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Our vehicles demand significant annual expenses in car coverage and maintenance; therefore, it is not appropriate to be careless with our car's correct operation. Even when you got very cheap car insurance with no deposit, your coverage's yearly expense will be significant. Preventing annual insurance rates from increasing due to accident claims should be one of your main goals. Therefore, regular maintenance of your vehicle is a vital task.

Aftermarket companies make much ado about high-flow air filters, and for a good reason. Your engine is a chemical conversion plant; it makes power by burning fuel in the presence of oxygen. More oxygen equals more power through more complete combustion. In a perfect world, your engine's total airflow would be dictated solely by its displacement, or how far the pistons move up and down in the cylinders. But several things will limit airflow into the engine:

  • The valves
  • Cylinder head
  • Intake manifold
  • Throttle body or carburetor
  • The air ducts feeding the TB or carb
  • The air filter

How to check and replace the air filter?

A clogged engine air filter will always cause a drop in horsepower and fuel economy. Checking and replacing the filter is relatively simple on a modern car. You need only pop the retaining clips on the filter box, pull the filter out, and inspect it. The rule of thumb is that if you can see the light through the filter, or the filter is still white, then it's fine. But even if the filter looks clean, you can help extend its life by holding it with the engine-side facing up and smacking it on a table the way you might a dirty rug on the driveway. This will dislodge a certain amount of the dust inside before it has a chance to settle in and clog the filter pores.

Your engine also has a second filter, one that may be hiding inside the air cleaner housing itself. This small foam filter goes to the positive crankcase ventilation system. 


Why check your air filter and PVC filter?

About 1 to 3 percent of the gases from the burning air and fuel will sneak past the piston rings and into your engine block during the combustion event. This “blow-by” pressurizes the block by a few pounds per square inch, creating a situation almost guaranteed to cause oil leaks at the gaskets and the intake valve seals.

But manufacturers long ago figured out that using the vacuum from the intake to suck that pressure out of the engine would not only decrease oil consumption. It would also increase fuel economy and reduce emissions by re-burning the gases trapped in the block.

But there's a problem with this arrangement – namely, that sucking gases out of the block will also suck oil out, and that's nothing but bad all the way around. So, the PCV system uses a one-way valve on the engine to keep liquid oil droplets from escaping and a filter to catch vaporized oil droplets that make it past the main PCV valve. While you're checking your air filter, go ahead and pop this little foam filter out to check it for clogging. If it's saturated with oil and dirt, replace it and consider replacing the PCV valve as well. The PCV filter will usually last about 50,000 miles, so consider that part of any good tune-up.


Replacing the PVC valve

To replace the PCV valve:

  1. Follow the thick rubber tube from your air cleaner down to the engine. You'll find the PVC valve at the end of the tube, which looks like a little cylinder with a fitting sticking out of the top.
  2. Pull the tube out of the PCV valve, then gently wiggle the valve out of its rubber mounting grommet.
  3. Shake the PCV valve; if you hear the rattling sound of the ball valve, then the odds are that the valve is still good.

If not, then it's time to pop in a new one.


Replacing Cabin Air Filter

Mold and fungi tend to thrive in the same conditions that we do, minus the sunlight and plus a bit of moisture. If this sounds like a pretty good description of the inside of your HVAC system, then you're right on target. This is especially true when you're talking about AC systems that pull air in from the windshield base, which is the one spot on your car guaranteed to collect dead leaves and water. All of this means that checking and replacing the air filter from time to time won't just help your vehicle smell better and the AC to blow harder; it could actually affect your health.

Manufacturers go out of their way to make these filters somewhat accessible. On a modern car, you'll typically access the cabin air filter either by removing the plastic trim piece at the base of the outside of your windshield or by popping open a little service door next to the air conditioner blower – usually behind the glove box. You'll often find that the car has both; a primary filter at the air intake and a second one right next to the blower. There are endless permutations in terms of filter location, so your owner's manual or your local dealership is your first-line resource about cabin filter location and replacement. But this is a regular maintenance item, so the most challenging part will likely be just finding the things. Once you do, clean it as you would the engine air filter, and set it out to dry in the sun if it's wet. If you see signs of mold – black, orange, green, or brown circles or splotches – then drop that thing like it's hot and get a new one.

Finally

People say accidents are inevitable. But it is also known that regular car maintenance checks can prevent accidents on the road. Stay away from preventable accidents, and you will able to get instant auto insurance with no down payment or any other affordable coverage plan.

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