HOW TO CLEAN AN AIR FILTER
Your vehicle's air filter is critical to maintaining engine performance. It allows clean air to combine with fuel, combust, and produce the vehicle's power. Over time, the accumulation of dirt, dust, pebbles, and more can impede this airflow. If your filter is dirty, your engine will need to work harder to draw in air or cool down. Eventually, those unwanted materials can be sucked into your engine from the air intake while on the road, potentially damaging the pistons and blocking your carburetor.
There are two different classes of air filters: oiled and dry. Typical dry filters are made of foam, which blocks more particulates than paper filters, but due to their material density, they've been known to inhibit airflow as they get dirty. These should be cleaned or replaced about every 15,000 miles, or more frequently if you live on dusty roads or in more polluted areas.
Oiled versions, such as the widely-recognized K&N® filters, use an oiled cotton gauze construction. A thorough cleaning of K&N air filters is only required when portions of the screen are no longer visible, or roughly every 50,000 miles.
When cleaning your car's air filter, it's important to use a cleaner that will thoroughly remove dirt and debris without petroleum-based chemicals, which can damage or dissolve the filter materials. You should avoid using solvents or kerosene for this reason.
Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner is aggressive on grease and heavy soils but is gentle enough to clean air filters without harming the filter material or causing damage to surfaces found on automotive equipment. When used per label instructions, it's safe on aluminum, chrome, titanium, and other high-tech alloys, as well as painted and gel-coated surfaces, anodized and electroplated parts, carbon fiber, metals, plastics, rubber and much more.
Check your Owner's Manual before cleaning the air filter. Always follow the manufacturer's complete instructions for cleaning and maintenance. Make sure the engine is cool to the touch before cleaning.
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