Have you ever wondered how often to change an air filter on a car? With all the myths and hearsay out there, it can be confusing. Let’s cut through the confusion and get some clarity around this popular topic.
Your air filter should be changed every 15,000 to 30,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first. If you consistently drive in dusty conditions, check your air filter at every oil change. It’s always best to check your owner’s manual for exact recommendations.
From improved fuel economy to enhanced engine performance, there are plenty of benefits associated with changing your car’s air filter regularly.
Truth is, many people are unsure just how often this part needs to be replaced. But there are a number of conditions that can alert you when your air filter needs changing.
Staying on top of your car’s maintenance ensures you get the most out of its performance.
In this guide, we’ll discuss why it’s so important to keep up with periodic air filter changes for your car.
Also, we will provide some guidelines on when you should get them replaced. Let’s get into it!
How Often Should You Change the Engine Air Filter?
The engine air filter prevents dirt, dust, and debris from getting into the engine. Over time, the filter can become clogged, prompting the need for replacement.
Different vehicle manufacturers suggest different mile markers for changing out your engine air filters.
Toyota also makes an exception for ‘severe driving’; in that event, they recommend changing it out every 10,000 miles or so.
American auto makers, Chevrolet and Ford both have different service recommendations for air filter maintenance.
For example, Chevrolet suggests changing the engine air filter around the 30,000 to 45,000 mile mark. While Ford recommends changing the engine air filter around 15,000-30,000 miles.
Maintaining your car’s air filter is important for its long-term health. To make sure you’re following the best guidelines, check out your cars owners manual or give a call to your local dealership and get their expert advice.
How do You Know if Your Car Needs a New Air Filter?
Do you know the symptoms of a dirty engine air filter? There are a few warning signs that may point towards a needed air filter replacement.
Examining your filter every now and again gives you a good idea when you need to replace it. If the filter is covered in dirt and debris, it’s time to replace it.
A dirty engine air filter causes problems with the vehicle’s performance. Most notably, the fuel economy can be detrimentally affected when the air filter is clogged.
Driving on dirt or gravel roads or in heavy traffic can stress your air filter, prompting the need for an earlier replacement.
Which is why, some auto makers such as Toyota provide guidelines for severe driving.
So just be aware, if you notice poor fuel economy or reduced engine acceleration – it might be time for a new engine air filter.
How Does a Car Air Filter Work?
Have you ever wondered how an engine air filter works? Essentially, it’s purpose is to clean the air before it actually enters the internal combustion system.
The engine air filter traps particles such as dust, pollen, atmosphere droplets and the potential for moisture. These undesirable substances are captured inside the pleated material of the filter.
The air filters sole job is to provide clean air to the cars engine and protect from damage that could easily occur due to abrupt contact.
Replacing the Engine Air Filter
To replace the engine air filter, simply follow the instructions provided in your owner’s manual which will give you a detailed illustration of where to find it.
Additionally, your owners manual will provide a manufacturer-recommended part number for suitable replacement air filter.
Of course, you can also just have a professional handle the replacement at your trusted service center.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace an Air Filter?
If your car’s air filter needs a refresh, you’ve got two options. You can take it to a dealership for installation or handle the replacement yourself.
Typically, the dealership will charge around $40 to $85 dollars for replacement air filter and installation.
Or if you prefer to do it yourself(it’s easy) then expect to pay roughly $20 to $40 dollars for a new air filter at the local auto parts store.
How Often To Change Air Filter On Car FAQs
What happens if you don’t change car air filter?
When the air filter gets mucky, it creates a blockage that can impede your engine’s ability to take in enough fresh oxygen for combustion.
This blockage will cause your ride to guzzle more gas – meaning decreased performance coupled with lower fuel efficiency.
Will my Car Run Better With a New Air Filter?
Replacing a dirty air filter will increase fuel efficiency and improve acceleration. In fact, a clean air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%.
Does the Engine Air Filter Affect the AC in a Car?
A clogged air filter can have a big impact on your car, not only making it burn more fuel but also causing weaker AC performance.
Do Air Filters Affect Gas Mileage?
Yes, as it’s has been scientifically proven that having a clean air filter will result in 10% better gas mileage.
What Are Air Filters Made From?
Typically, engine air filters are made from either cotton, synthetic paper or foam.
Do Electric Cars Have Engine Air Filters?
No, because electric cars don’t have an internal combustion engine. EV’s are powered by an electric motor instead, eliminating the need for an engine air filter.
Depending on your driving habits, you should change your car’s air filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles or once a year – whichever comes first.
By changing your air filter regularly, you can enjoy improved fuel economy and enhanced engine performance.
So next time you’re unsure whether it’s time for a new air filter, refer to your owner’s manual or look out for these warning signs.
Loves anything with a motor and wheels.
Christopher is an internet technology expert and mechanical engineer. When he’s not at the local autocross event, he can often be found working on one of his cars. He loves nothing more than taking something apart and putting it back together again – better than before. Email me direct, or learn more about us