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Dec 18, 2015

Cleaning Tips For Your Air Filter

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Your car’s air filter has the very important job of ensuring the air your engine breathes is free from dirt, dust, and other debris particles. Clean, healthy air flow is needed for the proper air/fuel mixture needed to combust fuel efficiently; the consequences of a clogged or dirty filter range from poor fuel mileage to lost horsepower, and much more.

Air Filter Cleaning

As a car owner, none of these issues are desirable, which is why you should clean and replace your air filter on a regular basis. Never forget that every part of your vehicle is interconnected, even the simple things like filter. Over time, the effects of a faulty filter can lead to major motor problems, most of which are far more expensive than the cost of quickly swapping out the filter with a replacement.

Is your air filter due for an upgrade?

The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to install a disposable or permanent air filter; the latter are more expensive up-front, but offer the benefit of cheaper, long-term upkeep. In addition to often coming with lifetime warranties, these filters only need to be cleaned usually once a year. Most higher-end models also offer a bit of a performance boost, too, since they are better designed for capturing contaminants in the air.

You will need to completely remove the filter to ensure it is cleaned properly, and this requires locating the housing compartment. Typically found on the driver’s side of the engine, the housing will be held down by a few latches. After removing these, pull the filter out of the compartment and inspect both for debris. Since airflow comes in from the bottom of your vehicle, it is not uncommon to find leaves and sticks at the compartment base. Clean this thoroughly with an air compressor, then check the filter for any rips or tears.

Apply oil to permanent types or simply swap out the disposable with a new one. Always be careful when removing and inserting the filter; manufacturers make the edges on air filters with pleated paper, so as to prevent accidental tearing. You can also wipe down the compartment with mild soap and water, but remember to dry the compartment thoroughly before re-attaching the housing clamps.


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