Did you know that when you don’t replace something as simple as your air filter it can damage your car’s performance? With the help of our Mechanics at Bob Workman’s European Automotive have given a little guidance for when you should replace your air filter.
Modern cars will generally have two air filters: one for the cabin and one for the engine. The cabin air filter also needs to be changed periodically, but on a different schedule than the engine air filter. The engine air filter aims to prevent dust, dirt, and other environmental contaminants from getting into the engine. Over time, the air filter becomes dirty and clogged and will need to be replaced.
How often the engine air filter will need replacement varies. Maintenance schedules for various makes of vehicles differ on how often the air filter should be changed. For example, on most Chevrolet engines, the recommended change interval is every 45,000 miles, but Ford says it should be done every 30,000 miles on many of its machines. Hyundai also says every 30,000 miles but shortens it to 15,000 for “severe” driving conditions, including heavy traffic in hot weather and frequent driving on unpaved roads or dusty conditions. Those rules will apply to other makes as well. If you drive in those conditions, often the air filter will need to be replaced earlier.
Generally, you will be able to tell quickly if your air filter needs replacing. If you find black areas on the section through which outside air enters, it may be time for a swap. The good news is, air filters on most engines are relatively easy to access, and you can check the location in your owner’s manual if you need help.
If you can’t tell by looking, but it’s been more than three years or 30,000 miles, it is time to have it replaced. However, you should be cautious if you get an oil change every time the repair shop says you also need a new air filter. We would expect drivers in most cases can go more than a year, at least, and probably more than two years between air filter changes depending on conditions and mileage.