You should be replacing your vehicle’s engine air filter regularly. It can be a very simple task that can be executed by any car owner, and in doing so can avoid bigger problems that may require a mechanic to fix.
Is an engine air filter change necessary?
The air filter ensures that your car engine is free from any kind of dirt and more importantly filters clean air and fuel to the engine. It is very necessary to change an engine air filter as a bad, clogged, or dirty air filter can lead to your vehicle’s poor performance.
How often should the engine air filter be changed?
You can check the owner’s manual in the maintenance section to find when the correct service interval is, but typically it is between 15,000 to 30,000 miles if you are driving in harsh conditions.
Changing the engine air filter regularly is a must and is a very simple task, which does not require tools or extensive knowledge of cars. Changing it regularly will very much depend on your vehicle, specifically its make and model. It will also depend on other contributing factors such as where you are driving, and what environmental factors might affect your vehicle, as this will determine the amount of dirt and dust that your filter is picking up.
Your vehicle will almost always indicate to you when you are going to need to change the air filter. In this case, your Check Engine Light will be illuminated or you may be experiencing rough idling.
Benefits of changing the air filter in a car
The more obvious benefit of replacing the engine air filter is that your engine will receive clean air, which will increase fuel efficiency, as well as preventing your vehicle from having a clogged air filter. With this being said, there are many other benefits to changing the air filter.
Here are some more benefits of changing the air filter in your car.
By replacing the air filter of your vehicle it will create a balance in the air-fuel mixture that is filtered to the engine. This balance leads to a positive impact on your vehicle’s exhaust emissions. This will in turn result in a more positive impact on the surrounding environment in which you are driving.
The engine will last longer
The air filter has a direct impact on the life of your engine as it is essentially what gives the engine power. If the air filter is damaged, the engine can get damaged. Replacing the air filter therefore directly prolongs the life of the engine of your vehicle. In doing so, it also eliminates having to have a mechanic inspect, fix or replace your engine.
It is cost-effective
Changing the air filter on your vehicle is a simple task and can be done by the vehicle owner. Changing it yourself eliminates the added costs of getting a mechanic to do so. The only requirement needed to change the air filter is to be certain which replacement filter fits your specific make and model.
To change it yourself, you are going to need to know the location of the air filter housing. On newer vehicles, the air filter is located near the top front or side of the engine. It is covered in a rectangular, black plastic housing. In older vehicles, the air filter is in a round metal housing above the carburetor.
If you are going to change the engine air filter yourself, make sure to wear gear that will protect you from any electrical wires or acid. You are also going to want to consult the manual for more maintenance information or to see if there are any specific tools you need to use, as you may be required to uncover the filter from its air filter housing with tools.
Here is how you can change your engine air filter by yourself.
It is easy to track
Changing the air filter should be done after a certain amount of miles and more often if you are driving in harsh driving conditions. It is important to check the owner’s manual for the recommended intervals in which it should be changed. The manual will provide you with a schedule, making it easy to track.
Increased fuel efficiency
The biggest benefit of changing the air filter is that it increases fuel efficiency, depending on your vehicle’s model. A clean air filter increases the airflow to the engine which will result in the engine working less and ultimately using less fuel.
What happens if the engine air filter is not changed?
A dirty or clogged air filter can lead to major damage to your vehicle if not replaced regularly. With dirt and debris being collected from the air filter often it is important to install a new air filter as often as is required.
A damaged or old air filter will not allow clean air and will get stuck in the combustion chamber of your engine. It can lead to an increase in fuel emissions, a decrease in power, fuel efficiency, a hard start, and rough idling.
How much does it cost to replace an engine air filter?
Costs to change the air filter are going to vary based on the model and make of the car.
The average cost of installing a new air filter can be between $20 to $40 if you are going to be installing it yourself.
Getting the engine air filter installed by a mechanic can cost you typically between $40 to $85 as this will include parts as well as labor. You are also going to want to consider the cost of added taxes.
Where to replace car engine air filter
Depending on your location you are going to want to look for a reputable auto mechanic to replace your old air filter with a new one. It is important to check if their services are of high standards, if they have sufficient technician training and if they are certified.
You also need to check if they have coverage insurance and that you are guaranteed customer satisfaction.