car repair

How To Change A Cars Air Filter

Posted on Updated on

Tips On How To Change The Filter On Your Car

replace your air filter on your car

It’s common knowledge to car owners that the air filter will need to be replaced or cleaned when it gets dirty. The replacement is usually done at certain intervals, say after every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. When dirt and other contaminants build up on the filter, it can affect the engine’s performance, fuel economy and emissions. Changing the filter as is recommended by the manufacturer will help to ensure your vehicle performs better and efficiently over the years.

Here is a simple guide to help you change the dirty air filter in your car.

Replacing the air filter with a new one

To locate the air filter housing, you can refer to the car’s manual. You may also ask your mechanic the next time you take your car for repairs at the auto shop. The internet can be a great resource to help you identify the location of the car’s air filter. Air filters are usually very easy to access regardless of the model and make of the car.

Air filters are usually found inside a little housing. To identify the housing, look for a tube that is connected to the engine where the air goes in. You are likely to see retainer clips or screws on the housing and you can open the housing using a nut. Some come with clamps that can be removed with little effort. Simply pull it out and replace it with a new filter.

Cleaning a dirty air filter

There are various methods to clean a dirty air filter. You can use a vacuum cleaner or simply wash it using a cleaning liquid. Vacuuming is a lot easier and faster than using soap and water. The only major drawback to cleaning the air filter with soap and water is that some parts may not be dry and you risk damaging the engine if you return a wet filter back in your car.

Place water and a cleaning solution in a bucket then dip the filter in. you don’t need to use a cleaning cloth simply wash it with your hands and then remove it. Just make sure that all areas have been cleaned and then leave it to dry. Always make sure that the air filter is completely dry before putting it back in. If you prefer to use a vacuum cleaner, run it on each side of the filter to get rid of the dirt and dust.

Make sure you clean the housing of the air filter as well. You can use a soft cloth together with soap and water to clean the filter’s housing. Just make sure you don’t leave behind pieces of the cloth you were using to clean the filter. Also, make sure the housing is completely dry before you put it back.

There are different types of air filters including foam filters, high performance filters and paper filters. When replacing the air filter, choose one that is most ideal for your car. Foam filters are ideal for car owners living in dusty areas. High performance filters are used in road rally cars and other vehicles that are used in dusty environments.


Car Repair

Posted on Updated on

Which cars cost least to repair?


The report, released Monday, shows which companies’ cars have both the fewest and the least expensive repairs. Hyundai, whose U.S. sales have surged this year, finished second in the rankings, published by auto diagnostic and repair website CarMD, which collects repair data from its network of 3,000 U.S. mechanics. Rounding out the top 5 were  Honda, Ford and General Motors — followed by Mitsubishi, Nissan, Kia, Volkswagen and Chrysler.

The report covers a wide range of model years, from 2001 to 2011, but focuses on repairs made only in the most recent year ending Oct. 1. While ranking individual car models, the CarMD Vehicle Health Index also grades manufacturers on a combination of all their brands. For example, the Toyota ranking includes Lexus and Scion cars, while General Motors includes Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC.

Based on data from mechanics, the CarMD report differs from car-owner surveys, such as the Consumer Reports reliability survey. The CarMD index ranks individual car models as well as manufacturers, combining both frequency of repairs and repair cost for an overall rating.

The top-ranked model, the 2009 Toyota Corolla, had not only infrequent trips to the shop but an average repair cost of just $45.84. (Repairs picked up by this system cover everything with a check-engine light sensor, including engine, transmission and pollution control devices. Only items like belts and tires are not included.)

Car Repair Studies From CarMD:

  • Luxury brands generally fared worse because of repair frequency, not high costs. Lexus, for instance, rated more poorly than corporate stablemate Toyota. This conflicts with high owner ratings for Lexus in surveys like that from J.D. Power and Associates. The Mercedes-Benz parent company and BMW ranked below the top 10 in this report, though CarMD did not give ranking details beyond the top 10.
  • Hyundai has made great strides in low repair frequency. The company originally launched its 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty to reassure potential buyers. But Hyundai’s rating was boosted by strong performances from recent models of the Elantra and the 2011 Sonata, which ranked sixth among all models.
  • Ford got an especially strong performance from its Edge crossover SUV, which had three different model years ranked among the top 100 vehicles. But Ford’s Windstar minivan, discontinued in 2003 but still going to repair shops, hurt its ranking.
  • Among General Motors brands, Buick was a standout. If Buick had been ranked individually instead of wrapped into GM, it would have topped the list. Its Lucerne model had three different years in the top 100 cars.

As part of its Vehicle Health Index package, CarMD also cites which repair problems occur most frequently for individual car brands. If you want to check your car, go to this CarMD page and put in the make and year.

CarMD is a service aimed at letting car owners know what is wrong with their car and what it should cost to fix the problem. Its $119 CarMD device plugs into the diagnostic system on your car to discover the problem; users can then feed that data into their website to identify the problem and the likely repair cost, based on data the company collects regularly from mechanics at both dealer service departments and independent shops. Its database since 1996 includes about 500,000 repair reports.