Did you know that every gallon of gasoline that your vehicle uses requires about 10,000 gallons of clean air to burn properly? Your air filter is an essential part of your vehicle. Thankfully, it is an easy component to diagnose and replace if necessary.

Diagnosing A Dirty Air Filter

Your air filter is there to clean the air that is going into your engine. The filter makes sure that damaging particles do not enter your engine. Unfiltered air could cause all kinds of problems, like the following:

  • The amount of miles that you get per gallon could decrease. As mentioned earlier, your engine needs enough clean air to burn fuel properly. Your engine will burn too much gasoline without proper air circulation.

  • Your spark plugs might get fouled because of bad air intake. That improper mixture of fuel and air (that was mentioned earlier) will eventually disturb the emissions control system in your car. This disturbance will cause engine misses, rough idling and starting problems.

  • Your vehicle's ability to accelerate will also suffer. The improper mixture of air and fuel may not be sufficient for proper acceleration.

You should check and possibly replace your air filter should you notice the aforementioned symptoms. Remember that you can talk to an auto care specialist like Service Pro Auto & Truck Repair if you do not feel comfortable working on your car.

Check and Replace Your Air Filter

Replacing your air filter is not too hard; just make sure you have the following items:

  • You will need a new air filter. Make sure that the filter fits your vehicle by asking your auto parts specialist.
  • Duct tape
  • Small handheld vacuum or clean rag
  • Your vehicle owner's manual
  • Screwdriver

To replace your air filter, just follow the steps below:

  1. Make sure that your vehicle is cool so that you can work on it. This will protect you from getting  burned.
  2. Use your owner's manual to locate the air collector box. This is usually near the driver's side of the engine, next to the vehicle's grill. The shape of the box is usually a square. You can also choose to follow the air conductor from your throttle body, too.
  3. Use your screwdriver to remove the nuts that are holding the air filter collector top.
  4. Remove the old air filter.
  5. Check to see if the collector box has a lot of debris within the walls. Use the duct tape to close off the air intake opening to clean the air collector box if the box is filthy.
  6. Use your vacuum to get rid of all that filth.
  7. Finally, replace your new air filter and close the lid.

As you can see, replacing your air filter is not too bad, and it can save you a buck. Remember to talk to your auto care specialist should your car still experience some of the issues mentioned earlier. These symptoms could be due to bad spark plugs, spark plug wires or a dirty throttle body.