have used a methods to ingest a more realistic amount of sand to see how long the ending would last. The lumps of sand is like driving behind another car on the beach with the hood off and carb open.

  8. Could you show overheat videos. Like not major ones, just running hot several times. To show like if your thermostat is not working right what will happen to the engine after long term use. Things like that. Or poor fuel filtering. Or running the wrong octane in a engine would be a great video, would take a long test time( former auto industry designer, emisions, manufacturing,engine design, quality and service engineering this is very important especially with todays engine compressions and the tolerance at which they are built proper fuel is important)

  9. Great video, you give lots of great real world examples. This video gave great examples and thanks for doing the cut aways. I know it would take about 2-3 years for the same damage to happen without having a intake in. Always inspect your intake.

  10. PF, what if any, do the small machined rings on the top of the piston do? Also, I noticed as you were adding sand there was more oil blow by and then it lessened once you stopped adding and the engine settled out. Why do you suppose that is?
    I like your take on the education angle. One can learn a ton from destructive testing!
    Thank you again for your time and superb presentation!!!

  11. Also hope that he'd note in this that the engine generally doesn't inhale spoonfuls of dirt when it's driving/running without a filter. Considering most modern engines have a breathe tube that's behind a fender or way high above the ground. If anything it'll take in a little dirt at a time, which yes can damage an engine, but you're more likely to damage your engine from running too lean if you drive without an air filter.

    Not trying to hate whatsoever I'm just making a few points that might also shed a little light on the episode.

    Still love your stuff man!

  12. Umm, ya… Dumping that dirt in there that rapidly and in that quantity, isn't a great representation of the small amount of damage over time an engine would encounter from dirt particles that float into the intake. Perhaps… make a small chamber, fill it with dirt, force air into it (so it makes dust but, not so much air that it picks up very large particles) and connect the intake of the mower to the top of that chamber.

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