If you've been stopping at your local gas station a bit more often than you used to, it could be because you've forgotten to do one small thing: change your air filter.
A dirty air filter can cut gas mileage.
That's because your engine acts like an air pump. For every gallon of gas, it sucks in 10,000 to 12,000 gallons of air, which get mixed together and ignited by the spark plug. To get the best gas mileage, this air-to-fuel mixture has to be within the maker's specifications. But if the air filter is dirty, the air flow goes down. And gas consumption goes up.
It can also rob you of performance.
The wrong air-to-fuel ratio can make your engine harder to start. It can also cause extra wear because excess gasoline can dilute the oil that lubricates your engine. And, as any racing mechanic can tell you, the wrong mixture of air and fuel can really cut down on your engine's performance.
How often should I have it changed?
The answer is simple. Check your owner's manual. Generally speaking, most manufacturers recommend changing the air filter every 7,500-15,000 miles. Of course, under severe conditions, such as off-road driving, or operating under dry and dusty conditions, it gets dirty a lot faster. That's when it makes sense to have it replaced more frequently.
Don't try to clean it yourself.
One of the worst things you can do is to try cleaning your air filter with a blast of compressed air. Or by shaking it to get rid of the worst of the dirt before putting it back into its housing. This could loosen abrasive materials trapped in the filter paper, or collected on the outside of the housing, letting them get into the engine, which can do a lot of damage.
You can rely on Valvoline & Service Pro air filters.
• Meet or exceed manufacturer's requirements.
• Satisfy new vehicle warranties.
• Are warranted against defects.
• Are road, race track, and laboratory tested.
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