Basic Automotive Repairs: Changing Your Air Filter
An air filter is a minor, but very important engine component. It’s job is to remove as much dirt and dust from the air before it gets breathed in by the engine. Doing this keeps the oil clean and allows the engine to function much more efficiently. Changing the filter is a basic auto repair task, but one everyone should know how to do.
The air filter sits between the air intake and the engine to filter out as many impurities as possible from the air. The cleaner the air, the cleaner the burn in the engine, meaning the more efficiently the engine runs. That means better performance and better gas mileage.
This kind of automotive repair only has to be done once a year or so, depending on the kind of driving you do. City drivers or those who live near a desert need to check their air filter regularly and change it once per year, or every 15,000 miles.
An air filter is made up of fine sheets of paper fit into a rubber casing. These paper sheets catch the air as it passes and any dirt then sticks to the paper. In time the paper gets dirty and will become less effective, which is why we need to change it. As far as automotive repairs go, this is one of the easiest tasks you can do.
To change an air filter, lift the hood and look for a large black box with a hose going into it from the front of the car and one going out the side or rear into the fuel injectors. Each car is different, so if you can’t find it, check out your manual.
Once you have located the filter box, you’re ready for your auto repair!
Open the box and remove the lid. Some air filter boxes use spring clips, some are bolted on and others use screws. Once the lid is off, you should see the rectangular air filer. Remove it and inspect it. Chances are it will be dirty. If you’re changing the filter it’s just a case of cleaning debris from out of the box and replacing the old filter with the new one.
If your air filter is still in good condition, smack it against something solid to free up any debris, clean out the air box and replace the filter. They won’t always need replacing, but should still be changed regularly to keep your engine running efficiently.
Changing an air filter is a simple automotive repair task and one that could save you considerable trouble down the line. Keeping the air clean will prolong the life of the motor and let the oil concentrate on keeping the engine cool and not have to filter particulates out of the air too.
As far as auto repairs go, this is an easy one. It’s a great first step in getting to know your car, and learning how to look after it.