Cleaning the air intake system

Reduce fuel consumption and increase engine performance by cleaning your engine's air intake system

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Your car has a high fuel consumption and the acceleration is not like it used to be when it was new? We explain you how you can solve this problem quickly and at low cost at your next oil change.

The three major reasons for high fuel consumption are a dirty air system, a dirty fuel system and bad engine oil. Today we focus on the mostly forgotten but very important air system.

Over time the air systems collect dirt and therefore become less efficient.

The engine does not get the exact amount of fuel and air it needs. This imbalance causes the engine to underperform and require more fuel to reach the power output you require.

In about one hour you can solve this problem by getting the air system cleaned.

How to clean the air system of petrol cars?

The critical parts of the air system are the engine air filter, the throttle valve and the MAF airflow sensor.

1) Check and clean the engine air filter

This filter collects the dirt from the air outside before the air flows into the engine. Especially after driving on unpaved or dusty roads the filter very quickly gets dirty and blocks the incoming air. Remove it and clean it by shaking it if it is just little polluted and replace it if it is very polluted.

We recommend replacing the air filter every 12-24 months. Make sure to use high-quality OEM standard (OEM standard = approved by the car manufacturer for your model) filters as low-quality filters could let dirt pass into your engine and reduce the airflow by having less surface area or different mesh size.

We recommend MANN FILTER and MAHLE. Both produce high-quality engine air filters following OEM standards in Germany while having reasonable pricing.

Clean Engine Air Filter From A Car

2) Clean the Throttle Valve

The throttle valve controls how much air flows into the engine. Over time deposits form on the throttle valve which slows down its function and the engine will not receive the right amount of air. To compensate this power loss, the engine will inject more fuel.

You can clean this critical part without removing it from the engine with a specialized cleaning spray from LIQUI MOLY, called the LIQUI MOLY Pro-Line Throttle Valve Cleaner. To clean the throttle valve you run the engine idle at around 2,000 RPM and spray in short intervals the cleaning fluid in the air intake. You should clean the throttle valve at least once a year for example during your engine oil change and in case you drive a lot on dirt tracks at least twice a year is recommended. LIQUI MOLY offers a high quality and easy to use throttle valve cleaner and the application takes 10-30minutes depending on your car model.

3) Clean the MAF airflow sensor

The MAF airflow sensor measures the amount of air particles flowing into the engine and based on this amount the engine control system knows how much fuel should be injected. The sensor surface collects dirt over time and the sensor looses its precision causing wrong information for the control unit. To clean the sensor you need to remove it from the air-intake system by unscrewing the four screws that hold it. During the process you must never touch the very sensitive sensor surface as any dirt from your fingers will cause long term problems. To clean it you need to take a special cleaning spray that you spray over the sensor for several seconds to wash of the small dirt particles. Please do NOT USE Parts cleaner or other cleaning sprays. The specialized MAF sensor cleaning spray will dry up on its own within minutes and you must not wipe the surface. Once dried, place the sensor again in the intake system.

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