Air Filter - Cracked and "sprung"


I’ve been working on my own cars since I was 15, am now 50, so have replaced a lot of air filters in my time.

Just swapped out the filter on my old beater, an '97 Toyota Corolla with some 240K.

Now, I might be a few months overdue, but seeing that it is a “fourth car,” it doesn’t get driven much and I do all work on it (oil, filters) according to time, not miles.

So, pulled it out and the rubber gasket along the bottom was all cracked and separated. The steel screen around the outside was "sprung out from the filter in couple of spots.

It was a Purolator. Been using them or Napa gold for years. Never seen this before. Just some odd quirk…ignore it…does it indicate something is going on?

Car runs fine. No overheating, etal…Obviously I replaced the filter…


Just a slight correction, that is an 1987 Corolla, carb and all…


Ever hear the car backfire? If not, then it’s probably just a filter with a little manufacturing defect.


Actually, backfiring occurred to me, but the car has never done it. I HAVE in the past couple of months been using it to haul concrete blocks. About 250 pounds in the trunk and another 300 pounds in the car itself, split between the front passenger side, rear passenger side and rear driver’s side. Car sat a little low in back, but otherwise seemed fine. Did that for about 20 trips of about 10 miles, over about three weeks (building a wall, have no pickup truck, wife wouldn’t let me use the Prius).

It certainly could have been a “blip” in the Purolator quality control, I guess.


If the filter media is made from a cellulose material, and it’s been very damp, this type of filter media can absorb moisture which causes the the media to swell. This can cause the filter liner (screen) to be pushed out and the gasket cracks because it’s attached to the filter media which has swelled.



is the direction of the crack and the steel screen "sucked INTO the filter housing, or blown out towards the intake side. that should let you know if the backfire was a part of it.

most likely it is just a bad filter.