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As for the air filter I was reading recently that on newer vehicles the computer employs sensors to adjust for how dirty the thing may be makining regular cleanings even less important. On old vehicles we used to just take the thing out and bang it a few times to get (some) of the dust and dirt out and we were good for a few more miles.

A little dirt is a good thing with air filters; it increases the efficiency of the filter, as long as there is not so much that it restricts airflow. The MAF sensor will tell the computer how much air is flowing and it will adjust fuel delivery accordingly.

Air filters are common revenue enhancement devices, with the actual condition of the filter being inconsequential to the recommendation to replace.

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