What is an Air Cleaner?

The air filter is just that. It’s the cartridge-like filter you can replace by pulling it out of the car. An air cleaner is the entire air filter, plus the housing. In other words, the entire assembly. These days, it seems to be mostly used when referring to the air cleaner assembly on a carbureted vehicle but it can be used in a more general sense. Sometimes the term "air cleaner" is used interchangeably with "air filter."