Whether own a new or an older car, getting the desired amount of power has roots in each driver’s mind. It feels terrifying to not be able to complete overtake in safe conditions, because your car lacks a proper acceleration. Also, many drivers forget about trying to catch that green light since they are aware the car isn’t going to speed up fast enough to safely go through green and don’t be caught on red in the middle of the intersection. Such problems have a rather simple solution, one that most would not expect to be so efficient: replacing a dirty car air filter.
Purpose of an air filter
Before getting into a step by step guide on how to change your air filter, a discussion should be taken on how does the air filter work and what is its purpose. The name pretty much uncovers the scope of the air filter; however, there are few elements not known by the average driver. A car’s air filter works as a lung; air is drawn inside the combustion chamber by vacuum forces emitted by the engine. Before getting inside the combustion chamber, air must be purified to ensure that no particles will affect the combustion process, leading to incomplete combustion or physical damage to the intake valve or the piston.
An air filter features small pores designed to let air molecules pass while retaining any other impurities collected along: dust, debris, and insects. However, as time passes and the air is cleaned, the air filter will start to fill up with blocked impurities. Such impurities will eventually block the pores through which oxygen flows, leading to a bottleneck effect. The engine won’t be able to suck in enough air and will reduce performance as there won’t be enough oxygen to complete the combustion process properly.
How to choose a proper dirty air filter replacement
There are more air filter types than their cars out there, so choosing the proper air filter for your car is a must when one wants to recover lost acceleration and overall performance. Usually, it is best to ask for an air filter in a parts & accessories shop, by providing all your vehicle details such as make, model, year, trim, engine specs. This way, the seller will be able to find the exact match for your air filter replacement needs.
While usually, getting a new stock air filter and replacing the old dirty one will increase car performance, power can be upgraded a little more by going for a sports air filter. Unlike a regular filter which is most of the time flat, featuring a rectangular shape, sports filters come in the shape of a cone. They are built from different materials and feature bigger pores to let the air in, thus increasing engine power. One must be aware that a sports air filter won’t do a noticeable change on older, low spec cars, so it is pointless in choosing it over a stock air filter. However, in higher end cars with increased engine power, using a sports filter over the stock one could provide an extra boost.
Replacing a dirty air filter
Usually, changing a dirty air filter does not require intensive automotive knowledge, nor does it require specialized tools. A Phillips screwdriver and a set of wrenches should be enough to replace the dusty thing. Air filters are found inside a plastic protective casing. At first, one must remove any tubular connections between the case and the engine. Depending on the car make and model, there may be between one and three tubular connections, all kept in place with metallic zip ties or bolts.
Once the air filter case is separated from the engine, proceed on uncovering the cap either by unscrewing it or clicking the clams. Take out the old, dirty air filter and replace it with the new one. Finally, repeat the whole process the other way around to reassemble the tubes.