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How Changing Your Air Filter Can Improve Fuel Economy

How Changing Your Air Filter Can Improve Fuel Economy

In this article we will discuss how your air intake system works and how changing your air filter can improve your fuel economy. The engine in your car ignites a fuel and air mixture to create combustion and uses that energy to drive your pistons up and down. The pistons spin the crank and the crank is connected to your transmission which transmits the that power to your wheels. Every internal combustion engine works on this principle and it all starts with air, fuel and spark.

For your engine to make maximum power and be the most efficient as possible it is important that the engine gets the right amount of oxygen rich air. This is greatly affected by a dirty air filter.

Dirty air filter
A Dirty Air Filter

What does the air filter do?

The air filter traps dirt and debris that would otherwise get sucked into your engine. If dirty and debris managed to get into your engine your engine could experience catastrophic damage or your exhaust equipment could get clogged. That is why it is recommended to change your air filter every year or every 12,000 miles.

How a dirty air filter reduces fuel economy

Since your engine is dependent on the air it takes in to be efficient and make power a clogged air filter will reduce the volume of air entering your engine’s cylinders. This will cause a reduction of power. In turn your engine will be more sluggish/ less eager to rev and make power. Then it will require you to depress the gas pedal farther and more often to get the car moving. This will cause you to stay longer on the throttle and waste more gasoline to travel the same distances.

Over time this reduced efficiency will cost you when you fill up at the gas pump. For the low cost of the air filter and the ease of installation this is one maintenance item that we recommend every one stay on top of. That is why air filter is a common replaceable item during every tune up. Other issues that clogged air filters can cause are a choppy idle, stalling, and hard starts. If you have any questions regarding reduced fuel economy or any other car related questions feel free to Contact Us.

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