Air Cleaner Spacer, COVID-19 and Your Vehicle

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Air Cleaner Spacer and COVID-19: How to Reduce the Risk of the COVID-19 in Your Vehicle

With the COVID-19 pandemic still going on, we’ve all been staying at home more this yes. However, there are times when traveling is important. When you do need to travel, be sure to always use the correct seat belt, car seat, or booster seat – every time, every ride. And right now, preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting yourself and your passengers should be an important part of your travel routine. 

But, how do you do that? In this article, we discuss the importance of air cleaner spacers, how to make your car safe after exposure, and other tips for safe travel. 

Will my car’s cabin air cleaner help reduce the spread of COVID-19?

Within the last 30 years or so, cabin air cleaners have become a regular part of vehicles. Automakers proclaim their ability to filter out particles, smells, dust, and more. But, can they help to protect you and your passengers against COVID-19? 

Today, you see people everywhere traveling while wearing face masks. It may look off-putting, and those people may think that they are doing their part to prevent the spread of the virus – but are they, really? That depends. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you are already carrying the virus, a face mask may protect others from catching it from droplets that may spray from your mouth. However, it is not a total failsafe. 

And that’s where your car’s cabin filtration system is similar to the face mask.

Some car filtering systems consist of a HEPA filter which is designed to purify or at least filter the air coming in your vehicle’s cabin. HEPA filters in cars are a type of pleated air filter. It is NOT a failsafe as particulates can still enter when a window is lowered or when a door is opened. But, that is not to say that using an air cleaner and air cleaner spacer is completely useless – you can use these as part of a plan to reduce the potential for airborne transmission of COVID-19 in your vehicle.

Can a car air cleaner get rid of all the pollutants in my vehicle?

With so much time spent in your car, you will want to provide yourself and your passengers with the best air quality possible, especially amid this COVID-19 pandemic. An air cleaner and air cleaner spacer can help improve the air quality in your car. 

However, note that using an air cleaner is NOT enough to protect you from COVID-19 – proper handwashing with soap and water (or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) and social distancing are still the best ways to protect yourself from the virus. 

What is an air cleaner spacer?

Essentially, an air cleaner spacer is designed to raise your air cleaner in order to solve clearance problems with throttle or choke linkage. In certain applications, they also allow fitment of aftermarket air cleaners. For instance, GM Quadrajets carb necks or choke horn have a notch in the flange which can prevent many aftermarket air cleaners from fitting. Since an air cleaner spacer does not need to index on the neck, it easily and inexpensively solves this problem.

Air cleaner spacers are easy to install – it just sits on top of the carb between it and the air cleaner. However, you may require a longer air cleaner stud depending on the height of the air cleaner spacer you use and the design of the air cleaner. Also, it’s recommended to ensure that you have enough hood clearance to raise the air cleaner. 

Top Air Cleaner Spacers

Looking for a high-quality air cleaner spacer to ensure your car air cleaner works properly? Below, we list down some top air cleaner spacers you can find in the market today.

  • Edelbrock 8092 Air Cleaner Spacer

The Edelbrock Air Cleaner Spacer allows additional clearance between the carburetor and air cleaner for custom linkage, return springs, fuel lines and electric chokes. The air cleaner spacer is designed to fit between the carburetor neck flange and the air filter assembly. The air cleaner spacer is made from durable, high impact plastic with a black finish. It fits all carburetors with a 5-1/8′ inch diameter neck.

Here are some reviews from users of this air cleaner spacer:

“The diameter is slightly small for the Motorcraft 2100/2150. Its not close enough to use on my specific 5-1/8” base carb due to interfence with the choke linkage and it doesn’t sit 100% flush to the recessed rim. So close though. On the topside rim it adapts perfectly and as expected to the Edelbrock10023 cleaner. Good, well made part if it fits your application.” – M 

“This is an AIR CLEANER SPACER, that is all. And it fits like a fine glove to my ’79 Vette’s Edelbrock carburetor and docks with my Air Cleaner as if it were a space capsule to the Mother Ship. There are no vacuum leaks and you can not see it with the Air Cleaner on the engine. Yes this is plastic. So what. I ordered an aluminium one that did NOT fit at all and had to return it. Edelbrock ROCKS!!!. My entire engine has EDELBROCK performance inside and out. You can not go wrong with them.” – P. Guillotte

“I don’t like that it’s plastic but I didn’t want to pay too much. I just needed a temporary solution until I get my new carberator and intake and this works perfectly.” – Mark 

  • Spectre – SPE-4954 Performance 4954 Air Cleaner Riser Kit

Spectre’s Air Cleaner Riser Kit fits air cleaner and carburetor combinations with 5 1/8 inch diameter necks and was designed to space air cleaners above chokes, linkages, and more. This kit includes 3 riser rings measuring 1/2 inch, 1 inch, and 1 1/2 inch and can be stacked for increased heights. Manufactured using high quality materials this product is engineered for optimum fit and function.

Here are some reviews from users of this air cleaner spacer:

“A great set that lets you customize how much rise you get. Someone on here gave this a 4-star due to a poor seal. Pro tip: Place the ring up against the lower air intake pan first, ensure that the flat side of the riser faces down towards the carb and the tabbed portion faces up towards the air intake lower pan. If you’re super tight on space you may need to go for a shorter air filter.” – Jogirob

“Needed spacers for my air cleaner after installing the Holley efi sniper cause of its lower profile. Air cleaner wouldn’t set all the way down and was pressing on my plug wires on the distributor. So got this set due to the variety heights and stackable to get your desired air cleaner height for clearance. For being plastic there actually made very well and good quality. Had a couple left over from the kit but I know I’ll need them on another project.” – Mike

“Nice set for the money. My quadrajet accelerator pump hit virtually every after market air cleaner on the market. These spacers gave me options that allowed me to clear the pump and not hit the hood. No problems with this set.”- Craig C. 

  • X AUTOHAUX 2 Inch Air Cleaner Spacer Riser Air Filter Spacer for V8 Engine

Made from aluminum alloy, this Air Cleaner Riser fits air cleaner and carburetor combinations with 2inch diameter necks and was designed to space air cleaners above chokes, linkages, and more. Manufactured using high quality materials this product is engineered for optimum fit and function. Fit for V8 Engine. This is non-OEM product!

Here are some reviews from users of this air cleaner spacer:

“Switched to HEI Distributor and needed to raise the air filter. This was the perfect fit. Motor lite 2100 carb and round edlebrock 14” air filter on 302.” – B. Fox

“Fits great, looks great! Also significantly increased cold air intake into the engine.” – Gino 

“Fits perfectly over my Holley 4160. I don’t have to remove the Air filter to adjust my carb.” – Joe 

  • Allstar Performance ALL26086 1″ Air Cleaner Spacer and O-Ring

Low profile, spun aluminum air cleaners have 5-1/8 inch necks and O-ring spacers for a positive seal. Plain aluminum or black powder coated tops are available. Offset bases clear HEI distributors.

Here are some reviews from users of this air cleaner spacer:

“Used for 4BBL carter AFB. I did need to grid a small part out of the step to clear the carb body but it is a great replacement to a plastic spacer.” – Dustin S. 

“Used this on my 1966 Chevy Impala SS 283 with aftermarket Edelbrock Carburetor. Matched up nicely with the carburetor but had trouble getting it to match up with the air cleaner. Had to modify the air cleaner slightly to get it to fit. I like that it is metal and not plastic.” – Tim C. 

“After trying several plastic spacers that did not fit well and were very cheap, I tried this one which is all aluminum with a built in gasket. This one fit perfectly over my Rochester Quadrajet carb for my ’73 vette and gave me just the clearance I needed to fit my 14″ K&N filter on over top.. I highly recommend this spacer even though it is higher priced than the plastic ones. It’s a better fit and the built-in gasket is a big plus.” – Swany 

Reducing the Risk of the COVID-19 in Your Vehicle

Below, we share some tips to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in your vehicle:

  • Wash your hands.

According to CDC guidelines, it’s crucial to wear a face mask in public and to wash your hands before and after eating, when providing care for sick people, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Washing your hands before and after you operate or ride in a vehicle can also help. This reduces the risk of transmitting the virus from the car to the outside world (and vice versa). 

Washing your hands and social distancing are among the best methods to protect yourself from COVID-19. However, clean hands won’t help you if the surfaces that you touch are dirty. The vehicles you drive, ride, and rent may help spread the coronavirus if the proper precautions are not taken. 

  • Clean your car seats and seatbelts. 

Car seats may be cleaned but must never be disinfected. While bleach and wipes work great for most surfaces, using a disinfecting chemical on a seat belt or car seat harness can damage the webbing and may cause the seat belt or car seat to fail in the event of a crash. 

Most seat belts, car seats, and boosters can be cleaned with a mild soap and water. Some also have machine washable covers. Read your car seat owner’s manual for the proper cleaning instructions for that seat. 

  • Improve air quality inside your car. 

With so much time spent in your car, you will want to provide yourself and your passengers with the best air quality possible, especially amid this COVID-19 pandemic. An air cleaner and air cleaner spacer can help improve the air quality in your car. However, note that using an air cleaner is NOT enough to protect you from COVID-19. 

Proper handwashing with soap and water (or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) and social distancing are still the best ways to protect yourself from the virus. 

  • Cleaning your car seat or vehicle after exposure to COVID-19.

If you, your child, or any other person tests positive or has been exposed to COVID-19 and has been in your vehicle, take the following steps:

  • Clean and disinfect the spot where that person rode and everything they touched, including the door handles, seats, lock and window buttons, and other hard surfaces within 6 feet of where they were.
  • Remove the car seats and wash them according to the manufacturer’s directions. Make sure to wear eye protection, mask, and gloves when handling the car seats and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. 
  • Do not disinfect your seat belts with harsh chemicals as it can damage the webbing and may cause the seat belt or car seat to fail in the event of a crash. Instead, clean the seat belt with mild soap and water. 
  • To prevent the spread of COVID-19, try to limit your car passengers to those who live in your household.

The Bottom Line

An air cleaner and air cleaner spacer can help improve the air quality in your car; however, it is NOT enough to protect you from COVID-19. 

Proper handwashing with soap and water (or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol), wearing a mask when going outside, and social distancing are still the best ways to protect yourself from the virus.

Sources:

  1. https://www.amazon.com/Edelbrock-8092-Air-Cleaner-Spacer/dp/B00062YA8A/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=Air+Cleaner+Spacer&qid=1615516776&sr=8-5
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Spectre-Performance-4954-Cleaner-Riser/dp/B004AJ3306/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=air+cleaner+spacer&qid=1615517283&sr=8-3 
  3. https://www.amazon.com/AUTOHAUX-Cleaner-Spacer-Filter-Engine/dp/B07Z4Y2NLK/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 
  4. https://www.amazon.com/Allstar-Performance-ALL26086-Cleaner-Spacer/dp/B003BZX0SK/ref=pd_vtp_3?pd_rd_w=Bo9bl&pf_rd_p=96226b5f-2d9a-439b-be45-97603787c682&pf_rd_r=352BB8YB994WWS1VSW2N&pd_rd_r=18dc6cf1-21d5-4543-988c-9a61b37e58b5&pd_rd_wg=skrvE&pd_rd_i=B003BZX0SK&th=1

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