Easy Cleaning Tips for Your Car Air Filter

This simple procedure when followed at regular intervals would not only save your hard earned money on repairs and cleaning, but will also keep your car running efficiently.

Published: 13th January 2015 08:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th January 2015 08:00 PM   |  A+A-


Your most precious possession - your car needs just fuel and air to survive and run efficiently. Provided these two factors are available to your car in the purest form. Any impurity that goes with these factors inside your car such as dust, dirt and grime, affects the car’s filtration system. This in turn would make your car run less efficiently and smoothly causing more problems to other related components. Not only you end up paying humongous bills over your car’s filtration system, but also continuous contamination will ruin the functioning of other critical parts as well. A simple yet imperative factor to keep in mind whenever you buy a new car is its timely maintenance and cleaning. This requires you to be aware of some simple tips by which you can handle these minute issues yourself instead of running to a garage every few months.

The duty of an air filter is to purify the air sucked in through air intakes into the car’s engine to be burnt with fuel to give the needed power to run. This air is often polluted with dirt and dust which in turn clogs the air filter. This makes the process of the air filter inefficient, thus making your car slower and causing improper heating in the chamber. For the car to breathe normally when at rest or in motion, it is required to keep the air filter clean at all times. With regular use, the filters might get dirty and clogged. Though it is not that difficult to take job in your hands, the following few tips would help you to take care of your car’s air filter effectively.

Locating the air filter

Before you embark on the cleaning job, it is important to know where exactly is your car’s air filter located. For those handling the job the very first time, fret not. You can locate the air filter easily under the bonnet just above the engine. The filter is usually packed in a plastic box secured with clamps or screws. All you need to do is unclamp the plastic box and carefully take out the air filter.

Cleaning the filter

Once the filter is taken out, you need to know which type of filter you are dealing with before taking it to clean. Mostly, regular cars feature paper type air filter. This air filter is made up of pleated paper which is technically engineered for the purpose. So it won’t tear as you pull it out. Other type of filters which are often replacements, are oil bath filters, foam filters and high performance filters. The jagged shape of the paper air filters capture dust and dirt in their folds. This requires specific and careful cleaning of the folds to pull out all kind of dirt. The air filter needs to be immersed in a bucket full of soap solution. When you dip, swirl and swish the filter, all the dust is loosened from the filter. Once you take it out of the water, shake it well to remove excess of water. You need to dry up the filter by placing it on a towel or an absorbent material under the sun so that all the water gets evaporated. Be careful to put completely dry filter back to the plastic box, else you run a chance of damaging other components as well.

The air filter can also be vacuumed if you have one. Take proper care as to clean it from both sides before putting it back.

Cleaning of the air box

The plastic box which houses the air filter too needs proper cleaning. You can wipe it with a wet towel. Make sure it is completely dry before placing it back to its position.

Placing the air filter

Once both filter and airbox are cleaned, gently place the air filter back in the plastic box and seal it with clams or screws, following the same process in reverse when you opened the box.

This simple procedure when followed at regular intervals would not only save your hard earned money on repairs and cleaning, but will also keep your car running efficiently.


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