How Often To Change Air Filter On Car

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How often to change air filter on car

Your car might lose its performance? Or you want to make some savings? With this inexpensive part, it’s not the case. As you breathe and the “filter” inside your nose protects your lungs from particles. The same role has the engine air filter. It stops foreign object to reach the motor.

Another good question is how often to change air filter on car to ensure proper behavior? The formal answer is whenever the car manufacturer recommends in the owner’s manual. The adequate approach will be to change the car air filter as soon as it gets dirty, chocked, and it’s full of strange fragments.

What does an air filter do on a car?

The role of the air filter is to ensure that no dust, debris or other strange particles pass inside the engine while it’s functioning. When you refer to a vehicle probably the filter you don’t perceive it as an important component, but it has a lot of importance in the smooth and fluid work of an engine.

Without the air filter, the engine can get clogged with dirt, insect and anything else that is small enough to get through the air admission system. So to change air filter on car at the right time is very important.

It’s manufactured of different layers of foam, paper, and cotton that hold the bad particles and pass clean air through the manifold. Nowadays car engines need a relentless supply of air to assure proper functioning.

The car air filter is usually positioned somewhere in the engine compartment area. You can easily spot it by the big hoses that are entering and leaving the area where it is.

Do I really need to change my car air filter?

The filter is critical to have a proper engine functioning. When the filter gets obstructed, the engine needs to put more effort to work. The airflow is measured by the mass air flow sensor that can give wrong input to the engine ECU.

Usually, an old air filter can be torn apart and even those particles can find their way into the engine which is not desired. A quick visual inspection on the filter will tell you if you need to change the air filter on your car or not.

If it’s dirty and full of dust and debris, be convinced that you need to replace it. Check for oil spots and every external object that you reckon it shouldn’t be there It’s usually not expensive, depending on what you wish for, and we see the impact from the first ride after.

When a lot of time passed since the last filter change or you drove many miles, you want to check its condition.

Don’t just go to a service and tell them to change it until you’ve inspected yourself. Even if they say that they want to change it, check the air filter yourself and compare it with a clean, new one. That’s how you will test the differences.

How often to change air filter on car?

This is a very good question. If the car is new, you can stick to the maintenance periods from your service or owner’s manual.

Usually, these can be as low as 10.000 miles up to 20.000 miles in the early life of the vehicle. As time passes, you want to ensure that your engine will live for a longer time and change it each 5.000 miles or as soon as it is really clogged. I usually change it every 1 year or when I reach around 8.000 miles along with the engine oil,

Annual maintenance is always welcomed even if you don’t reach the number of driven miles (kilometers). Think of it as a favor that you are doing to your car’s engine and you will receive increased performance and smoothness in your driving.

Does a dirty air filter affects performance?

Every part of a modern car differs from what it was on an old car and the air filter does not make an exception. A dirty and clogged air filter can affect performance, even if it does not affect directly the fuel consumption.

The air that’s passing through the filter is analyzed by the mass air flow sensor. This one signals the engine ECU that will match the amount of fuel corresponding to the amount of air that is entering the engine’s chamber.

In conclusion, the engine’s performance is directly affected by the level of dirt inside your filter. If it’s absolutely filled with debris and particles, the engine cannot run properly. Think of it as a vacuum cleaner with a full bag. It will not properly suck the air, right?

When the air and fuel ration is not stable in the engine, it can cause some unwanted disruption as the engine can struggle to keep up the pace and overheat.

What problems can a bad air filter cause?

A lot of problems and symptoms can arise if you don’t change your air filter regularly. Anything from the list below can have a bad air filter as a cause:

  • Engine noises – whenever your car is lacking air, the mixture that’s burning inside the engine can be rich in fuel. This can cause carbon to cover your spark plugs, which will lead to misfiring (not following the correct timing).
  • Lower performance and increased fuel consumption – as we said above, the mixture will be richer in fuel, which will cause your engine ECU to match the amount of fuel. Even if you think the needed fuel is lower, it decreases the capacity of the engine to run.
  • Black smoke – caused by the incorrect amount of oxygen in the chamber, a fact that will determine some fuel to burn at an inadequate rate. This brings us to the next problem.
  • The smell of gas on the exhaust – this is also an effect of not correctly burned fuel and can be rectified by the decision to change the air filter on a car.
  • Check Engine LED highlighted in the dashboard – this can be checked by diagnosing the car. As soon as it decreases, the engine performance or the fuel mixture is not appropriate it will get signaled.

How to change a car air filter?

In fact, this action might not be as difficult as you expect. I will leave  you a video below, but this will differ car by car, although the concept is the same:


Even if you still think how often to change air filter on car, always compare the benefits that such a thing will bring you. Is it enough for you to have a better car performance and an engine that will last for a longer time? If you think like me, say yes and define it as a small investment with a big return.

Leave us a comment about how regularly are you changing the air filter in your car.



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