Looking for ways to improve your vehicle’s mileage? One place to look is the air filter. A clogged or dirty air filter can impede gas mileage by up to 10%. Your car’s air filter protects the engine against grit and grime. A blocked air filter essentially chokes your automobile and restricts its air intake. A dirty filter can be worse than having no filter at all.
Your car’s engine needs lots of clean air to run smoothly. The problem is that there’s so much dirt and debris on most roadways. You can easily drive over roads every single day that have dirt, oil, bird feathers, sand, litter, pollen, and salt, just to name a few. Your car’s air filter protects the engine from those pollutants getting inside.
Car Air Filter Maintenance
Changing an air filter only takes about five minutes, but many auto owners just aren’t familiar with what goes on under the hood. If this is you, then ask your mechanic to change it the next time you go in for any type of service such as wheel rotation or oil change.
The build-up of grime takes place very slowly, over a period of time and you may not notice much a difference at first. Gradually, more air is choked off to the engine resulting in poor fuel economy and loss of performance. Most types of air filters can be cleaned and reused. Normally, the air filter should be vacuumed out well and then rinsed off in some type of cleaning solution. Make sure it is completely dry before reinstalling it.
Most air filters will only need to be changed every 15,000 miles or so. That makes it easy to justify the cost of simply installing a new filter. The filter itself will only cost around $20 but many auto mechanics will charge another $10 or so to install it. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, just do it yourself. The auto supply store will help you find the right filter for your car. They can often tell you exactly how to change it as well. This is a good chore to give to the teens in your family.