Knowing Car Maintenance: Air Filter Check

air filterhis week’s topic is a follow up to previous post on understanding car maintenance. Over the next few weeks, we will take a look at simple checks you can do on your own, which will help you to better understand your vehicle and keep it running smoothly. This post will cover air filters.

The benefits of a clean air filter include enhanced engine performance, longer engine life, better gas mileage, and lower emissions. A dirty air filter prevents the necessary amount of clean air from reaching the engine, which hinders the car’s emission control system by reducing air flow. Lack of clean air may lead to ignition problems caused by dirty spark plugs, leading to engine miss, rough idle and starting problems.To check your air filter condition:

  1. Turn off the engine, pop the hood, and wait for the engine to cool
  2. Look for the filter housing, which is located near the engine
  3. Open housing by loosening bolts or clips (see your manual for specific details)
  4. Remove filter
  5. Tap it lightly on a hard surface to remove loose dirt

If it looks excessively dirty, you probably need a replacement. Your auto service provider can help you with selecting a quality air filter replacement that is right for your vehicle make and model.