Replacing a clogged air filter can have a positive effect on your car's fuel efficiency and acceleration, depending on the make and model. While aftermarket air filters do work, don't expect a huge boost in power when you hit the accelerator. The main reason engine air filters reduce engine power is dirt. By replacing the engine air filter, you can increase power and even improve mileage.
It's best to follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations for changing the filter, which is usually once a year. The numbers are small and you may not feel the extra power. As you may recall from your physics lessons, air expands as it warms up, meaning warm air contains less oxygen than cold air. You may have seen air cleaner boxes at auto parts stores that claim extra power and more torque than the factory filter.
Car air filters are designed to ensure an even and clean air flow in the engine, which aids in the combustion process. If any of these components are modified, it can affect the overall balance of performance and efficiency of the engine or car. Cold, high-oxygen air is what your engine needs and is why turbocharged engines use intercoolers; you need to cool that air before your engine swallows it if you want to extract maximum power from it. A clean air filter will help your engine perform better; in newer cars, it can increase acceleration by up to 11%, and in older cars it can improve mileage by up to 14%.
Air filter replacement can be part of a general tuning service that will help you get better mileage and performance out of your vehicle. Air filters are one of the easiest and quickest components to exchange for an aftermarket part, and many companies claim that their design will increase power, torque and improve acceleration. However, until air flows into the engine fast enough to negate the engine's heat absorption, you'll lose performance with a high-performance air filter. A good indication that the air filter needs to be replaced is black smoke coming from your exhaust pipe(s) when you start the engine.
When you take your car to the mechanic, they will be able to do a quick scan to see what is causing the problem and they will tell you if it's a problem with the air filter. Changing just the air filter can disrupt the way a car's engine works with the gearbox and transmission. In conclusion, replacing a clogged air filter can have a positive effect on your car's fuel efficiency and acceleration, depending on the make and model. It's best to follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations for changing the filter, which is usually once a year.