You may have found yourself in the following situation: You go to get your oil changed and the service adviser recommends you get a new engine air filter. You say yes, but because you didn’t know what an air filter is or what it does, but you were too embarrassed to ask.
First of all, you did the right thing by getting a new one. And, you should never be too embarrassed to ask for more information. It’s your money and you have a right to understand what you’re paying for. Let’s review what an air filter does.
Air is the focus of this discussion. What is the air like outside right now? Can you see the smog? Is it full of pollen? How about dust? Anyone with hay fever can tell you that there’s plenty in the air that you can’t see. Well, it’s the engine air filter’s job to clean that air before it goes into your engine, to mix with the fuel and be burned. Without a filter, the inside of your engine would be extremely dirty from all the gunk that was burned in the cylinders.
In fact, for every gallon of gas you burn, your engine needs 12,000 gallons of air. That little filter does a very big job. It’s no wonder that the air filter gets dirty and needs to be replaced. Think about a vacuum cleaner. When the bag gets full of dust and dirt, the vacuum doesn’t clean as well. It can’t move enough air to create good suction. A clogged engine air filter is the same way – the engine can’t get enough air to burn the fuel efficiently. That means less power and wasted gas.