Engine air filter - when to change, what happens

Purpose and principle of operation

An engine requires a certain amount of air to operate optimally. On average, it takes 15 kg (!) of air to burn 1 liter of gasoline. Moreover, the requirements for the quality of this air are quite high: a certain temperature, density, oxygen saturation and, of course, purity. Even microscopic particles of dust can lead to rapid wear of finely fitted parts, so the quality of air filtration is a more than serious issue.

The most dangerous type of air pollution is sand: unfiltered grains of sand wear away metal surfaces like sandpaper, rendering them completely unusable. The second most dangerous enemy is water. Water vapor entering the cylinder block causes rust, which has powerful abrasive properties. And finally, ordinary dust, soot from the highway and even pollen do not add health to the car. The most effective cleaning of the air entering the internal combustion engine is the task of the engine air filter.

Under normal operating conditions, the air filter reduces engine wear by 15-20%, and in difficult conditions - by 200%.

The air filter is located under the hood in a special housing: air enters it through an air duct, passes through the filter element and is directed further to the air flow meter, and then into the combustion chamber. The placement and mounting method allows you to change the air filter in a matter of minutes at a service station or yourself.

How often to change the air filter in a car

As for the frequency of replacement, there are no hard and fast rules. The best option is to look at the service book and see what the manufacturer of a particular car recommends. If the vehicle is operated in slightly polluted conditions (the car rarely drives on dusty roads), then the replacement period will be longer.

Standard service maintenance tables usually indicate a period of 15 to 30 thousand kilometers, but this is all individual. However, if the car is under warranty, then it is necessary to adhere to this regulation, or even replace it more often.

Many motorists change the air filter when they drain the engine oil and fill in new oil (there are separate recommendations ). There is another strict recommendation that concerns diesel units equipped with turbocharging. In such engines, a larger volume of air passes through the filter. For this reason, the service life of the element is significantly reduced.

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