Does a New Air Filter Make a Difference?

The most obvious advantage of replacing your air filter is the improved fuel efficiency you'll experience after you switch it out. By increasing the airflow to the engine, your car won't have to work as hard, thus burning less gasoline. Depending on the make and model of your car, replacing a clogged air filter can boost fuel efficiency and enhance acceleration. It's easy to see why it's important to replace your air filters regularly.

But how can an air filter make such a difference? A dirty or damaged air filter restricts the amount of air that flows into the engine, causing it to work harder and consume more fuel. Since the engine needs more than 10,000 liters of oxygen to burn every liter of fuel, it's essential not to impede this airflow. Of course, air filters must be replaced if they're damaged. To maintain the maximum possible performance of your car, it's recommended that you replace your air filters 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. It's best to review the maintenance schedule provided by your car manufacturer to get the proper replacement program. By changing the air filters in your car, it helps extend the life of the engine. This is because the air filter is designed to trap dirt and debris that causes damage to internal engine parts, such as cylinders and pistons.

If it's been more than a year since your last air filtration system was serviced, you notice a dirt or damp smell on the vents, or you discover a loss in acceleration power, call to schedule an air cleaner inspection. If you've recently noticed that you need to refill your gas tank more often than usual, it's probably time to check your air filter. An air filter may not seem like an important component to regularly check and change, but it is essential for maintaining the performance of your car. If you notice that the filter is gray or full of particles, it is definitely time to replace it.

Keep in mind that if you are driving in a sandy or dusty area, you may need to change the filter more often than the recommended time for your vehicle. Worn or dirty air filters will cause your engine to malfunction; among the things you'll notice is that you'll have less power and weaker acceleration. Dirty or damaged air filters reduce airflow to the engine, which changes the car's air-fuel balance. Simply cleaning the air filter and reinstalling it does not adequately protect the air conditioning system. This is because the air filter works to block smog and exhaust fumes emitted by other cars on the road.

If you drive with a lot of traffic on a regular basis, the air filter won't last that long. If you tend to drive with heavy traffic in an urban area with poor air quality, it is recommended to change your air filter once a year, if not more often. Other signs that the air filter is affecting the performance of your car are sudden movements when accelerating or not responding as well as it should. Since each vehicle differs in when the car's air filters should be replaced, check with the manufacturer to make sure.