Engine Air Filter
WHAT IS IT
Installation of a replacement air filter.
WHY DO IT
The air filter traps dirt particles, which can cause damage to engine cylinders, valves, pistons and piston rings. Excessive clogging will starve your engine of the necessary large volumes of air it requires to mix with the fuel, which may cause loss of engine performance and reduced fuel economy. Your vehicle’s engine uses close to 40, 000 litres of air for every 3.5 litres of fuel burned, so the air filter has a critical role.
WHEN TO DO IT
Your filter should be inspected at every oil change interval. In "normal" driving conditions, change every 20, 000 km; if "severe" (dusty roads, heavy traffic congestion), then change every 10, 000 km.
The typical air filter is a disposable, pleated-paper element with a sealing gasket made of synthetic material. Filters come in two main types: the panel style as used on most fuel-injected cars and the radial style, which is usually used on carbureted vehicles.
The air filter traps dirt particles, which can cause damage to engine cylinders, walls, pistons and piston rings. The air filter also plays a role in keeping contaminants off the airflow sensor (some fuel-injected cars) and sometimes in cleaning the air that enters the crankcase for crankcase ventilation. The air filter also serves as a silencer for your car’s intake system. Your car’s engine can use close to 40,000 litres of air for every 3.5 litres of fuel burned, so it’s easy to see how big a job the air filter has.
Although your car’s owner’s manual may specify an inspection interval for the air filter, it’s really best that it be checked at every oil change. Dirty and dusty driving conditions will require more frequent filter replacements, so keep this in mind. Driving with a dirty filter restricts the air entering the engine, and if severe, can impact performance.