Like other machines, the operation of your car engine depends on the proper functioning of all its parts. If one component fails to do its job, then the engine cannot work as it should.
This includes your engine air filter, which provides the clean air that your engine needs to run. Over time, they accumulate dust and dirt. You need to change them out before the buildup becomes severe. How often you need to do so depends on several factors.
Once you understand what these are, you can determine when to switch yours out. It will help your engine run well and extend its life. Keep reading to find out more.
What Does an Engine Air Filter Do?
There are two types of vehicle air filters. The car AC filter, or “cabin filter,” ensures the air circulating throughout the inside of your vehicle is safe to breathe. These are especially important for drivers and passengers who live in areas with a lot of air pollution.
You need to replace cabin air filters periodically as well. However, these intervals can be (and often are) distinct from engine air filters’ lifespan.
The engine air filter cleans the air that your engine uses for combustion. It filters out dirt, dust, or any particles that may get sucked into the intake.
Dirty engine air filters mean your engine has to work harder to get clean air. This means it runs less efficiently. It also can lead to lower gas mileage and more serious problems.
How Often Should You Change Your Engine Air Filter?
A good ballpark is that you should swap out your engine air filter between every 15,000 and 45,000 miles, or every three or four oil changes. That is a broad span, which is impacted by many different factors.
One of the biggest things that impact how frequently you need to change your air filter is the age, make, and model of your vehicle. Older or larger cars will use more air in their engines, which could warrant more frequent changes.
Driving habits can also have an impact. If you drive a lot on dirt roads or in dusty areas, you may need to change your air filter more often.
Also, if you live in an area that has a lot of air pollution, this can affect the life of your engine air filter. Heat and humidity can as well.
A visual inspection is a good way to determine if your engine air filter needs replacing. If you know what you are looking for, it is the best way.
New filters are white. As dirt accumulates, the filter will turn a lighter gray. The dirtier the filters are, the darker gray they will become.
A reputable repair shop can tell when your air filter is on its last leg. They also can estimate how much life you have left in your current filter.
Learn More About General Vehicle Maintenance
Now that you know how often you should change your engine air filter, you can stay on top of it. This basic chore will ensure your engine is operating at full efficiency and prolong the life of your vehicle.
At Express Auto Service we are dedicated to providing the best auto maintenance services in the area. We pride ourselves on upfront pricing and technicians trained in the latest repair tools and techniques. Reach out to us to schedule service today.