What Does the Air Filter in a Car Do?

As the owner of a vehicle, it is your responsibility to understand as much as you can about how its operation. While you do not need to be an expert in mechanics, it helps to have a basic understanding of your car’s major systems. These include cooling, suspension, exhaust, braking, fuel, and transmission systems.

The Fuel System

One of the most important components of your vehicle is the fuel system. After all, your car can’t run without it. Depending on what you drive, the system runs on either gasoline or diesel and is responsible for getting your fuel from its tank to your engine. The system is made up of several parts, including the gas tank, intake manifold, fuel injector and throttle body. It also includes a range of pumps and filters, including the air filter.

The Importance of the Air Filter

The air filter is vital to your car’s performance. It is responsible for preventing fuel sensors of foreign objects. This typically includes leaves, insects and other debris that gets sucked and caught within the system. It ensures the intake and sensors remain clean and in working condition. This is important because a clogged filter restricts air flow preventing the engine’s ability to “breathe.”

Types of Air Filters

Not all air filters are created equally. Although they are all made from thin material and are designed to filter smaller particles of debris, similar to a home air filter, each one is slightly different. Paper filters are the most common in most family cars. A paper filter includes a rubber or plastic frame with accordion-pleated paper inside. If you have a classic car, it may use an oil bath filter, which is not used today. If you drive in an extremely polluted city, or if you use a truck for work in a dirty and dusty area, you may find you need a foam filter to adequately remove particles.

Maintaining Your Vehicle’s Air Filter

In order for it to do its job well, your air filter must be checked on a routine basis. Typically, your mechanic will suggest once per year, but driving in dusty conditions will require more frequent maintenance. Maintaining the filter includes checking to see how full it is and changing it if necessary. If you happen to have a lifetime air filter, it won’t need to be changed but will require frequent cleaning.

Contact Sun Devil Auto

Sun Devil Auto provides routine air filter checkups and maintenance for all types of vehicles at its service centers. Contact our experienced, courteous, and professional technicians at Sun Devil Auto to help you maintain your car or truck.