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Air filter maintenance

Proper air filter maintenance is important to your engine’s health

Those of us who are looking to improve fuel economy can benefit from a healthy engine. Something as simple as proper air filter maintenance can help your engine breathe better, optimizing performance.

Changing your oil filter as recommended will keep your engine running at its best. Photo courtesy Ford of Canada.
“The engine is essentially a giant air pump,” says Chuck Gray, chief engineer, Powertrain Subsystems for Ford Motor Company. “You pump air into it and introduce fuel to make power. So it makes sense that the less air you pull through the filter, the less power you make.”

Your car’s air filter traps dirt and grit, feeding your injection system with clean, filtered air. Without an air filter, the dirt and grit can find their way into the engine, contaminating the engine oil. Gritty oil works like sandpaper on the engine internals such as piston rings and valve train components, greatly accelerating wear and reducing durability.

While the filter does a great job of trapping dust and dirt, it will eventually get plugged, robbing the engine of air and reducing performance. And the longer you go, the worse it gets.

“The filter has no error state,” says Gray. “It will never break or fall apart. It just continues to get dirtier, robbing your engine of power.”

Posted Sept. 4, 2006. ©

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