Cleaning Air Filters: A Step-by-Step Guide

Air filters are essential components of any car, as they help to keep the engine running smoothly and efficiently. While they should be replaced every 15,000 miles, cleaning them between replacements can improve the car's performance. If you've noticed a decrease in mileage per gallon or in acceleration, try vacuuming and gently cleaning the air filter. It could be just what your car needs.Start by filling a clean bucket with water and a small amount of laundry detergent.

Immerse the filter in water and turn it with your hands to remove dirt and dust from the filter material. Then, remove it from the water and shake off any excess, before rinsing it with running water. A reusable air filter is made of more durable materials. Every one to three months, you can remove this filter and wash it thoroughly to remove accumulated dust, irritants and contaminants.

It's important to know which type of filter you're using, as this will determine how often you need to clean it.The filters prevent dust, dirt and debris from entering the engine through the air intake tube, and must be cleaned fairly regularly to maintain engine performance and efficiency. The only exception to replacing a HEPA filter when it's dirty is if you have an air system that has a pre-filter in front of the HEPA filter.It may be more cost-effective to replace the filter completely instead of doing regular cleaning. Some quality specialty oil products available on the market include K%26N automotive air filter oil, Traxxas Oil air filter and the FRAM ultra-synthetic protective oil filter.Air filters are usually in a plastic or metal housing, which you'll need to open before you can remove the filter. Typical dry filters are made of foam, which blocks more particles than paper filters, but because of the density of the material, they are known to inhibit airflow as they become dirty.These are some of the hardest particle sizes to catch, says John Bloemer, an Aprilaire engineer who has been in the air quality industry for more than two decades.

It may seem counterintuitive, but on one level, a HEPA filter may work better when it has a thin, caked layer of accumulated particles, but at some point, air will struggle to pass through the filter, Myatt says, which means the filter needs to be replaced.Be cautious about this and plan to clean the air filter only when you have at least 24 hours to let it dry. When cleaning the car's air filter, it's important to use a cleaner that completely removes dirt and debris without petroleum-based chemicals, which can damage or dissolve filter materials.If the filter is too large to fit inside a sink or bucket, wash it with a garden hose and allow water to pass through the filter in the opposite direction to the air flow. For more information on how to replace an air filter, talk to an expert expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store. Be sure to consult the manufacturer's instructions to determine the best way to clean the air conditioner or boiler filter, but the steps below are suitable for most reusable filters.Cleaning the air filter is easy if you have a good idea of where everything is placed under the hood of your car.

Follow these steps for a thorough cleaning:

  • Fill a clean bucket with water and laundry detergent.
  • Immerse the air filter in water and turn it with your hands to remove dirt and dust from the filter material.
  • Remove it from the water and shake off any excess.
  • Rinse it with running water.
  • If using a reusable air filter, remove it every one to three months and wash it thoroughly.
  • If using a HEPA filter with a pre-filter in front of it, replace when dirty.
  • Use quality specialty oil products such as K%26N automotive air filter oil or Traxxas Oil air filter.
  • Open plastic or metal housing before removing the air filter.
  • Be cautious about cleaning and plan for 24 hours drying time.
  • Use cleaners that don't contain petroleum-based chemicals.
  • If too large for sink or bucket, wash with garden hose.
Cleaning your car's air filters regularly can help maintain engine performance and efficiency. If you're unsure about how often you should clean them or how best to do so, talk to an expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store for more information.

Deanne Capetillo
Deanne Capetillo

Incurable music evangelist. Incurable coffee geek. Hipster-friendly food scholar. Certified pop cultureaholic. Friendly coffee junkie.

Leave a Comment

All fileds with * are required