Your car's owner manual will give you the manufacturer's recommendation on how often to change the air filter. The most recommended frequency is every 12,000 to 15,000 miles.
However, certain factors can affect the life of the air filter. If you drive often on dirt roads or in areas of heavy traffic, the filter will not last as long. In addition, if the motor is supercharged, you should change the filter more often.
SIGNS THAT YOUR AIR FILTER MAY NEED TO BE CHANGED
There are several clues to look for that would indicate you need a new air filter.
- Acceleration may be slower. This usually happens slowly, so you may not notice it right away.
- The car may be sluggish when starting. This is probably due to the air filter being clogged and allowing buildup on the spark plugs.
- You may notice black smoke coming from the exhaust pipe.
- You may notice the smell of gas when you start the vehicle.
- On inspection, the filter will be gray instead of the white or off-white of a new filter.
- The "check engine" light may come on.
There are generally two air filters - an engine filter and a cabin filter. Each is important and both should be changed regularly.
The engine filter plays a key role in your vehicle's performance and changing it when needed can actually extend the life of the vehicle.
The cabin filter helps maintain good air quality inside the vehicle. When the filter is dirty you may notice an unpleasant smell, noisy air circulation, or decreased airflow. A HEPA filter is best for the cabin.
WHEN YOU NEED TO REPLACE THE AIR FILTERS
Having the air filter changed is inexpensive and should be done as a matter of routine maintenance. It is a good idea to keep a record so you know when it is time to change your filter.
Your dealership or mechanic will know how to choose the right filter and it is an easy task for someone who does this often.
If you need to replace the air filters in your vehicle, stop by our auto repair shop today.