Beginners guide

Cars Air Filters: – Everything you need to know (Fully Explained)


by Jack simmon


An air filter is an essential part of automobiles as it helps to achieve safe internal combustion by filtering the dust from the air outside. Without the air filter, your vehicle engine will have to take tolls that could lead to internal damage to parts. In this post, I am going to discuss air filters to help you understand their basics. First, let’s understand the job of an air filter in automobiles.

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What does an air filter do on a vehicle? Clean air is essential for the optimum combustion of fuel in a car. That’s where Air Filters comes into its role. It may also affect your engine life.

An air filter job is to filter out dirt, grime, and other airborne particles from the air allowing only the clean air to reach the engine and help combustion. Because of this, the combustion process goes smoothly and prevents damage to the internal parts.

The air filter works just like our nose, it inhales the fresh air by filtering out the unwanted particles to achieve clean combustion inside the engine without any problem.

Apart from filtering the dust from the air, air filters also contribute to the smoothness, and sound of the engine if your filter is not properly working it also gives a bad effect on your car mileage.

That’s the reason you should not remove the air filter or run your cars without it. Because, if you run your vehicles without an air filter, it could lead to internal damages to the engine components such as piston heads, pistons rings, fuel injector, etc.

Over time, all sorts of contaminants found on the roads, like dust, dirt, mud, and other tiny particles get trapped on the air filter and so it becomes dirty which starts to affect the airflow. If the airflow got affected it will affect the combustion process, performance, and fuel mileage.

In the process of clean combustion inside the engine air filter plays a very important role because airflow is not proper and it may face many difficulties to burn fuel.

That’s the reason you should be replacing or cleaning the air filter on a motorcycle at a certain interval. That’s what I will be discussing next. But before that, I want to discuss the “types of air filters are available in the market”.

Types of air filters used in motorcycles

Air filters are a crucial component for cars and have played a very important role in running the engine. Air filters are responsible for providing the engine with clean air, helping in the combustion (burning fuel). It traps all the dirt of the surroundings to go air outside and provides the engine with clean air. But there are many types of air filters depending on the vehicle’s needs.

So, there are Five Main Types of Air Filters Used in Cars Today!

  • Cotton Air Filters
  • Foam Air Filters
  • Paper Air Filters
  • stainless steel filters
  • Furnace filters.

Cotton Air Filters

Cotton Air filters are one of the best air filters available in the market. It is perfect for trapping and filtering dust particles and is very reliable as these air filters are made up of cotton fabric.

Note: Cheap quality of cotton air filter are also available in the market it uses cotton clothes to stop dust particles and give great performance but after some time many holes of cotton air filter block their holes and not give good airflow so, be careful full when you change your air filter it may give bad impact on your car’s engine

If your exhaust becomes dark and gives black fumes it means that it is time to change your air filter.

According Medical View

It’s not that easy though, there are a few articles out there that cover it in depth. Most car air filters only filter down to .3 microns and the virus particle is from .06-.14 microns.

Cotton air filters are easy to use, washable. Sometimes like two to three weeks you have to wash properly if you wash regularly your cotton air filter it will enhance the life of your vehicle engine. When you park your car for a long time you have to remove your cotton air filter and after reuse, we call it a reusable cotton air filter.

These filters are a little more expensive than other air filters but if you use them it will be definitely beneficial for you.

Cotton air filter life is normally to filter for 15000 miles to 25000 miles you have to clean every 4 to 8 months or approx. 5000 miles to 8000 miles.

Pros of Cotton Air FilterCons of Cotton Air Filter
Allows best air filtration for the long run.Very Expensive
Maintenance is easy as cotton filters are washable and reusable.Not good in snow or ice or muddy roads.
Cotton air filters are reusable so you don’t need to replace them.Less life expan.
Cotton air filters increase the flow of air; it will directly push your performance.Yor particapet save the world not in pollution.
Pros and Cons of Cotton Air Filter

Foam Air Filters

Foam is made up of very dense chemical compound Polyurethane Foam It will be allowed minimum airflow inside car engine it will be cheap in the regular market but I recommend you definitely go with these type of air filter it will be easy to use different colors are available and different patterns are available it will be also comes with foam layer some filter has two to five-layer of foam it will be protected from dust and snow particle of your engine.

It also comes with a high price but some filters are reusable and washable but some filters are one-time use but in great performance provided in off-roading and camping in forest because this filter is great in work. High moistures absorb water particles two protect from your engine.

Why do we use foam air filters? Sponges can’t be manufactured to a certain filter size on a consistent basis but they can be used as a prefilter. In very dusty situations, an oil-impregnated sponge filter covers the air filter as a dual-element filter. These have been used in off-road racing and even in your household vacuum cleaners.

Paper Air Filters

Paper air filter is made up of long fiber of paper which is used to clean air to come into the engine which is also used as a barrier of safeguard. This filter has a huge long fiber of paper but actually, this filter is less expensive that’s why many riders prefer it.

The average working time of a paper air filter is 5000 mile to 9000 miles. You have to replace maybe some air filter clean one more time reusable or washable.

 Especially paper filters perform great work in dust small particles but not good in high moistures areas or muddy, snowy or icy land. Because when moisture comes or air paper rots due to water.  

Why do cars use paper air filters? Paper elements can be manufactured with a controlled filtered size so dust larger than a certain size will be going through, it is working in great in regular or city driving.

Metal or stainless steel filters

Metal or stainless steel filters
Metal or stainless steel filters

Metal air filter Is basically known for durability it is great to work in offroading driving tough path these filters come with different models and different varieties.

Generally, metal-air filters are made up of stainless steel wire because stainless steels have one great property is very less reactive in moisture so generally, we called metal air filters life expands far more than cotton air filter or foam air filter.

But the gap between two stainless steel wires in a metal-air filter is more than a cotton air filter or foam air filter so the airflow inside the engine is far more than a cotton air filter or foam air filter.

Generally, metal-air filters are used in heavy working or heavy vehicles because high power vehicles need more airflow inside the engine so if the airflow is more, then the direct effect on combustion for fuel economy is slightly lower than cotton air filter or foam air filter.

Also, affect the size of air filter inside your vehicle in fuel economy when you set aerodynamic type air filter it maybe comes airflow slightly low then the combustion rate is also low so if the combustion rate is low then your fuel economy is high but if you put bulky or Brody air filter inside your vehicle it may directly affect on combustion, no doubt your car runs like a super jet but your fuel economy is directly affected it may give you low economy rate.

Furnace filters

Basically, the furnace air filter looks like a frustum. Generally, furnace air filters are made up of metal wire or foam, furnace air filters have great airflow but they may also cause a bad impact on the filter. You have to clean the furnace air filter in two or three months.

On a Car AC? Some high-efficiency furnace filters cause the blower motor to work too hard and overheat.

How do I know what air filter my car needs? You want to check your air filter every time you change your oil a dirty air filter can lead to poor gas mileage, If in case your car economy fall then definitely cheque your air filter because it is directly responsible for combustion and you have to change your air filter an ideal distance of your car running every time before discuss with experience mechanics which type of air filter is good for your vehicle.

Why should you replace your air filter?

To improve your car’s performance:

The blend of fuel and air supports optimum power when the air entering into the engine is clean.

To save money on gas:

By maintaining proper combustion, you can save money on fuel.

To avoid black smoke:

Fuel combustion is incomplete when the air filter is clogged, resulting in dirty exhaust smoke, which is a poor sign.

How to Clean a Car Air Filter? If you want your prized automobile to perform like a champion, you’ll need car filters. When one of your filters is not well, it might cause issues with your vehicle and slow down your engine. A lack of power, foul smoke, oil light, and overheating issues.

How to Clean a Car Air Filter

Try vacuuming and gently clearing the air filter if you’ve experienced a drop in mileage per gallon or acceleration. It might be exactly what your car requires.

Cotton, paper, foam, or a combination of these materials are used to make air filters. If you have an oil-coated filter, check the company manual or with the air filter manufacturer to see if using soap and water is safe. An oil-coated air filter should not be cleaned with soap and water with the help of a toothbrush.

Air Filter should be removed.

Under the hood, look for the air filter housing. Generally, The air filter housing is usually located at the top of the engine compartment and is easily visible. Remove the air filter housing, if necessary with a screwdriver. Remove the air filter from the system. To remove dust and debris, wipe the air filter housing with a microfiber cloth and use a soft toothbrush.

The Air Filter should be vacuumed.

Using the duster/soft brush attachment, vacuum the air filter, pressing forcefully to get the dust and grime between the pleats but not so hard that the filter rips or warps.

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