Many motorists are unaware that a car has 3 important filters. They are the fuel filter, oil filter and finally, the air filter. Allow me to explain briefly, the functions of each filter mentioned above.

The fuel filter’s function is to filter petrol, fuel or diesel which are stored in the fuel tank of contaminants such as rust and dirt. The second filter which obviously needs no mention is the oil filter. Basically, the oil filter’s function is to rid engine oil or lubrication oil of metal oxides, rust and grime that are found in the engine or lubrication oil making the engine much smoother eventually.

If you were to ask of me, what part does an air filter play in a car or vehicle engine, what then would my answer be? An air filter is a device which is made of fibrous material. It is meant to remove solid particles such as dust, pollen mold and bacteria from the air or atmosphere.

Air filter are used commonly in modern engines of today. Air intake of internal combustion engines and compressors frequently use paper, cotton or foam filters. Air filters are usually overlooked in a car’s itinerary. As a matter of fact, clogged or dirty air filters can very significantly reduce air flow in the cabin or compartment of a car.

What does an air filter in reality do? An air filter actually prevents abrasive matter from entering the engines cylinders where it can cause mechanical wear and contamination. Talking about air filters, such items are normally constructed of paper or felt.

In most of fuel injected vehicles, they use pleated paper filter element in the form of a flat panel. This filter is usually placed in a plastic box connected to the throttle today with an intake tube.

Other vehicles which use carburetors, usually use a cylindrical air filter between 6 inchs (150mm) and 16 inchs (410mm) in diameter. Now that readers know what an air filter is, permit me to delve slightly into the history of this important item of a car.

In 2003, the Ford Motor Company introduced what is called the “Visteon Long Life Filtration System” into the Ford Focus car. In the above system, the foam filter was placed in the bumper of the car. It was said to have a 240,000 km or 150,000 miles service interval.

According to a technical paper, which was published by the Society of Automotive Engineers, this design offered a higher and more stable filtration efficiency when compared to other conventional air filters.

Today, pleated paper filter elements are the exclusive selection of automotive engine air cleaners due to the fact that it is easy to service and its cost of production is very low. Besides, pleated paper air filters which are very popular in the market nowadays, there is also available in the market today of oil polyurethane foam elements which are used in some replacement auto air filters.

However, paper air filter have replaced oil wetted foams nowadays. There is yet another form of air filter which this writer feels should also be made known to readers. The filter in question is none other what is called the oil bath oil filter. I still recall one such filter that I chanced to come across in 1961, a Volkswagen 1200cc model that he owned way back some 40 years ago. The oil bath oil filter consists of a round base bowl containing a pool of oil with a round insert which is made of mesh or wire, foam or any coarse filter media.

For readers’ further information, the Volkswagen Beetle was commissioned to be built by the second world war dictator, Adolf Hitler of Germany for a sum of only £50. The above “Beetle”, was reportedly built by the famous and international renowned car builder, Ferdinand Porsche himself.