How To Clean Crankcase Breather Motorcycles?

A crankcase breather, usually put firmly in the oil cap, is known to be a built-in component of a bike engine. This is seen even on famous ones such as a Harley Davidson. This allows it to protect the pressure of an engine’s crankcase via redirection of the gasses formed. 

If and when this venting is disrupted, the gas pressure will build up in the engine, causing it to blow out seals and gaskets. 

And this isn’t a good sign at all! Hence, to keep your dirt bike’s crankcase breather up and running, it’s mandatory to clean it thoroughly from time to time. 

Let’s dig into it a bit more, shall we?

What Happens If The Crankcase Breather Is Clogged? 

Whenever dirt or debris is accumulated in the crankcase breather, many casualties, including oil leakage, decrease in engine performance and acceleration, high idle, etc., occur within the bike. That leaves it necessary to undergo crankcase breather cleaning

Crankcase Breather Is Clogged

Oil Leakage 

A crankcase breather oil leak is presumed to be one of the most noticeable symptoms when the crankcase vent filter gives out. 

A motorcycle crankcase breather air filter functions to clean out the gas before rerouting it to reduce pressure. However, due to the continuous usage of these air cleaners, dirt and debris seem to collect around the filter. 

And thus, a decreased gas filtering capacity often arises due to the restricted airflow. Consequently, there is an increase in pressure build-up, creating a crack in the seal and gasket and causing oil leaks. 

Decreased Engine Performance 

Another mentionable possibility of a clogged crankcase breather is a decline in engine capacity. 

Crankcase Breather

Given that the air filter is clogged with resulting leakages, the air-fuel ratio in the bike engine is interrupted. As a result, your motorcycle will start to experience differences in performance, such as diminished power and acceleration, which are more noticeable at low-speed engine settings. 

Rough Idling

Each time your motorcycle runs into a faulty or clogged vent filter, the crankcase breather diesel engine starts to act up and affect the idle speed. That being so, the idle speed rises, which may give birth to more potential issues with your bike. 

How To Clean Crankcase Breather Motorcycles?  

In order to make your crankcase cleaner squeaky clean, just follow the below steps, and you’ll be done in no time!

Cleaning a Crankcase Breather

Cleaning a Crankcase Breather and its components

  1. Firstly, take off the crankcase breather tube plug from the tube.
  2. Once this is done, remove the air filter and let it soak in soapy water for a minute or two. Then rinse it off and dry it completely before reattaching it again. You may also use air filter cleaners to ensure the quickest way to clean it.
  3. Use a pressure washer to cleanse the PCV valve of your bike as well.
  4. Take off the oil cap and use a carb cleaner to get out all the debris. Immerse it in warm soapy water and let it simmer above a stove. After this, simply clean it dry and put it back in place. 
  5. Lastly, when all of this is done and dusted, firmly reinstall the crankcase breather tube plug into place.

How Do I Know If My Crankcase Breather Is Bad? 

Noticing the little changes in engine performance can go a long way, especially when it comes to crankcase breathers. To know whether your breather went downhill, make sure to look into the following-

How Do I Know If My Crankcase Breather Is Bad

Oil Leak

If you start noticing bits of oil seeping out of your motorbike, examine the crankcase breather for signs of leakages. If the seal seems to be ruined or the gasket is blown up, your crankcase breather has gone bad without a doubt.

Crankcase Breather Hose

Oftentimes, a high idle will provide you with initial symptoms of a faulty air filter. However, if it isn’t replaced right away, you will start to notice other signs, such as the universal motorcycle crankcase breather hose suddenly starting to misfire. 

Crankcase Breather Hose

This only means that the crankcase breather needs to be cleaned or replaced. 

Low Engine Performance

Diminished engine performance is another way to tell that your crankcase breather is almost dead. Even with an oil catch can or an oil separator, a breather bolt, or an external breather kit, as can be seen in most Harley-Davidson bikes, the engine will function very poorly. 

How Often Should You Change Crankcase Filter?

It’s necessary to have the crankcase filter in a somewhat pristine condition to keep your dirt bike fully functional. Having said so, you should replace the filters every time the spark plugs are changed to avoid grease accumulation. 

How Often Should You Change Crankcase Filter

Just to make sure you’re on the right track, look out for the warning signs to replace the crankcase filters-

  • The engine performance is not up to the mark, with occasional misfires
  • You may hear a rattling sound sourcing from the engine
  • Your bike’s engine is consuming more oil than usual
  • The engine has smoke coming out without a specified reason

If you still have a hard time figuring out the symptoms, be certain to call a professional right away to get it checked.

Final Words

Now that we’ve reached the end, here’s a little advice. Always make sure to keep your motorcycle’s crankcase breather in regular check. Unless you do so, not only will you end up wasting hours to get the crankcase cleaned, but you might also be left with a damaged engine. So, stay cautious, fellas!

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