When is it time to change your intake air filter?
As a general rule, preventative maintenance practices tell us to change our car's intake air filter at about the same rate as you change your oil. That means, for every 5,000 miles you drive it would be wise to replace that air filter and all the debris that's been accumulating within the paper element. It will help your car's engine breathe a little better, and will provide a marginal improvement to your gas mileage and horsepower. Without regularly changing your intake air filter, it will eventually catch enough dust and grime to completely clog the element and there won't be enough air mixing with the fuel. It will run rich, emissions will suffer, and you won't get the performance that the vehicle manufacturer intended. Plus, with as easy and inexpensive as it is to change your air filter, there's no reason not to do it at regular intervals.
Why does your engine need an air filter?
For as long as internal combustion engines have been in cars, mixing liquid gasoline and air has been an absolute mandate. Since fuel in liquid form isn't combustible, it must be mixed with air in order to detonate. However, not all air is clean; and if you want to keep an engine running well for as long as possible, you want to filter the air before sending it to the intake manifold. Early intake air filters were actually complicates systems built to prevent the loads of dust that was commonly kicked up during the early decades of the automobile. A great many auto manufacturers used to filter particulates prior to being induced by the carburetor. This system used a series of airflow passageways that forced large particles down into an oil sump while smaller particles would be trapped by an oiled brush or other media. It was very efficient for the time, but cleaning this system was quite a pain. A few decades later, the replaceable paper element intake air filter was invented and has reigned supreme ever since.
Simple engine maintenance.
Changing your intake air filter is as easy as 1, 2, 3. For most cars, it can be done in about 10 minutes and requires little to no experience or special tools. First, you have to locate the intake air box. On fuel-injected engines, it's usually a large black plastic box mounted hear the front of your engine compartment. On carbureted engines, it's that round box above your carburetor on top of your intake manifold. There is either a nut and bolt or some sort of clip holding the top on the box. The top can either be removed or propped up to reveal the old intake air filter element. If you haven't changed it in a while, it's going to be dirty and brown. You should be able to simply lift the air filter right out of the box and drop in a new one. Once you have installed it, just close and fasten the top and you're done. You now have a brand new clean intake air filter element.
No need to go to the store anymore.
When buying a new intake air filter, it doesn't make sense to get just one. The best thing you could do is to purchase three or four at a time, because you are eventually going to need them - and you don't want to pay separate shipping costs for each one. We carry all the big name brands and manufacturers, as well as generic replacement intake air filters for all makes and models. So when you need to do your regular service oil and air filter replacement every couple of months, we've got you covered.