When and How to Change Your Air Filter

When and How to Change Your Air Filter

There are all kinds of horsepower-increasing tricks that you can employ to get the most out of your engine, however many people forget about a simple one that every single car can use, regardless of its age, style, or any other factor: your air filter.

An air filter works by functioning as a very fine screen that your engine breathes through, removing the dust, dirt, bugs, and other debris. If these things were to get into your engine, they’d grind against your pistons and cylinder walls, damaging your engine and making it less efficient due to additional friction. So you can say this part is pretty important.

However, the more you use an air filter, the more debris gets stuck in the folds of paper or cloth, and the harder it is for air to pass through. Studies have shown a dirty air filter can reduce your horsepower by as much as 10% or more. New vehicles have computers which monitor and adjust the fuel/air mixture, but reduced airflow means less fuel into the engine, which means smaller explosions and less horsepower. Old carbureted engines experience a similar effect, only with more fuel consumption.

This brings up the second reason for your air filter’s importance: fuel efficiency. An engine that has to work harder to make the power you need is going to burn more fuel doing so. By not getting the air it needs, your engine will have to work harder and fire more times per second to produce the same horsepower, which will in turn harm your gas mileage.

Cleaning Your Filter

Maintaining your air filter can be a breeze. Every time you change your oil, pop out your air filter and brush the dirt out. You may wish to bang it against something to dislodge the dirt and dust first. This can remove a good chunk of the debris and keep your paper filters in working condition longer. Be sure to inspect the filter as well, looking for any holes or cracks that may have emerged. If you see any of these, replace it immediately. If you have a cloth filter, you can wash and re-oil your filter to make it good as new. However, be sure not to over-oil it, which can result in buildup in your MAF sensor.

If you’re looking to improve the air intake of your car for a boost in horsepower, call HP Motorsports! Our Houston auto performance shop can help you get the most out of your car by providing you with all types of high-horsepower equipment. Our technicians can install upgrades of all types, allowing you to get the speed and power you need and get back on the road.

Find out how can boost your car’s horsepower! Call HP Motorsports today at (281) 231-9950 and schedule a free estimate.

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