Burning fuel is the major functionality of an engine in a car and do you think this combustion process happens without oxygen? So, the engine primarily needs air that burns the fuel to run the vehicle but the car doesn’t run smoothly without the supply of clean air, oil, and fuel. Here comes the role of filters. Filter’s function is similar to our nose in the respiratory system. Our nose refines the air before entering the lungs, this is how filters in the engine make sure the components passing through it are clean.
Air filters are customised to purify the air component required for combustion before entering the engine. These filters keep the engine’s life extended and give you a smooth driving experience. With time, filthy filters can cause severe problems to the car so knowledge of how an air filter works and caring for it when required is necessary to avoid greater risks.
Working of Air Filter in an Engine:
Air in the atmosphere and fuel gets combined resulting in a fire at the head of a cylinder that runs the engine. Air filters are used to separate dust, sand, unwanted particles, etc., from the air that enters the engine. Apart from engine air filters are built for cabins too. While engine filters are built to extend the life of an engine, cabin filters ensure that the released air into the car doesn’t pollute the surroundings much. So, cabin filters are more concerned with the well-being of drivers and passengers.
Air filters are available in three categories of paper air filters, foam air filters, and cotton air filters. The material with which these air filters are made plays a major role in the working of air filters. For instance, paper-made air filters contain paper material as an obstacle for dirt to enter the engine. However, foam and cotton air filters are denser than paper air filters so these are of high quality and a must if your vehicle should sustain in considerably populated areas.
Recommend Read: What Happens When You Change Your Car’s Air Filter!
5 signs that your car’s filter needs replacement:
As the air filters grow older, you should doubt their performance. The lack of air reduces the engine capacity and leads to engine replacement in the long term. So, you need to clean or replace the air filters if you get to see any of the following clues.
Dirty air filter: This is the basic hint you can get when you are at the filter. A dirty air filter gets covered with dust and blocks the airflow into the engine. Without air, the engine troubles to give you a smooth driving experience.
Increased fuel consumption: More fuel is required to generate the power that drives the vehicle when there is a lack of air. So, if your air filter is clogged with dust, the engine won’t receive enough air to function properly and will instead use fuel.
At last, you end up paying high for fuel when your vehicle’s air filter is broken.
Engine light On: Check engine light can be noticed on the car’s dashboard in many decent models. A check engine light may come on for several reasons and a damaged air filter could be one of them. So, check on your air filter when you notice the check engine light on.
Odd noise: It is common to hear sneezy noise when your nose gets blocked in a cold. That is the same case with the engine. If the air filter is damaged and doesn’t allow clean air then the engine notifies you by making odd sounds.
Engine misfire: This is the worst that can happen when your air filter has done significantly bad to your engine. Your engine misfires and sometimes blasts when the damage in the air filter is extreme.
How should you maintain your car’s filter?
Clean it: Take out your car’s air filters and clean them regularly. This not only gives you better performance but also extends your engine’s battery life and keeps you away from expensive repairs.
You can use a vacuum cleaner and water to clean the air filters. Household vacuum cleaners work cool to clean the filters but water can make it cleaner if you have time.
Replacement: It used to be said that a car’s air filter needs a replacement for every 3000 miles but today vehicles really have premium filters that last for 1-2 years. If you want the number in miles, then replace your car filter for at least every 12000-15000 miles.
The atmosphere where you drive: The atmosphere is the air supplier for your car. I suggest you drive in comparatively less populated areas and don’t always drive in exceptionally hotter conditions unless it is a must for you.
It’s also good to park your car where it gets exposed to less heat.
Apply Oil to the air filter: After cleaning your vehicle’s air filter, it works even better when you apply oil to the air filter. This effectively prevents sand and dust from entering the engine.