Aug 28, 2019
Chances are, every time you take your vehicle in for an oil
change—or almost any other service—a technician will ask you if you want to
change your vehicle’s air filter.
Is this a necessary bit of maintenance, or a typical attempt
to sell you something you don’t need?
The answer depends on your vehicle, they type of driving you
typically do and how long it has been since you swapped out your vehicle’s air
filter for a new one. It is not something to dismiss out of hand, however.
A clean air filter provides many benefits for your vehicle,
Increased fuel efficiency. Just like in your
home, a clogged air filter will make your engine work harder. A dirty filter
will limit the amount of air getting to your engine; think about how much
harder everything you do is when you can’t get enough air. A clean filter will
help your engine breathe easier.
Improved acceleration. Depending on your make
and model, a clean air filter may help your engine work faster, based on
several points listed above. Free-flowing air translates to a more efficient
fuel-burning machine, giving your car a bit more pep.
Reduced emissions. Dirty air in means dirty air
out. Do your mother Earth a favor!
Prolonged engine life. The better you maintain
your engine, the longer it will last. This includes regular oil changes, tune
ups and, when necessary, air filter changes.
That said, you do not need to change your air filter every
time you change your oil, even if you stretch out this regular maintenance to
every 5,000 miles compared to every 3,000 miles. Air filters do not tend to get
dirty as fast as oil filters and engine oil. As a general rule, you should
replace them every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, unless you drive in excessively
dusty or dirty environments.
Here are some other indicators that you may need to change
your air filter:
Unusual sounds emanating from your engine
Your service engine light is on
Your vehicles a little more sluggish than normal
Black or dirty smoke is coming from your
You can smell gasoline
It appears dirty
Your engine will not operate at peak efficiency if it can’t
breathe properly. Replacing a dirty air filter is a relatively cheap and easy
way to keep your car running well. With these tips, you’ll be able to replace
it on time, every time.