Do You Really Need to Change Your Car's Air Filter?

Naturally, air filters need to be replaced in the event of damage. However, to maintain the maximum possible performance of your car, it is recommended that you replace your air filters at least every 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000 to 24,000 km). This interval should be reduced if you often drive in dusty conditions. Do you REALLY need a new air filter? This depends on the condition of your car's air filter.If the filter is dirty, crumbled or clogged, it's time for a replacement.

If a service location recommends replacing the filter because “it's dirty”, ask to see it. If they can show you the dirty filter in your car, ask to see a new one. This will allow you to see how bad the filter is and make sure that they are using the correct filter.Air filters should be changed approximately every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, most often in dusty driving conditions. The owner's manual maintenance program will indicate how often the air cleaner needs to be replaced.

A dirty air filter may appear clean, but should be replaced at recommended intervals. If you know where your air filter is located (you can refer to your owner's manual for where to look), you can do a visual inspection. If the air filter is clean, it should be white or off-white. Over time, as dust and dirt build up, the air filter will darken and dirt will be noticeable.

When it starts to look dark and dirty, you may need to look for a replacement.On most Chevrolet engines, for example, the recommended change interval is every 45,000 miles, but Ford says it should be done every 30,000 miles on many of its engines. We expect drivers in most cases to spend more than a year, at least, and probably more than two years between air filter changes, depending on conditions and mileage. That's a set of potential problems, all in an effort to save a few dollars by extending the life of a dirty air filter. Driving in dusty or rural locations can also cause air filter performance to decline more rapidly, so keep in mind that where you drive will affect its lifespan.

Be sure to monitor your air filter and replace it when you start to notice signs that it is clogged and keep your car in perfect condition for as long as possible.The owner's manual should give you a more accurate estimate of exactly when your vehicle needs a new air filter. Maintenance schedules for different vehicle brands differ in how often the air filter needs to be changed. Regardless of the exact numbers, a clean air filter obviously improves airflow to the engine and increases engine performance and fuel consumption. The car cabin air filter in your vehicle's ventilation system is used to filter dust, allergens, mold particles and sometimes even odors from the air entering the passenger compartment of the car.

Proper operation of your engine depends on sufficient air being able to move through the air intake system, through the air cleaner and into the fuel supply system.