Keeping Your Air Filter Fresh

If you own a car, you must inspect the air filter regularly to protect the engine. Whenever a filter has a technical problem, you will know it because the car will not function properly. In most cases, you can solve a filter problem by troubleshooting. However, if a filter has a major issue, you may need to buy a replacement.

driver in carBenefits of Replacing a Filter

When a car has a good filter, fuel efficiency increases and emissions reduce. According to studies, a new filter increases fuel mileage in most vehicles by 14 percent. The efficiency improves because a clogged filter only sends a little air to the engine. Without good air circulation, the engine will begin to choke. When an engine has proper airflow, emissions reduce dramatically.

Filter Replacement – Common Signs

Because different cars have unique operational components, the common signs or symptoms will vary. However, a filter usually need a replacement when gas mileage drops. Some cars also experience ignition problems because a clogged filter makes the spark plugs malfunction. Spark plugs issues can cause engine misses and operational problems. If you think your filter needs a replacement, you should inspect it. If the filter is no longer white, a replacement is required.

clipboard and car inspectionTroubleshooting

If your air filter makes strange noises, it is probably dirty. When a filter is bad, the vehicle may make coughing sounds when it stops on the highway. The filter produces this sound if it doesn’t receive enough air. In this situation, the filter must be replaced.

When a car doesn’t accelerate properly, the filter will not send enough air to the engine. All vehicles need clean air for combustion purposes. A dirty air filter, however, affects air intake functions. This is why a faulty filter decreases a vehicle’s performance. A clogged or dirty filter can be replaced easily by a trained automotive technician.

Shopping Considerations

Most air filters are designed for specific vehicle trims. However, a skilled automotive mechanic can cut a filter so that it can fit into a new frame.

Air filters are available in many shapes, but the most popular styles are drop filters and pod filters. These filters can be used with many different engine designs. A pod filter is not suitable for beginners; the installation process is complicated because consumers must remove the entire intake system. A drop-in filter is an industry standard since it can be used on most vehicles.

Replacement Procedures

If your car travels in dusty environments, you should inspect your filter every three months. If you commonly drive in dry, clean environments, the filter should be inspected every 12 months.

Before you change your filter, use your car’s emergency brake. Then, let the car cool down if it is still hot. Next, open the case by using the proper tools. Usually, most cases are secured with metal clips. However, you can remove the clips with a butter knife. If the case has screws, you must unscrew them with the correct screwdriver. After the top of the case is removed, lift the old filter out of the case and install the new one.

Although the process of changing a filter is easy, you should always review the owner’s manual for your vehicle for suggestions and advice. Most manufacturers list the best practices for filter installation and maintenance in their manuals. For more information, please give us a call at (480) 641-8784 or just stop by our location. We look forward to hearing from you!