February 23, 2007, Newsletter Issue #52: Air Filterology 101

Tip of the Week

What does an air filter do anyway? The job of an air filter is to keep the dirt out of your engine while allowing vital air to flow into the engine. This has been the way of the auto world since the spark plug. The system works OK, in its way, but over time, of course, the dirt collected, another word for filtering, clogs up the paper (or foam) filter, reducing air flow along with your engine's performance. You get lower horsepower, torque, and throttle response. Basically imagine wearing one of those surgical masks 24/7 for months or when the hairs in your nose…uh, well, you get the idea. Some race drivers run without an air filter to maximize performance, but this is not recommended for your low-performance street vehicle. (Though it might be fun to try for a while.)

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