How Often Should You Change Your Vehicle's Air Filters?

An air filter can be easy to overlook. It's not something most of us think about until it is a problem. In this article, we want to talk about both of your vehicle's air filters and how often you need to change them.

Engine Air Filter

The more important air filter will be the engine air filter. It performs a simple, yet vital role, within your air intake system. An engine needs fresh oxygen for optimal internal combustion. As air is pulled into the motor, it runs through the engine air filter. The filter is there to keep out dust, dirt and debris that can negatively impact the motor's performance. If the filter is old, worn out or too full of dirt, contaminants will get through. This may cause the engine to not run as efficiently and can ultimately lead to internal damage if left ignored.

Typically, you will want to change out your engine air filter every 15,000-30,000 miles. This range may vary depending on your driving habits and driving conditions. If you drive on a lot of rough, unpaved roads or have a turbocharged engine, you may find yourself needing to replace your air filter more often than someone with an average car driving in standard conditions. It's a good idea to get your engine air filter checked with each service visit. A professional mechanic will be able to let you know when it needs to be replaced. 

Cabin Air Filter

The cabin air filter performs a very different function. Rather than protecting the engine, it is there to protect you and your passengers. It is part of your ventilation and heating/air conditioning system, and it is designed to keep contaminants out of the air you breathe. As you drive, a lot of nasty stuff is kicked up into the air and you'd be breathing it all in without your cabin air filter doing its job—even when your vents are closed or you have the recirculating air option turned on. It basically performs the same function as the filter you have in your home's HVAC system.

Typically, cabin air filters don't have to be replaced quite as often as engine air filters, but some experts will say that it should be done approximately once a year (roughly every 15,000-25,000 miles) for the best results. Again, a knowledgeable mechanic will be able to check your cabin air filter during service visits and let you know when it's time to replace it with a new one.

Also, it's important to know there are many different shapes and sizes of air filters designed to work in specific vehicle models. Always make sure you are buying the right one to fit your car.

It's good to know more about what your vehicle's air filters do and why you need to maintain and replace them periodically. For all your Fairbanks auto care needs, you can count on the team at Simard Automotive for quality service and honest automotive advice. You can call our Aeronca Avenue (Airport) shop at (855) 690-0889 or our Gaffney Road (Chevron) shop at (855) 639-5001. Or, you can book a service appointment online.


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