And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Parts: Change an Air Filter

Illustration for article titled And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Parts: Change an Air Filter

The internal combustion engine at its core is an air pump. It takes in air, mixes it with fuel, and ignites the mixture to make power. Over the course of even a minute, an engine can breathe in a massive volume of air. A 2-liter engine can inhale nearly 3000 liters of air per minute at cruising speed. That's 1500 2-liter bottles of soda a minute! All of this air enters the engine through the air filter.

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Along with the air comes all the dirt, grime, bugs, and associated debris floating around in it. Over time this collective crud can clog the up the air filter. Rough running, poor mileage, and lousy performance can be the unfortunate end result. The good news is replacing an air filter is a snap, and can even save a few bucks over the long haul. Knowing when to change the air filter is as easy as opening the owner's manual, or taking a look at the air filter itself.

Severe Duty

Most air filter service intervals run in the 9-12,000 mile range. If your manual is missing then inspect your air filter every time you change your oil, and replace it as needed. Keep in mind that air filters clog quicker serving severe duty. Air filter service intervals could be much shorter if the vehicle is operated where there is a great deal of dust, stop and go traffic, or other atmospheric crud.

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Snorkel Box

To change the air filter open up the hood and find what looks like a box with a tube or snorkel connected to it. The air filter is inside this airbox. Carbureted vehicles have a circular canister on top of the engine that houses the air filter. If neither of these assemblies can be found then consult the owner's or service manual for air filter location and replacement procedures. Otherwise, simply replace the old air filter with the new one.

Stuff You'll Need:

· Replacement Air Filter
· Screwdriver
· Vacuum (optional)

Illustration for article titled And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Parts: Change an Air Filter
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First locate the airbox or canister that houses the air filter. Follow the tube or snorkel away from the engine until it ends at the airbox.

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Release any clips or fasteners holding the airbox together. Don't lose them!

Illustration for article titled And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Parts: Change an Air Filter
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Loosening intake hose clamps can help in separating the airbox.
Take care not to damage MAF/MAP sensor or associated wiring. Separate electrical connectors for additional slack.

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Separate airbox and remove the old air filter. While wrestling with the clips and tubes be careful not to tear the intake hose or damage sensors.

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This air filter had served well as a bug and dirt catcher.

Illustration for article titled And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Parts: Change an Air Filter
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A shop vacuum works well to remove any remaining debris from the airbox.

Illustration for article titled And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Parts: Change an Air Filter
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Install the new filter, making sure it seats in the airbox housing. Reinstall any clips or fasteners. Reconnect and retighten anything loosened during disassembly. Check to see if airbox parts form a tight seal before starting engine.

Related:
And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Parts [Internal]

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DISCUSSION

petejayhawk
petejayhawk thinks jim spanfeller is a herb

You mean to tell me that 3000 liters of air is the same as 1500 whole 2-liter bottles of air?

Well now you've done it - you have totally blown my mind.