Changing the air filter regularly is essential for extending engine life. This is because the air filter is designed to trap dirt and debris that can damage internal engine parts, such as cylinders and pistons. Even particles as small as a grain of salt can cause costly repairs if they make their way into the engine. Replacing a clogged air filter can also increase fuel efficiency and improve acceleration, depending on the make and model of your car.
So, how does an air filter make such a difference? A dirty or damaged air filter limits 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 is important not to restrict this airflow. It is recommended that you replace your air filters at least 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 is best to review the maintenance schedule provided by your car manufacturer to get the proper replacement program. A good rule of thumb is to inspect your air filter (or ask a mechanic to do it for you) at least once a year. If the filter is covered with dirt or is full of insects, leaves, or other debris, it's time to use a new one. If there is only a little dirt on the surface or only in one area, it's probably good to go longer.
Try brushing dirt off the surface and rotating the filter 180 degrees to expose the cleaned area to the main airflow. As the name implies, an engine air filter filters the air entering the engine and traps particles of dust, sand, dirt, and other debris that could damage engine parts. In acceleration races from 20 mph to 80 mph, cars with clogged filters were 6-12% slower than those with clean filters. If a clogged filter reduces the amount of air entering, those controls reduce the amount of fuel accordingly to maintain the proper mix of driving, emissions and other factors. Air filter replacement can be part of a general tuning service that will help you get better mileage and performance out of your vehicle. However, there is a wide range of air filters available on the market and it is important that you get the right one for the make and model of your car.
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. When replacing the air filter, the new one doesn't have to be from your vehicle manufacturer or the same aftermarket brand as before, but it does have to be the same size. Repair shops will likely charge you for installation. If you drive with a lot of traffic on a regular basis, the air filter won't last as long. A clean air filter is designed to capture dirt and debris from the outside air, preventing them from reaching the combustion chamber and reducing the likelihood that you will receive a large repair bill. Knowing some of the telltale signs of a dirty or clogged filter can prevent you from waiting too long to replace it.
The cabin air filter is usually located under the dashboard and behind the glove box. Over time, as dust and dirt build up, the air filter will darken and dirt will be noticeable. Replacing your engine air filter regularly can help keep your car running smoothly and efficiently while also preventing costly repairs down the line.