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How Does the Air Filter Affect the Performance of the Car?

Mar. 17, 2022

Can an air filter improve the performance of my car?


In order for an engine to run at maximum performance and efficiency, it needs as much oxygen to enter the engine as possible. Automotive air filters are designed to ensure that there is a steady and clean flow of air into the engine, which helps the combustion process. All road cars have air filters, but their focus is primarily on fuel efficiency and reducing harmful emissions.


Racing car air filters, on the other hand, are made for thorough performance. These filters have a single goal; maximum power. Many people like to think that the inexpensive "performance air filter" they want to install on their car is the same as a race car air filter ...... Actually, they are not.


The difference:

Unlike road cars, race cars are not required to meet the strict noise, emissions and bodywork regulations that road cars must adhere to. That's why a basic performance filter for a road car can only go so far in terms of performance output. Also, putting any aftermarket performance filter on your car won't necessarily make it faster. It may increase power, but the increase will only be noticed by the dyno. In fact, putting a performance air filter on your car alone may actually reduce fuel efficiency and engine life.


Why your air filter isn't helping:

Road cars are mass-produced and have a lot of R&D. This ensures that each part has its purpose and works in concert with the other parts. Simply replacing the air filter can disrupt the way a car's engine works with the transmission and transfer case. In the tuning industry, there is a reason why the same cars are modified year after year. Only certain factory products are suitable for tuning. For example, the Toyota Supra is a great car to modify, but the Toyota Corolla is certainly not.


If you're wondering why, it's because certain cars, like the Toyota Supra and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, are designed to be easily tuned. On the other hand, cars like the Volkswagen Golf are designed to be used for everyday driving. For cars like the Volkswagen Golf, all components are designed to work in sync for longer life and efficiency. If any of these components are modified, it will affect the overall balance of performance and efficiency of the engine or the car.


But what if it feels like my engine's performance keeps dropping?

One of the main reasons why engine air filters tend to reduce engine power is dust. Simply changing your engine air filter can increase horsepower and, in some cases, even improve mileage. For this reason, we recommend changing your engine filter at least once a year, or as recommended in your owner's manual. The best way to do this is to follow your car manufacturer's recommendations.


If this sounds like a lot of work; don't worry, because it's not. The engine air filter is located in the housing under the hood and is usually easily accessible. Simply loosen the clips on the air filter housing, lift the top of the housing to gain access, and remove the old air filter. Be careful to make sure no debris falls into the housing from the dirty air filter. It is also important to properly install the new air filter. Make sure the air filter housing is properly reinstalled and that the clips are secured. Failure to properly close the filter housing may result in air being drawn into the housing and not being properly filtered. Consistently changing the air filter will help you extend the life of your engine and maintain its original performance.


How Does the Air Filter Affect the Performance of the Car?


Can a larger air filter for a truck improve power?

Expert A: The air intake of the air filter is properly designed and is normally sufficient to supply the engine without changing the gas of the filter, and its intake will increase.


It is recommended that regular maintenance, do not block the air filter, or insufficient air intake caused by the accumulation of ash, affecting the work of the engine, the air filter is a device to remove particles and impurities in the air.


The main requirements of the air filter are high filtration efficiency, low flow resistance, long continuous use and no maintenance. Piston machinery (internal combustion engines, reciprocating compressors, etc.) must be installed when working with air filters, because dust and other impurities in the inlet air will increase the wear and tear of the components.


Expert B: The engine absorbs a large amount of air during operation. If the air is not filtered, dust in the air is drawn into the cylinder and will accelerate the wear of the piston and cylinder.


Larger particles entering between the piston and cylinder can cause severe "cylinder pull", especially in dry, sandy operating conditions. The air filter is installed at the front of the carburetor or intake pipe to filter dust and sand from the air and ensure that the air in the cylinder is adequate and clean.


Among the thousands of parts of the car, the air filter is a very unimportant part because it is not directly related to the technical performance of the car, but in the actual use of the car, the air filter has a great influence on the service life of the car (especially the engine).


On the one hand, if the air filter has no filtering effect, the engine will inhale a large amount of air containing dust and particles, leading to serious wear of the engine cylinder.


Expert C: This idea is not very scientific, the air filter intake are designed to be reasonable, under normal circumstances is able to supply enough engine use, not to change the large filter gas, it will increase the intake volume. Suggest you regular maintenance, do not cause the air filter clogged, or too much ash accumulation leads to insufficient air intake, affecting the work of the engine.

Increase the intake volume is to improve the engine power and torque, so that the car is more powerful, this is a lot of cars with T, is installed with turbocharging, and you single change a large air filter is not related.


Expert D: The air filter intake volume is designed to be reasonable, under normal circumstances is sufficient to supply the engine use, not to change the large filter gas, it will increase the intake volume.

It is recommended that regular maintenance, do not cause the air filter clogged, or too much ash accumulation leads to insufficient air intake, affecting the work of the engine.


Air filter, a device to remove particulate impurities in the air, consists of two parts: the filter element and the housing. The main requirements of the air filter is high filtration efficiency, low flow resistance, and can be used continuously for a long time without maintenance. Piston machinery (internal combustion engine, reciprocating compressor, etc.) work, if the inlet air contains dust and other impurities will increase the wear and tear of parts, so it must be equipped with an air filter.

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Fuel Filter Paper


How often should I change the air filter?


In order to keep the air filter working properly and continuously, it needs to be replaced regularly. Ideally, as a manufacturer of automotive air filters, we recommend that you change them every 20,000 km or 12 months, or less if your car is used in a harsh environment, such as dusty, polluted air environment, etc.


As the air filter is used for a long time, its paper or cotton barrier will accumulate more and more pollutants, and air circulation will become more and more difficult, which will cause serious engine performance problems if not cleaned in time.

If it is confirmed that the air filter needs to be replaced, you may choose to replace it yourself as it is relatively simple to do so, and the routine steps are as follows.


1. find the internal hood release and pop out the hood.

2. locate the hood catch lever and slide it to one side, lift the hood and support it safely with the hood support.

3. locate the air filter box that should be located near the grille, which may have an air intake tube leading to it.

4. remove the air filter box cover, which is normally pressed down with a clip or butterfly nut.

5. remove the old air filter and remove any debris (leaves, twigs, small insects, etc.) that may have accumulated in the air filter box.

6. Replace the air filter, making sure it is in exactly the same position as the old one. Some filters may have an arrow which indicates the direction of air through the filter and the box.

7. Secure the cover, close the hood again and you are ready to go.


Final Summary

Changing your car's air filter regularly will not improve the performance of your car, but it will ensure maximum performance and fuel economy, so it is the wisest idea to change and clean the air filter regularly, and of course a paper air filter is the most economical choice. 


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