Replacing your Air Filter. When is the right time?

What are the benefits of changing my air filter?

Replacing your car's air filter is often overlooked when it comes to servicing your own vehicle. People often just clear out the dust and leaves by bashing it on a nearby fence and place it back in air box for the next 20,000kms. Doing this is very poor practice and often ends up in a drastic loss in fuel economy and poor engine performance. Studies have shown that replacing an air filter at the correct service interval results in a 10% increase in fuel economy which is enough to pay for the air filter after just 3-5 fills at the petrol station.

Most air filters should be replaced every 15,000 to 20,000 kilometres as per your scheduled servicing. However, if you drive down dusty roads or use your vehicle for a little bit of 4x4 adventure out in the bush or outback then you should check your air filter at least every 5-7,000km. This not only protects the life of the engine, but actually saves you money in fuel.

When replacing your engine air filter its best to replace your cabin and fuel filter. Fuel filters help take any grit and contaminants from your fuel system much like your air filter so replace them. A cabin air filter is the only thing between you and your car's occupants from the contaminated filthy air that comes through your car's air vents and into your car's cabin. Using carbon activated filters helps to drastically filter out the harmful emissions, smoke, fungus spores, dust as well as pollen.

How do I check or replace my air filter?

Access to the air box is often fairly easy and more often than not requires little to no tools to check. Most cars have 3-6 latches on the side of the box. Undo all of the latches, remove the filter and clear out any leaves and dust that's still sitting in the bottom of the air box. If your air filter is discoloured, has a fair amount of dust, sand or leaves then it's a no brainer and time replace your filter.

What does an air filter do?

The Air Filter is your biggest safety defence for your engine. It stops dirt, dust and debris from entering your combustion chamber and scouring your cylinder walls causing a smoky engine or worst cars scenario, catastrophic failure requiring a replacement engine. An air filter provides clean filtered air into your engine.

What do I look for when inspecting an air filter?

There are a couple of things that you may notice that will tell you to replace your air filter. The first is noticing the fuel economy dropping from what it used to be. The other is, if your air filter is discoloured, has a fair amount of dust, sand or leaves then it's a no brainer and time replace your air filter.

What does my car gain by changing the air filter?

By replacing your air filter you're ensuring that your engine can breathe fresher, cleaner and higher amounts of air. By increasing the amount of airflow into the engine it results in better fuel efficiency and restoring the engines original power. In fact, by replacing your air filter at the correct service interval it can help fix your fuel efficiency so much that it can end up paying for itself in fuel savings after the first 3-5 fills.

What Type of Air filter should I choose?

Not all Air filters are created the same. There are 3 main types of air filter materials that are commonly used. Foam, Paper and Cotton fabric. All have different properties that make them unique. Cotton fabric and foam air filters offer minimal air flow restriction however they are more expensive to manufacturer. The most common air filter material is the Paper air filter and is used by auto manufacturers as well as most mechanics. That’s because they're cheaper to manufacture, provide the best protection but after 10-15,000kms they can begin to restrict air flow and need to be replaced.

Do you have a daily driven stock vehicle?

If you have a standard vehicle and are just doing regular maintenance then a standard replacement paper filter is the perfect choice. Repco have a range of replacement paper filters from Ryco, Silverline and Repco. All designed to maintain your standard vehicle warranty.

Do you have a performance car?

If you have a V8 or turbo vehicle and require increased air flow for better top end performance, then we have 2 options available. K&N offers cotton performance filters and Ryco have the O2Rush in a foam filter. Both Ryco Rush and K&N performance filters are available in a panel filter or pod filter style. The pod filter style is made for a universal fitment and can allow an aftermarket intake charge pipe to be used to increase airflow and maintain a cooler intake temperature for a more dense air charge.

Do you have a 4WD or SUV that you take into the bush?

If you take a 4x4 or SUV down dusty roads, in the bush or onto the beach for a fishing trip then we recommend using the Ryco O2 Rush air filters. These filters can take on a lot of dust and still not hinder the performance of your vehicle. The O2 Rush Foam filters can also be dried out much quicker than a standard or cotton air filter if you've had the 4x4 too far into the drink.

*If you’re installing a pod filter make sure you check with the local road authorities as each state’s laws may differ.

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