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Air Filters - The Auto Part That Helps Your Vehicle Breathe Better

Air Filters
Photo: iStockphoto

The first in our series of vehicle maintenance posts is on an auto part that you can easily maintain yourself – your air filter! Keeping a clean air filter is crucial in maintaining proper engine performance and extending your engine longevity.

How does it work?

Air flows through your air filter into your vehicle’s engine. The air is then mixed with fuel in the vehicle’s cylinders.  The cleaner the air filter is, the more air flows through to your engine, optimizing your fuel mixture and gas mileage. You heard right, making sure your air filter is clean can help you save on fuel too. 
There have been many times when I’ve had a quick look at my air filter only to find old cigarette butts picked up from the road, dust, insects and grimy dirt. Yuck! I certainly don’t want my engine breathing that stuff, so I make a point to check my air filter at the time of an oil change – probably more frequently than necessary.  You can refer to your owner’s manual to see how often you should replace your air filter. Here's a good trick to see if your air filter needs to be replaced - hold it up to the sunlight and if you cannot see light coming through it, it's time to change it. Also, most filters are light coloured - similar to your furnace filter.  If it's grey or black - yep, you guessed it - time to replace.
Air filters are also one of the few auto parts that you can easily change yourself – even if you’re a novice!
Check out this great video from www.ehow.com, “How to Change Your Air Filter”.
Do you remember your air filter when you think of vehicle maintenance?
Would you attempt to change your air filter yourself… or leave it to the experts?

- Julie S.


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We really appreciate your post,Thanks for sharing an easy maintaining tips for our car parts.


Thanks for the info on the air filters


If you have Sunoco, Hess, Valero, stations in NJ you will be bnyiug gasoline from American fuel sources. You car should use no less than 91 octane fuel. Larger Sunoco stations have 91 octane fuel.The last time I drove through your state I noticed many Hess stations.Your on-board computer regulates the fuel air mixture. The anti-knock sensor reduces ignition timing when the octane rating is too low which otherwise causes pre-ignition. The more the anti-knock sensor reduces ignition timing you will loose fuel economy and horsepower.The higher the fuel octane the cooler and slower the fuel air mixture burns. High compression engines deserve higher octane fuel.

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