Automotive Column 24 Engine Air Filters
Syndicated Newspaper Column
While not all aftermarket air filters will give a hug boost in performance or mileage one thing is for sure. Any air filter that is extremely dirty and restricted will reduce fuel efficiency. When was the last time yours was checked?
CAR QUESTIONS TAKEN FROM
OUR WEEKLY TALK RADIO SHOW
Dear Motor Medics,
I’m tired of the high fuel prices as I bet we all are. What’s even worse than the high fuel prices is a car that gets bad fuel mileage. I have a 2004 Ford Taurus with the 3.0 engine that’s well taken care of and I have about 110,000 miles on it. I average about 24 mpg per tank which my shop tells me is about right for this car and my driving habits but many vehicles get much better. I would like to improve my fuel mileage and have been looking into changing my air filter to one of those lifetime filters you see advertised everywhere. I have had many different conflicting reports as to how this will affect my car ranging from raving fans to don’t do it. What is your opinion as guys who work on cars every day? I’m sure you’ve had this question before.
Don in Carroll Iowa
Aftermarket air filters have been around a long time. There are several different filter manufactures and many are similar in performance. Most all of these are washable units that allow repeated use for many years before replacement is necessary so you won’t have to purchase another one. Many are also oiled and the biggest problem we see is over oiling which can cause problems with the intake sensor if the oil reaches it. As for performance, you may gain a small amount of mileage with the filter.
Take care, the Motor Medics
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Advice given by the Motor Medics is for entertainment only. Each problem is different and requires different approaches and answers given here are opinions and just one possibility. Always follow all recommended safety procedures and consult with your own qualified technician before attempting repairs of any kind.