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How a Dirty Air Filter Affects Performance

Your engine has an air filter than enables good, clean air to provide the oxygen needed for internal combustion. Without enough oxygen, the engine cannot produce the power needed to make your vehicle go. And if dirt. debris or other foreign particles work their way into the combustion chamber, you might wind up with engine damage. A good, clean air filter helps to stop that from happening.

Most air filters are made using a paper element that enables air to pass through but not dust and debris. A plastic frame with rubber seal hold the paper element in place while preventing air from passing around the filter. A new air filter with a traditional paper element usually lasts between 12,000 and 15,000 miles before requiring replacement.

Some aftermarket air filters do not use paper and instead rely on foam or cotton-like material that is oiled to trap dirt. The high-flow air filters enable the maximum amount of oxygen into the combustion chamber, which makes it possible to increase the fuel, too. More air and fuel in the combustion chamber increases the power output from the engine.

Typical Air Filter Service
Most drivers do not give the air filter any thought other than when getting an oil change service and the technician includes an air filter check. A typical air filter lasts between 12,000 and 15,000 miles before it collects too much dirt and needs to be replaced. Some might suffer minor damage that requires replacement sooner. And if you drive in a rainy or a dusty climate, the air filter could go bad sooner than 12,000 miles.

Regular air filter service is an important part of preventive maintenance to enable the engine to produce the best possible power and fuel economy. Even a new air filter could suffer damage or have elements that deteriorate quickly.

Whenever our certified technicians at C&S Car Company inspect the air filter, they look for too much dust, dirt and damage to the filter element and its housing. If anything is wrong, we can replace it with a factory OEM filter or among the many great aftermarket options that we have available through our well-supplied parts counter. You could choose a conventional air filter with a paper element or one of the many great high-flow

Signs Your Vehicle Needs Air Filter Service
Most vehicles have the engine air filter located inside a plastic housing to better control air flow and reduce dust and dirt contamination. That also makes it really easy for vehicle owners to ignore what they do not see and often take for granted. If an oil change shop did not include the air filter inspection, many motorists would continue driving until the filter becomes too clogged or otherwise is damaged and affects engine performance.

Obvious signs that your vehicle’s engine needs an air filter service include hard starting and a stumbling engine.

When the air filter goes bad, one of two things usually happen. The first is not nearly enough oxygen gets to the combustion chamber, which causes the engine to run rich with too much fuel. That means you are getting less than optimal burn of the atomized fuel and are losing lower as well as fuel economy. Eventually, the engine will stop running at all and will not start.

The other problem with a bad air filter is when it does not restrict air flow to the combustion chamber as intended. While you need air flow to get the best power, unfiltered air flowing in with no restrictions will cause the engine to run lean with too much oxygen in the combustion chamber. A lean engine runs hot and can burn up valves., spark plugs and other parts if you ignore it for too long.

Whenever the air filter has gone bad, the engine always suffers and could cause more problems if you do not correct the matter. Given the affordable price of OEM and aftermarket air filters and the ease of removing old ones and installing new ones, there really is no excuse for ignoring your engine air filter. If your car, pickup, SUV or van is not running right and you have not serviced the air filter, a quick check could affirm whether or not it has gone bad and a replacement is needed.