Replacing the air filter is something that can give you better engine performance at a fairly low cost. However, there's an alternative option that allows you to extend the life of your filter and get it to do its job of keeping airborne contaminants away from your engine. Here are some tips on how to make your Acura CL air filter last longer by cleaning it:
The question of how often you should clean your air filter will ultimately depend on your personal preference. Like the issue of when to change your oil, some people will insist on doing it after driving 3,000 miles. In fact, there are Acura owners who clean or at the very least check how dirty the filter is during an oil change. Other owners will do it less frequently because their aftermarket filters have been designed to do their job better as they become dirtier. Cleaning the filter too often could give you less filtering power and actually allow more dirt into the intake, so use your senses to measure how dirty the filter actually is. Raise it up and if you cannot see light through it, then it's time for a cleaning.
When you're pressed for time, you can simply take the Acura's filter out of the engine bay, blow on it with an air duster, and return it. It's a quick fix that will still leave some contaminants, but at least it won't damage anything. When you do have the time, you can wash your filter with a cleaning solution in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the inside of your filter, going outside so that the dirt washes away. Let the filter soak in until the filter has an off-white color.
Some brands that sell Acura CL air filters will also provide a kit that contains two bottles: one for the cleaner and one for the oil. If you don't want to be this particular, there are air filter cleaning kits available at supermarkets. If you're doing it the quick-and-dirty way, use a vacuum cleaner with its narrowest hose attachment to get into every pleat.
Oil the filter by spraying down into each pleat until the filter returns to its original color. Let it dry completely before returning it under the hood. Never use a wet air filter because it can damage your engine.
Even if you're only vacuuming the air filter, you should take the time to clean its housing components to remove any dirt inside the canister. You can vacuum it as well, or you can wipe it with a soft rag. Just make sure that it's completely dry before returning the filter inside.