Most of us are aware of the fact that automobiles have air filters to control pollutants from entering and exiting a vehicle. However, have you ever thought of how they perform the filtration process? Can you believe, there are more than five types of internal combustion air filters used in automobiles? Yes, it is true.
Air filters in automobiles are usually pleated paper filters, placed in the area where air is taken from outside. On the other hand, combustion air filters prevent unwanted particles from entering the engine’s cylinders and thus avoid unnecessary oil contamination. Typically, five different types of air filters are used, namely long life, paper, foam, cotton and oil bath filters. The long lasting air filtration system, introduced by Ford Motor Company, is placed in the bumper enabling more filtration efficiency. Paper filters however remain the most commonly used form. Polyurethane filters and Cotton gauzes soaked in oil are also used sometimes in small engines and equipment. Finally, an oil bath air filter consists of a pool of oil, fiber/foam and a filter.
Depending on the environment in which you live, how you use a vehicle and how often you use it, your air filtering mechanism should be changed from time to time. For instance, vehicles in Arabian countries need to change air filtration device regularly as they get blocked with the sand. Both the mileage and horsepower of the engine can be affected adversely, if they are not changed on time. Moreover, a clogged air filter will reduce the circulation of air and introduce more number of malignant bacteria into the air circulation system.
This restriction of airflow will force gas engines to burn to more fuel and hence the mileage goes down. Air filters are generally available in all spare parts shops and will cost somewhere between $3 and $30. Usually an air filter in judged upon the parameters of area coverage, frequency of air exchange and use of electricity. Altogether, they not only control environmental pollution, but also protect the automobile users from getting affected by unwanted pollutants.