How Long Does an Air Filter Last?

Replacing your car's air filter is an important part of regular maintenance. The recommended average length of service for an air filter is approximately 10,000 to 15,000 miles, but this can vary depending on the vehicle and driving conditions. If you drive in dusty or dirty environments, the air filter won't last as long and should be inspected every 6,000 miles. Consult your owner's manual to determine when the air filter should be replaced.

This is generally every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, depending on your vehicle. If you've driven more than that since the last time you changed your air filter, it's probably time to change it. Maintenance schedules for different vehicle brands differ in how often the air filter needs to be changed. On most Chevrolet engines, for example, the recommended change interval is every 45,000 miles, but Ford says it should be done every 30,000 miles on many of its engines.

Hyundai also says every 30,000 miles, but shortens it to 15,000 for “severe” driving conditions. If you drive with a lot of traffic on a regular basis or in dusty or dirty environments, the air filter will need to be replaced more often than the recommended interval. The owner's manual should show the location of yours and how to open its housing to remove the filter. You can also do a visual inspection by holding the filter in a light and looking at it from different angles to see how dirty it is below the surface.

A dirty air filter can cause your engine to malfunction and reduce power and acceleration. It can also allow contaminating and allergenic particles, as well as dust, sand and other debris, to enter the engine and car. The Department of Energy concluded that reducing airflow due to a clogged air filter did not have a significant effect on fuel economy. In conclusion, replacing your car's air filter is an important part of regular maintenance that should be done every 10,000 to 15,000 miles or more often if you drive in dusty or dirty environments.

Inspecting the air filter every 6,000 miles is a smart and proactive policy that can help you avoid costly repairs later on.