Service P+us Car Care Centre
Jul 22, 2015

Benefits Of Good Air Filters

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Changing your air filter regularly can help prevent many auto problems. While it is not one of the complicated components in your car’s engine, the air filter is the only thing preventing small, damaging particles from entering your engine, where they can cause a lot of damage.

Benefits Of Good Air Filters

The car engine does not have a self-cleaning system. The fuel system would quickly get riddled with leaves, dust, insects, and other debris without an air filter. The clogged system would then fail to function, and cleaning it would be messy, costly, and inefficient.

Cleaning The Air Filter

A completely opaque filter indicates that it is full and can no longer strain debris from the airflow. Each gallon of fuel burned by the engine requires about 10,000 gallons of air. A clogged air filter should, therefore, be replaced or cleaned, depending on the type and brand of air filter. A clean air filter offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Better fuel efficiency
  • If you have an extremely dirty air filter in an older car (with a carburettor), changing the air filter can improve fuel mileage by as much as 14 percent. In modern fuel-injected cars, a clean air filter can boost acceleration by 6 – 11 percent, and 10 percent increase in gas mileage, which translates to fuel savings.

  • Prolonged engine life
  • Small particles, the size of salt grains, can result in costly repairs if they enter the engine. By trapping dirt and debris that could damage internal engine components, such as pistons and cylinders, clean air filters help to prolong engine life.

  • Reduced emissions
  • Dirty, clogged air filters can reduce air flow to the engine, choking it. This would affect the emission control system resulting in an incorrect air/fuel mixture and ignition problems that may interfere with drivability. Problems can arise in the spark plugs, causing an engine miss or rough idle and affecting fuel mileage. A rich fuel mixture can also increase engine deposits, and activate the check-engine light. Good air filters optimize air flow to the engine, reducing both fuel consumption and emissions.

  • Fast and inexpensive repairs
  • Air filters are generally easy to replace, and one of the least expensive maintenance components in a car that you can do yourself. However, you should ensure that the replacement is designed for the exact make and model of your car. In carbureted cars, the air filter is round and found in a round metal housing above the carburetor, while in fuel-injected cars, it is rectangular and enclosed in a rectangular plastic housing at the front side of the engine. You may need to unfasten some screws or clips to replace it.

Air filters should be changed every 12,000 – 15,000 miles or more often depending on your driving conditions and your manufacturer’s recommendation, based on the owner’s manual maintenance schedule. Even if it appears clean during scheduled maintenance, it is better to change it to avoid complications later.

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