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. Auto Parts Deal 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.
Universal Air Filter Buyer’s Guide
- A universal air filter is an engine air filter that is compatible with more than one make-model.
- In older vehicle models, the air filter is a large round piece that sits on top of the carburetor. Most modern cars carry conical or rectangular air filters that are installed inside a cold air intake box that is located at the front of the engine compartment.
- Universal air filters are functionally equivalent to direct-fit engine air filters. Similar to how oxygen is needed to light a fire, your car’s engine needs clean air to ignite fuel and power the vehicle.
- There are two types of universal engine air filters that you may come across. These are dry or paper air filters and oiled or reusable air filters.
- A dry or paper engine air filter has a dense filtration surface made up of compressed thick fibers.
- An oiled or reusable engine air filter is typically made up of multiple layers of oil-treated cotton. These have a longer life span than dry filters because they are washable and reusable.
- The price of a replacement air filter will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. Universal air filters will generally cost you anywhere between $20 and $150.
What is a universal air filter?
As its name suggests, a universal air filter is an engine air filter that is compatible with more than one make-model. This type of automotive filter may also be referred to as an internal combustion air filter. It is meant to regulate airflow into the engine and protect it from harmful contaminants.
In older vehicle models, the air filter is a large round piece that sits on top of the carburetor. Most modern cars carry a rectangular panel or a cone air filter installed inside a cold air intake box that is located at the front of the engine compartment.
How does a universal air filter work?
Universal air filters are functionally equivalent to direct-fit engine air filters. Similar to how oxygen is needed to light a fire, your car’s engine needs clean air to ignite and burn fuel. This type of air filter is designed to regulate the quality of air that is drawn into the engine.
An air intake system is located behind the grille. As the vehicle moves, air flows into this system and is directed towards the filter housing. This air passes through the filter to remove contaminants that may interfere with the combustion process. Finally, the clean air flows towards the engine.
What are the types of universal air filters?
There are two types of universal engine air filters that you may come across. These are dry or paper air filters and oiled or reusable air filters.
Dry or paper air filters
A dry or paper engine air filter has a dense filtration surface made up of compressed thick fibers. The obvious advantage of using this type of filter is that it effectively protects your car from contaminants that may harm your engine. The only downside is that it can be extremely restrictive with airflow, which could affect engine performance.
Oiled or reusable air filters
An oiled or reusable engine air filter is typically made up of multiple layers of oil-treated cotton. Its wet surface is meant to trap dust and other contaminants. The filtration surface of this design is not as dense as a paper filter, allowing better air intake. It has a longer life span than a dry filter because it is washable and reusable.
How much does a replacement air filter cost?
The price of a replacement air filter will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. Universal air filters will generally cost you anywhere between $20 and $150. These are sold individually. While it is possible to install this part on your own, it is strongly recommended to seek the help of a licensed mechanic to ensure secure and proper fitting.
What are the signs of a faulty air filter?
Dirt buildup on the filter
One of the easiest ways to determine when you need to replace your air filter is to look under the hood and check inside the air filter housing. Filters typically come in a light or bright color that makes it easier for you to check how much dirt has been collected.
Failing to replace a dirty filter can damage the spark plug which can result in your vehicle vibrating excessively. You will also hear coughing or popping noises coming from the engine.
Reduced fuel economy
A bad air filter has a direct effect on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. A dirty or clogged filter will mess up the air-to-fuel ratio inside the engine. This results in your car burning more fuel than normal just to produce the same power it does with a clean filter.
Your engine can lose up to 11% of its horsepower with a bad air filter. You may notice that your car doesn’t accelerate as quickly as it normally does and that it makes jerking movements as you step on the gas.
Unburnt fuel due to a lack of air inside the combustion chamber will result in the accumulation of carbon deposits. This by-product will contaminate the fuel, making it harder to ignite and start your vehicle. Soot and black smoke may also be emitted from your tailpipe as a result of these deposits being drawn into the exhaust system.
Check engine light turns on
Limited airflow in the engine will trigger the Check Engine Light to switch on. To rule out other issues that may have activated this warning light, consult a licensed mechanic immediately.
When should an air filter be replaced?
It’s important for car owners to know how often they should change their engine air filters. A great way of remembering when to have it cleaned or changed is by scheduling it at the same time as your oil change. If you drive on dirt roads or in areas with bad pollution, you should have your air filter checked every 12,000 miles or earlier. If not, you may have this part replaced every 30,000 miles.
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