An engine air filter may seem a small and insignificant part of a vehicle (after all, how many people talk about getting their cabin air filter changed?), but an engine air filter plays an important role in protecting and extending the life of an engine. An engine filter catches dirt and contaminants before they enter the motor.
There is another filter, the cabin air filter, on the car that needs to be replaced regularly. The cabin air filter catches debris before it enters the vehicle and ensures the air quality in the vehicle cabin.
Why should I change my engine air filter?
A dirty engine filter can become clogged, compromising the performance and fuel efficiency of the engine. Unlike other part replacements, there are no obvious signs that the engine air filter should be replaced. Typically, the decline in performance is gradual over time without any overt signs. In some cases, a dirty air filter can cause engine misfiring or a drop in gas mileage. Fortunately, a mechanic can tell if an engine air filter needs to be replaced with a visual inspection. Ask a mechanic to check when scheduling the next oil change.
How often should I change my engine air filter?
The schedule for engine air filter replacement varies on road conditions and vehicle specifications. Check the vehicle manual for the exact mileage recommended by the auto manufacturer. As a general rule, an engine air filter should be replaced every 30,000 miles or 3 years; however, the engine air filter should be replaced more often if the vehicle manufacturer specifies or if the vehicle is driven on roads that are usually very dusty. Some vehicle manufacturers also say the air filter should be replaced if the car is driven often in very hot and heavy traffic conditions.