Air Filters 101

This sucker's dirty!

This sucker’s dirty!

Now – I know that this is totally basic – but I wanted to take the opportunity to show you the air filter that came off my car today. Generally when I think of basic, routine car maintenance, I think “oil, tire pressure, transmission fluid, and is anything leaking.”
As I was at the shop today (P.S. I got the headliner completely finished and the new tranny will be going in tomorrow!…check back soon for those articles) I popped the hood to show off my engine (which is horribly dirty still from when the radiator blew…it was pointed out to me that a guy wouldn’t stand for the dirty-looking engine.)
Sitting there shootin’ the breeze, someone noticed my air filter, so we unscrewed the top and took it out. Evidently, the way to check if you need a new air filter is by holding it up to the light and seeing if any of the light shines through. Not counting the spots where there were holes in mine, there was absolutely no sunlight shining through this sucker. Handy to be offered not one, but two air filters (I love my shop guys!)…we exchanged the dirty one for a clean one. Changing this thing out is as simple as unscrewing a bolt.

Shiny and new!

Shiny and new!

Since I don’t know how often these things need changed, I looked it up and found a helpful article online. It says to change it every 20,000 to 30,000 miles (or when dirty). Although I’ve logged thousands of miles during Stude’s first year on the road – her milage is much closer to 10,000 than 20,000. Something tells me that between the extra exhaust my engine spouts out combined with what I’m guessing is probably increased air intake due to increased engine size – my car’s air filter will need to be changed more often than the average car. Thank goodness my car’s not average!
Tommy likened a dirty air filter to someone putting a cloth up to your mouth and telling you to breath. It would be hard. And the extra work makes for less-effeciant fuel milage – which I had been experiencing…AH-HAH…hopefully now I can get that extra 3-4 mpg back!
So there it is ladies and gents…the low-down on air filters!
Happy Trails!

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