Automotive Maintenance And Detailing


Automotive Maintenance And Detailing

What is Engine Air Filter?.

The car engine has an air filter as an important part of the engine combustion. The engine air filter is used for blocking the debris, particle, dirt, and dust and allow only the clean air to flow to the engine air inlet ports. Thus engine combustion system mixes the air with the fuel and ignites with spark plugs or high compression of the diesel engine in the combustion chambers. The smooth and large volume airflow is very necessary for combustion. The diesel engine can suck air more than ten thousand liters per 1 liter of fuel. Hence, you should check and maintain a good condition of the air filter as much as possible. Accordingly, the less volume of inlet air to the combustion chamber could be the cause of many problems. It consists of more fuel consumption, decreasing engine power and torque, vibration, difficult to start the engine, more toxic fumes especially in the diesel engine.

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Why does the filter important?.

The engine air filter is very important in the term of protection of your engine.  The  debris or particles could damage the engine combustion chambers in the long run.   Imagine you are driving your car without the engine air filter on the highway and it is suck some tiny but strong piece of metal into air inlet system.   Luckily, you have the air filter to block it on the air filter pleats otherwise it can pass through to the engine cylinders and pistons.   The debris like this can cause severe damage to your engine with no doubt.   For this reason, you should not drive your car without the engine air filter. 

Although your car is install with an air filter, you could see dirt passes through the engine oil.    You can see that when you have the engine oil changed on its maintenance schedule, dark engine oil will come out.   It is because of dirt of inlet air besides the engine combustion system which has run under high temperature and deteriorate engine oil.

Where is air filter located?.

The vehicle engine is normally receiving air to its combustion chambers via air conduit.  This air hose has two main components installed on one air tunnel.   The first one is the air filter box which get the air from the front of grille then the inlet air pass through filter to the throttle body.  The throttle body is used to adjust air volume into the engine.    Make it easier to understand, it works when you press the accelerator pedal to rev. the engine.  The air from throttle body then flow to engine chamber and mix with fuel for the combustion system.

That is the overall system which helps you understand air flow direction and location of its related parts.  Hence, the engine air filter should be the plastic black box install near or far most of the front of your car.  You can see the big black rubber hose from the box to metal housing of throttle body.  Then it has another hose at the other end of throttle body connected to the engine.

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How often do we need to change a new filter?.

You may hear from friend, mechanic, technician, professor, expert, car guru give advice that it is time to change the air filter right now. Some say 10,000 miles, 30,000 miles or whatever, but how you sure when will you need to change the new one?. Don’t ask us, please! It depends on many factors such as what mileage the car maker instructed, what road condition you drive clean road, dusty road, unpaved or else. These things make your air filter has a different condition and life span.

However, the first priority to check is from your car owner manual. You don’t need to worry about the period of changing if you buy the new car. Just bring your car to check and maintenance on schedule, the mechanic will check and replace it for you on the schedule of each brand and model. Thus you will have information on the services of your car whether when to change the air filter. It may be 15,000 or 30,000 miles which we think is most of the car brands’ recommendation.

For the second-hand car, you may have. No service book, no maintenance record. You could follow 15,000 or 30,000 miles for the maintenance period. Remove air filter box cover to check its condition if you don’t know when was last change. You can check online to a maintenance schedule of each model, for example in this picture is the maintenance schedule of Toyota Camry. It advises to change the engine air filter every 30,000 miles.

How many types are the engine air filter?.

There are three types of engine air filter.

– Paper Type

– Gauze Type

– Foam Type

Paper air filter is the most common for vehicles. This filter is made of paper, which you need to change periodically. It may be 12,000 – 15,000 miles each round. The paper filter can do filtration of dust, debris, particles, and soot to the car engine. It allows airflow to engine combustion through the pleats. You need to check for a replacement if it has a lot of dust, otherwise, the engine would reduce the power and causes of much more fuel consumption. The filter type can not clean. it needs to replace new ones from time to time.

Gauze air filter is another more advanced filter because it is a washable filter. You can clean and reuse the filter until the end of your car life. This filter must be oiled to trap the dust particles on its pleats. They make the pleat with a material like stainless steel, which you can clean with water. The price is about 3-4 times of ordinary filter but, investing only one time, you can use it until the end of  lifetime of car. It is very suitable for a car with high mileage per year. Because it would help you save a lot of money for this part. Some manufacturers guarantee that just cleaning and your car will get the power back as its engine specification.

The foam air filter is used with the small engine such as ATV, motorcycle which runs in the dusty area. They make it with foam or polyurethane material. They soak some filter with oil to trap the particles and dust.

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Gauze type air filter
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Paper type air filter
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Foam type air filter

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