CAN AN AIR FILTER IMPROVE MY CARS PERFORMANCE?
In a word, no. But let us explain…
For an engine to run at its maximum performance with maximum efficiency, it needs to get as much oxygen into the engine as possible. Air filters for cars are designed to ensure a consistent and clean flow of air into the engine, which aids in the combustion process. All road cars have air filters, but their focus is mainly on fuel efficiency & reducing harmful emissions.
Racing cars, on the other hand, have an air filter that’s built for outright performance. These filters have a single objective; maximum power. A lot of people like to think that the affordable “performance air filter” they wish to fit on their car is the same as a racing air filter… it’s not.
The Difference :
Unlike road cars, racing cars do not have to meet the strict noise, emissions, and bodywork regulations that road-legal cars must adhere to. Which is why basic performance filters for road cars can only go so far in terms of performance output. Plus, fitting any aftermarket performance filter to your car isn’t necessarily going to make it fast. It might increase the power, but by an amount that only a dynamometer would notice. As a matter of fact, fitting a performance air filter alone to your car might actually decrease fuel efficiency and engine life.
Why Your Air Filter Isn’t Helping :
Road cars being manufactured on a large scale and have a lot of R&D going into them. This ensures each part serves a purpose and works in tandem with other parts. Changing the air filter alone can disrupt the way a car’s engine works with the gearbox and transmission. There is a reason the tuner industry sees the same cars being modified year after year. Only certain factory builds are suitable for modifications. For example, the Toyota Supra is a great car to modify, but the Toyota Corolla is most certainly not.
If you’re wondering why, it is because certain cars, like the Toyota Supra & Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, are designed to be easy to modify. On the other hand, cars like the Volkswagen Golf are designed to be used for daily driving. For cars like the VW Golf, all components are designed to work in synchronization to achieve a longer life span and efficiency. If any one of these components is modified, it can affect the engine or the cars overall balance of performance and efficiency.
But what if it feels like my engine has been losing performance?
One of the main reasons’ engine air filters tend to reduce engine power is dirt. Simply replacing your engine air filter can increase horsepower and, in some cases, even improve mileage. So, we would advise changing your engine filter at least once a year or what is recommended in your vehicle owner’s manual. It is always best to follow the recommendations of the vehicle manufacturer.
If it sounds like a lot of work; don’t worry because it’s not. Engine air filters are located under the hood in a housing and are normally easily accessible. Simply disengage the air filter housing clips, lift-up the housing top to gain access, and remove the old air filter. Be careful to make sure no debris falls from the dirty air filter into the housing. It is also important to install the new air filter correctly. Make sure that the air filter housing is reinstalled properly, and the clips are fastened. Failure to close the filter housing correctly could result in air being drawn into the housing that is not being properly filtered. Replacing your air filter on a consistent basis can help you prolong the life of your engine and retain its original performance.