How Does An Air Filter Work?

An air filter is intended to trap dirt and debris in the air your vehicle’s engine is taking in. An air filter should remove small particles from the air so that they don’t enter the intake system and cause damage, but it should also allow a sufficient amount of air into the engine to maintain performance. The filter media, that is, the material in the filter that’s used to capture these particles, is full of small holes. The air can pass through these holes but debris cannot. Generally, filter media is cotton, paper, or gauze. Different materials have different methods and efficiencies of capturing dirt. Some types of air filters, such as oiled cotton gauze air filters, can be far more effective at trapping dirt than other types because of their sticky, porous surface. Over time, the holes in the filter media plug up with debris. As the holes get clogged, they capture more debris, but allow less air into the engine. It’s usually noticeable when it’s time to clean or replace an air filter because this lack of airflow can cause a marked decrease in the performance of the engine. With less air, your engine must work harder to produce the power your vehicle needs. That’s why your choice of air filter is very important. You want to select the best air filter for your needs. Installing a performance air filter is one of the easiest ways you can improve your engine’s performance and increase protection.