Air filters are your vehicle's first line of defense against dust and particulates that can enter your car's engine system. In cars, there are two kinds of air filters, the combustion air filter and the cabin air filter. Combustion air filters prevent particulate matter from penetrating your engine's combustion chambers while cabin air filters, purify the air that enters your vehicle's ventilation system.
Automotive filters are usually made of different materials such as paper, foam and cotton. Paper filter are generally used for cars because they are inexpensive and disposable. With paper filters, good air flow is sacrificed for better filtration. For performance filtration, foam filters are used because these have a higher retention level and these permit better air intake, like cotton gauze. Foam filters are popular in rallying and other motor sports. Cotton on the other hand, is regarded as the best material for filtration. These can be cleaned and re-oiled to be used again. However, cotton air filters cannot be used at different environments. These cannot be used at dusty deserts and even snowy countries. This is why, paper and foam are better preferred by most motorists.
Air filters play an important role in engine performance and even by in your safety. Always keep your air filters in tip-top shape. If you use disposable filters, always make sure that they are changed on a regular basis. Ad if you utilize foam and any other washable filters, always keep them clean.
Important Facts You Need to Know About Air Filter
Clean engine air is always achievable with a well-maintained air filter. Enjoy performance with one.
Do you know that vehicles are among the two major sources of air pollution, with stationary facilities like factories being the other one? The irony is this: in your own vehicle, you have at least two kinds of air filter to keep pollutants away. Isn't that funny? Your vehicle produces pollution, but it tries to get rid of it.
You will find one performance air filter in your cold air intake system under the hood, called an internal combustion air filter. The other one is the air conditioner filter (AC filter), also called an automobile cabin filter. Both take away up to 99 percent of bacteria, dust, pollen, and other micro particles, helping the system
Air Filter: Just the Facts
Even the bodies of the world's top athletes, no matter how well-kept they are, need the benefits of breathing. Your car's engine is no different. Your car's engine may be topnotch in performance, but the fact remains that it needs air - lots of it - to be able to run smoothly.And it's not enough that the engine gets a constant supply of air; what your vehicle's powerhouse needs is air that's clean. This is why your vehicle has an air filter. The air filter makes sure that debris such as dust and dirt don't enter the engine block.As small as dirt or dust particles may be, they can damage moving engine parts. The air filter keeps these contaminants out by trapping them in paper filtration material. Over time, though, the filtration material can get clogged.When that happens, the engine receives less air and uses more fuel to produce the needed power to run your car. Stop making things hard for your car's engine. CarParts.com has the best replacement air filter you're ever going to need.
• Designed with exact-fit features.
• Gives the engine an unrestricted supply of clean air.
• Improves engine performance and fuel efficiency.
Air Filter Buyer's Guide
· Automotive air filters protect both the vehicle and its passengers from harmful air contaminants.
· An engine filter regulates and decontaminates the air that flows from the cold air intake system towards the engine.
· Clean air is extremely critical to optimize fuel burning in an internal combustion engine.
· In older vehicles, missing the filter is improbable because it is a large round piece that sits on top of the carburetor. Most modern filters either come in the form of a cone or a rectangular panel.
· There are two main types of engine air filters—dry and oiled performance filters.
· The cost of an automotive air filter will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. OE replacement air filters will generally cost you anywhere in the range of $5 to $410. They are sold either individually or in sets of two or more.
· Have your air filter checked every time your vehicle gets an oil change. You should have these checks annually or every 12,000 miles. You may have it checked earlier if you frequently drive around areas that are dusty or have a lot of road debris.
What are automotive air filters?
Just as humans require fresh air to keep all critical body systems running smoothly, your vehicle requires clean air to run at optimal performance. Automotive air filters protect both the vehicle and its passengers from harmful air contaminants.
There are two common types of air filters that you would see in a vehicle. The term air filter usually refers to the engine air filter, otherwise known as an internal combustion air filter. The other kind of air filter is known as the cabin air filter.
What’s the difference between a cabin air filter and an engine air filter?
Cabin air filters, also called air conditioning filters, filter the air that comes from your outside air intake. They improve air quality inside the vehicle filtering out dust, pollen, and other pollutants. Replacing a bad cabin air filter is mostly done for safety and health purposes. Replacing this component doesn’t impact vehicle performance.
The engine air filter is designed to regulate the quality of air that flow to your engine. Its main role is to protect the engine from contaminants that may interfere with efficient fuel combustion. Replacing a failing engine air filter will generally improve vehicle power and performance. While these two types of filters are both essential to the operation of a vehicle, this guide will focus on engine air filters.
What is an engine filter?
An engine filter regulates and decontaminates the air that flows from the cold air intake system towards the engine. Just as how oxygen is needed to start a fire, sufficient clean air is extremely critical to optimize fuel burning in an internal combustion engine.
In older vehicles, missing the engine air filter is improbable because it is a large round piece that sits on top of the carburetor. Most modern filters either come in the form of a cone or a rectangular panel. They are usually made from a disposable paper material or reusable wire-wrapped cotton, and are installed in front of the engine compartment inside a cold air collector box.
How does an engine air filter work?
All internal combustion engines need air to burn fuel. Cold air from outside the vehicle is ideal for maximum power and performance because of its higher density. The air intake system is located directly behind the grille of a vehicle. As vehicle the vehicle runs, air passes through a tube that is connected to the air filter housing. The engine filter inside this box traps dirt and airborne contaminants before allowing the air to flow towards the engine.
What are the types of car air filters?
There are two main types of engine air filters—dry and oiled performance filters.
Dry or paper air filters
Dry filters, also known as disposable paper filters, are made from thick fibers that are compressed to create a dense filtration surface. Their construction makes them more restrictive with airflow, effectively minimizing contaminants that may harm your engine. Most vehicles come with an OEM paper filter that can get blocked and will require replacement over time.
Oiled or reusable air filters
On the other hand, oiled air filters are made from oil-treated high flow cotton. Instead of a dense surface for filtration, they rely on the oiled surface to trap dust. Oiled air filters are a great option for drivers who want to improve engine performance by increasing air intake. These filters are washable and reusable, giving them a longer lifespan than dry paper air filters.
How much does it cost to replace an air filter?
The cost of an automotive air filter will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. OE replacement air filters will generally cost you anywhere in the range of $5 to $410. They are sold individually or in sets of two or more. Changing an air filter is a quick fix that you can do on your own or with the help of a licensed mechanic.
What are the symptoms of a bad air filter?
Here are eight common signs that strongly indicate the need for an engine air filter replacement.
1. Check engine light switches on
Inadequate air supply to the engine results in an increase in carbon deposits which can trigger the Check Engine Light. This warning light can be activated by a variety of engine problems, so it is best to consult a trusted mechanic to accurately diagnose your vehicle.
2. Strong fuel scent when starting the car
The lack of clean air inside the engine can mess your air-to-fuel ratio up, resulting in an excess of unburnt fuel in the engine. If you smell a strong gasoline scent emitted from your exhaust pipe while starting your vehicle, it’s likely that there is an issue with the engine air filter.
3. Visible dirt buildup on the air filter
Knowing when to replace your car air filter can be as simple as checking under the hood and taking a peek inside the air filter housing. New filters typically come in light colors such as white to make it easier to check if it needs replacing.
4. Higher fuel consumption than usual
Reduced fuel economy is another common sign of a dirty or damaged air filter. An imbalance in the air and fuel mix will make the engine work harder to produce the same level of performance as it does with a clean air filter. A modern engine needs approximately 10,000 gallons of air to burn a gallon of fuel.
5. Slow acceleration
A lack of air in the engine can result in up to an 11% loss in horsepower. If your car is slow or jerks upon acceleration, it may be time to replace your engine air filter.
6. Misfiring engine
Carbon deposits may accumulate on the spark plug as a result of an imbalance in the engine’s air-to-fuel ratio. These deposits will make it harder to ignite the fuel, resulting in difficulty starting up your vehicle.
7. Soot or black smoke from the exhaust
Another sign of a bad engine air filter is black soot coming out from the exhaust pipe of a vehicle. This happens when the engine is starved for air and runs ‘too rich’ which means there is an excessive amount of fuel left unburnt, creating byproducts that are released via the exhaust.
8. Coughing or popping engine noises
A damaged spark plug due to a dirty or damaged air filter can cause your vehicle to vibrate excessively or make unusual noises while starting your engine.
How often should you replace the engine air filter?
To keep your vehicle running in top condition, you’ll have to know how often to change air filters in your car. A good rule is to have your air filter checked every time your vehicle gets an oil change. You should have these checks annually or every 12,000-45,000 miles. You may have it checked earlier if you frequently drive around areas that are dusty or have a lot of road debris.
Use our website’s search feature to find the right air filter for your vehicle. To narrow down your search, simply type in your vehicle’s correct year, make, and model to browse through compatible parts.
How to Choose the Right Engine Air Filter
In modern automobiles, the air must be filtered before it enters the engine cylinders to prevent abrasive particles from causing mechanical damage. The engine air filter takes care of this task. Without air filters, engines will be strained and damaged by foreign particles.
But air filters, just like everything else, can't withstand harsh environmental conditions. Eventually, they need to be replaced to keep your car in peak condition. Poor gas mileage and ineffective emissions control system are some of the symptoms of worn air filters. If you want to buy a new filter, there are some things to remember so that you will not regret your purchase. Which type of air filter is best for my car?
There are different types of air filters to help improve your car's performance. Listed below are the different types that you can choose from if you're looking for a new air filter.
Which brand of air filter should I buy?
- Paper: Because they are cost-efficient and effective, paper filters are commonly used in factory automobile assemblies. They are made from industrial-grade paper and folded like an accordion to trap dust and debris. Though paper filters are cheap, they need to be replaced often to avoid engine problems.
- Foam: Made from polyurethane foam soaked in oil, foam filters are frequently used by off-road drivers because of their excellent filtering capacity. Although foam filters are thick and reusable, they disintegrate over time and clog engines.
- Cotton: Oil-wetted cotton gauze is used in high-performance filters for race cars because it increases an engine's air intake. But because cotton filters are considered high-performance upgrades, they are expensive.
Because air filters are important engine components, many car parts manufacturers produce filters. In fact, because there are too many brands, air filters can range from $20 to $399. But, price is proportional to quality, so choose a brand known for its high quality and affordability. Which is better: OEM or aftermarket air filter?
If you want to buy a new air filter, you can choose between original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or aftermarket air filters. OEM filters are usually more expensive, while aftermarket ones come with a number of brands and options. But just because OEM filters are expensive doesn't mean they are better than aftermarket filters. If you want factory-like performance, choose OEM filters. But if you want customizable performance, choose aftermarket ones.
How to Install a New Air Filter
(Note: These are general instructions for all kinds of automobiles.)Difficulty level: EasyThings needed:
- New air filter
- Phillips screwdriver
- Clean cloth
Safety reminder: Wear protective gear while working on your automobile.
Step 1: Lift the hood of your vehicle to be able to locate the air filter housing.
Step 2: Take the mounting screws out of the filter housing cover using a Phillips screwdriver. Free the housing cover from clips or clamps that are used to keep it closed.
Step 3: Open the cover of the filter housing and take out your old air filter. But, take note of how your old air filter is positioned before removing it to be able to place the new one properly.
Step 4: Wipe the housing with a clean cloth.
Step 5: Place your new air filter on the housing.
Step 6: Put the mounting screws back on the filter housing cover and secure it with clips or clamps.
Step 7: Inspect the air intake and vacuum hoses to see if there are cracks in them. Check the hose connections to the filter housing to be sure that they are secure.
- Automobile air filters usually need to be replaced every year or every 12,000 miles that your vehicle travels. So, after you install your new air filter, take note of the date and the odometer reading of your car. Once 12 months or 12,000 miles have passed, it's time to put a new one again.
Step 8: Get a flashlight and point its beam towards a dirty air filter. If there is hardly any light that penetrates through the filter, you should probably get a new one to take its place.
Step 9: Your car's fuel consumption can increase and its performance can suffer if you don't replace an old air filter.