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Air intake replacement
Air intake replacement cost
Just as it is for us humans, air is an important element in keeping a car running. Without a good supply of air, a car can be difficult to start. It can stall, lose power, idle roughly and consume more fuel. It’s very likely you will notice when your vehicle is not getting the oxygen it needs.
It can, however, be tricky diagnosing an air intake problem. If your car is showing any of the signs, have a qualified AutoGuru mechanic take a look to determine exactly what’s wrong.
The cost to fix an air intake problem can vary greatly depending on the exact issue but it could cost between $50 to $500. The solution may be something simple like replacing a damaged hose, or it may be a more expensive fix like replacing an air flow sensor.
What is the air intake?
An internal combustion engine (ICE) requires oxygen as part of the combustion process. Oxygen is obtained from the environment around the vehicle. In modern vehicles, the air passes through the air filter before flowing through the air intake hose into the intake manifold where it mixes with the fuel and/or gets distributed into various cylinders. Some vehicles have modified air intake systems - 4WD vehicles may have the air intake mounted up high via a snorkel so that water can’t enter the engine when driving through creek crossings.
There are various components the air will pass through before it makes its way to the engine.
Air filter box: The air filter box is typically positioned in the front corner of the engine bay where the air is coolest. Alternatively, it will have air ducted from the front bumper section of the vehicle into the air filter which sits protected inside this box.
Air filter: The air filter captures and separates bugs and other debris from the air before the clean air flows into the engine.
Mass airflow sensor (MAF): An electrical component that communicates with the engine control unit (ECU), it provides data on the air mass so the ECU can adjust the air/fuel mix.
Throttle body: This device opens and closes a valve depending on vehicle acceleration or deceleration. The more acceleration the further the valve will open to allow maximum airflow through.
Air intake hose: A plastic hose through which the air flows into the intake manifold.
With the number of elements involved in the air intake process, diagnosing a problem will require examination of various components. The MAF sensor could be blocked, the air filter may be dirty, the air filter box may be cracked, or the air intake hose may be split. Any time that air is impeded or escaping the system can cause issues.
Symptoms air intake components need to be replaced
- Visible damage to a component
- Vehicle stalling
- Lack of power
- Vehicle backfiring or generally performing poorly
- Excessive fuel consumption
- Hard to start
- Check engine light is on
How are air intake components replaced?
- Locate the faulty air intake component
- Detach faulty part from the air intake system
- Compare that the new part is the same as the old part
- Fit new part
- Test operation
Tips to remember
Have a professional inspect the area of concern and diagnose the problem to make sure parts are not being replaced unnecessarily.
If the check engine light remains on after replacing an air intake component there may still be an issue that needs rectifying. Best to check in with a mechanic for further inspection.
How important is replacing air intake components?
The correct air/fuel mixture is required for optimal engine performance. Problems can lead to either a rich or lean mixture that can cause spark plugs to foul or become too hot. This can cause deposits to form inside the combustion chamber and/or unwanted engine detonation and engine damage.
The air intake is an important system for the performance of a car and should be repaired as soon as there is an issue found.