An engine needs two things to run: fuel and air. The air absorbed by the motor must first pass through the air filter. The function of the filter is to retain the impurities without affecting the flow of air entering the engine for combustion.
When driving with a filter in saturated state, engine performance will be affected, which could lead to malfunctions. It would also imply an increase in the emission of polluting gases into the atmosphere. The air filter is crucial for optimum engine performance that can be changed easily and for a good price (between 10 and 40 euros) piece.
What is the purpose of the air filter?
The air filter is the first part of the engine intake system. It retains the dust particles in suspension so that they do not enter the combustion chamber.
If the filter becomes saturated and is not replaced, the particles could cause it to penetrate and cause scratches on the pistons and cylinder walls, which would result in premature deterioration of the engine. Therefore, replacing air filter due time prevents further damage that would require a major expense for repairs.
A saturated filter will also block air passage, reducing the inlet flow to the engine. If less air were to enter the combustion chamber, that difference would be covered by a higher fuel input. That is, the vehicle would consume more fuel than necessary, while the power of the engine would be reduced.
In addition, the decompensation of the balance between fuel and air would cause exhaust gas emissions to be polluting, since a disproportionate mixture does not burn properly.
When should I change the air filter?
The major brands of air filters usually recommend a range of kilometers for replacement. However, the truth is that these values can vary significantly depending on the environment in which the vehicle is driven and the time of year. For example, dry areas and dirt roads would dirty the filter first. The same thing happens with the pollen of the trees in spring and summer.
Typically, in each periodic review it is carried out an exchange air filter . But if you want to have a first-hand control of the filter of your car, you will be interested to know that two of the most notorious indications that the filter is saturated is the decrease in power when accelerating and the emission of opaque and dark gases through the tube Of escape.
Another indicator that you must change the filter is the malfunction of the electronic sensors due to the obstruction of the air passage. These include the flow meter and the pressure sensor of the intake manifold.
You can also remove the filter to check its level of dirt. The original color of the filters is usually a light yellow or white. Try shaking it a bit to remove dust from its surface and check the dirtiness of the paper fiber, but do not try to clean it because you could break it. If you decide to change the filter, we recommend you do it through a professional workshop.
Clean the air filter: an option to discard
Cleaning the filter with a blowtorch is a widespread practice among mechanics. However, experts recommend avoiding it, since cleaning will only allow loose particles of dust to be removed, but not those retained in the paper fiber. It is impossible to remove the retained particles without damaging the filter. As the improvement offered by surface cleaning is insignificant, it is necessary to change the air filter when it is dirty and thus contribute to the performance of the engine and prevent further complications.