Have you wondered that of a dirty air filter could try to your engine? Exactly, your engine appreciates breathing clean air, whether it’s one small lawnmower motor, an amazing dirt-bike engine or that turbocharged monster in your sporty coupe. Let’s take a look at how this lesser-known component plays a vital role in engine health.
Breathe In, Breathe Out
With every intake stroke, the cylinder inhales air, so to speak. Compression or spark combines fuel with oxygen, causing a tiny, controlled explosion. Over the exhaust stroke, the cylinder exhales nitrogen, water vapor and co2 fractional laser – like you, only hotter. Your engine comes with a air conditioner filter to hold dust, particles and insects from getting into the cylinders and mucking increase the works.
Your engine breathes in a number of air, and it is air filter will in the end complete with whatever the dust and dirt are skating. In time, a dirty air conditioner filter could choke your engine, even damage it. Replace your air conditioning filter before that happens.
With every revolution, your engine should breathe; a clogged air conditioning filter holds back the air flow. As the air conditioning filter collects more debris, air flow slows further, hindering your engine’s ability to breathe and generate power and torque. If you’re a spirited driver, a stuffed air conditioning filter will drag you down.
A Collapsed Lung
Perhaps the scariest thing a dirty air conditioning filter can achieve for a car is collapse. In such a circumstance, the air filter can draw back through the seals – even disintegrate – spelling disaster on your engine. An unsealed air conditioner filter might truly be there, as it allows unfiltered air to the engine. Airborne debris accelerates wear and fouls injectors and sensors, resulting in poor compression, oil leaks, oil burning, cylinder misfire or fuel trim problems, causing the check engine light to illuminate.
Filter Replacement Factors
Counterintuitively, dirty air filters don’t affect gas mileage or emissions on computer-controlled gasoline and diesel engines, once they were built right after the introduction of closed-loop oxygen sensor feedback systems. Modern computer-controlled engines may change fuel injection to produce for just a dirty air conditioner filter, but carbureted engines rely upon ventilation for fuel delivery.
A dirty engine air filter must be replaced before it damages your engine or slows you down. If you’re experiencing performance problems, replace the air conditioner filter immediately. When you can’t immediately include a new air filter, are off-roading or bugging out, you are able to tap out excess dust, but never use compressed air to completely clean a dirty air filter. Also, carry a spare air conditioning filter within your adventure kit.
Check out all the ignition parts & filters available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 16,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. More resources for dirty air filter problems, talk to an informed expert your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
Photo thanks to Flickr.