Riding On Air

By: The Auto Guy Email
By: The Auto Guy Email

One of the most important things that your engine needs to run correctly is all around us. It’s air! That’s right, air is mixed with fuel inside of your engine, then your spark plugs ignite that mixture to produce power. In fact, there is a lot more air going into your engine than gas. So you better pay attention to all of the parts that are related to getting the air out here inside of there.

Air comes into the engine through an intake tube that is usually right on top of the engine. One of the first things that the air is going to encounter as it works its way to the engine is an air filter, which will filter out contaminants in the air such as dust, dirt and pollution. When the air filter gets filled with dirt, air can’t get through like it should and your performance and mileage will suffer.

After the filter, the air usually continues through a tube where it passes by sensors that relay vital information back to the computer that runs the engine controls. Things such as the temperature, flow rate and pressure of the incoming air need to be monitored by these sensors because the computer will change the amount of fuel being sent to injectors depending on the sensor readings.

The tube that the air flows through should be inspected to make sure that it is in good shape. It is usually made of rubber, which can crack or tear over time. If air leaks develop because of a tear, a loose clamp or a hose that has become disconnected from the tube, your vehicle will not run properly.

The air enters the engine through the throttle body. After it passes this point, it’s heading through the intake and into the cylinders. When it reaches deeper inside of the engine, fuel injectors spray fuel in with all of the incoming air to make the perfect mix for the spark plugs to ignite and produce your power.

Here’s basically how the throttle body works. A cable is hooked up to your gas pedal inside of the vehicle and it comes up and attaches to the side of the throttle body. As you push down on the cable, the throttle plate inside the throttle body opens up, allowing the outside air to come into the engine. This plate can get very dirty over time, which will give you a rough idle and maybe even make your gas pedal sticky when you are trying to take off from a stop.

Make sure that you have your throttle body and other parts related to your air intake clean and in good shape so that your engine can breathe a little easier.

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