When Should You Replace Your Car's Air Filter?

One of the easiest ways to detect a filter that needs to be changed is to take a look at it. Don't underestimate the power of a new air filter. The vitality of your car depends on it. Most owner's manuals recommend changing the air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles.

You can have your Sugar House tire shop technician do the job while your tires rotate and keep your care running at its best. No car is exempt from potential damage caused by a dirty air filter. Do yourself (and your car) a favor and be sure to replace this key component of the air intake system on a regular basis. If you notice that your car is slow when starting from a stop, or doesn't seem to reach speed as fast as before, the air filter could be the culprit. You won't know what the problem is until you're diagnosed with the light, so taking it to a service center can tell you if your air filter needs to be replaced.

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. By providing clean air flow to the engine, an air filter ensures that the engine receives the correct amount of air needed to operate at its maximum level. Your car's air filter is a component that you might not consider very important, but in reality, an automotive air filter plays a vital role in the operation of your vehicle. You're going to have a lot of stop-and-start driving, which places more demands on your car and will also make your air filter dirty faster. Some manufacturers of newer car models have changed the engine design to make more efficient use of space, and sometimes that means placing air filters in more difficult to reach places, which can slow down the process.

Along with the smell of gasoline, excess fuel that comes out of the exhaust pipe when there is a dirty or clogged air filter can ignite briefly or cause black smoke to come out of the exhaust pipe when starting the car. Over time, as dust and dirt build up, the air filter will darken and dirt will be noticeable. A dirty air filter, on the other hand, will appear gray or brown and you can probably see dirt trapped between the layers of cloth. If you know where your air filter is located (you can refer to your owner's manual for where to look), you can do a visual inspection. When you have a clogged air filter, the engine compensates for the lack of air by burning more fuel to produce its power.

When air has trouble getting through a clogged or dirty filter, you'll start to notice low fuel consumption. When dealing with air cleaner problems, the engine may make abnormal noises when it is deprived of clean air. If your car doesn't respond normally when you hit the accelerator, or feels a little “choppy” when you step on the accelerator, you could probably use a new air filter.