Air filters are a critical part of delivering maximum performance to your engine and ensuring protection by keeping harmful contaminants out of your intake manifold and valve train. A clean air filter can improve your car’s acceleration up to 11 percent.
How Difficult is Installation of Air FiltersMEDIUM
What is an Air Filter?
Air filters are vehicle components that are designed to prevent abrasive particles from entering car engine cylinders. They help to minimize wear and tear on your vehicle’s engine. They range in size and shape and are designed to fit your vehicle application. Air filters are most commonly a panel shape. The primary component of an air filter is the material or media that is surrounded by gasket material. Some filters are supported with wire mesh across the face of the material.
How do Air Filters Work?
Air filters are designed to sit in a cavity near your intake manifold. Your vehicle’s intake manifold pulls air into the engine from the air box and the air filter sits at the top of that box. As air is drawn in, it is pulled across the pleats of media that make up the air filter. That media protects the vehicle and its components by capturing harmful particles before they enter the engine. When clogged, the filter will prevent or restrict proper air flow into the combustion chambers.
How are Air Filters Made?
While construction of air filters may vary slightly, generally they are constructed with gaskets surrounding the filtering media and provide a seal within the air intake chamber. Filtering material is specially designed to remove dirt from the air entering the engine. An external screen on round, radial, and some panel air filters provides strength while allowing the free flow of air to the engine.
Why do Air Filters Fail?
- Lack of proper maintenance/replacement
- Severe driving
What are Symptoms of Air Filter Failure?
- Poor acceleration
- Reduced fuel economy of some applications
- Rough idle and/or starting
- Check engine light engaging
What are Consequences of Air Filter Failure?
- Internal component damage
- Clogged filters can become so restricted that the filter collapses and media is drawn into the engine causing catastrophic failure
If you have questions or concerns about air filters, your vehicle’s mass air flow system, or any of your vehicle’s components, come into your local Pep Boys where we can answer any question, help you find any part, or perform any vehicle service you might need.
If you want to learn more about other car parts, especially as they apply to air filters, we recommend reading up on transmission filters, oil filters, and cabin air filters.