Replacing your car air filter is one of the important maintenance procedures done to your car. It is also the simplest and least expensive one. It should be done regularly since it can greatly affect the life of your engine, its performance, and your driving experience. Most cars today are equipped with two separate air filters – the engine air filter and the cabin air filter. Each of these air filters functions by preventing harmful contaminants from entering into your car. However, they become dirty or clogged over time which can cause problems and replacing your car air filter will be the only way to correct it. Replacing your car air filter involves buying the right air filters that will fit on your car since the air filters come in different shapes and sizes for different cars’ makes and models. The actual replacement can be easily done since it does not require any special tool. You will just have to remove the oil filter and put in the new one.
Replacing Your Car Air Filter: How Often Should You Change the Air Filter in Your Car?
Like mentioned earlier, most cars today are equipped with two air filters. Both of these air filters play a very important role since when you are driving, you tend to kick up dirt, debris, and other small airborne particles on the road. These airborne particles can potentially harm your engine, its components, and the driver and passengers.
The car air filters are very important since they trap and prevent foreign objects and small particles from reaching into the engine and the cabin. The engine air filter makes sure that the engine will be supplied with the right amount of clean air, free from any dirt and other small particles, for combustion. The engine should get the right amount of clean air since it needs a proper fuel and air mixture to ensure that the engine will have an improved performance, fuel economy, and power. It also helps extend the life of your engine.
On the other hand, the cabin air filter is one of the different types of car filters, but unlike the rest of the car filters, it is the only one that has no direct impact on the car’s overall health. The cabin air filter is installed in a car for the benefit of its driver or passengers. Just like the engine air filter, it also filters dirt, debris, and other small particles, but this time, it is to prevent these contaminants from entering into the car’s cabin. It helps ensure that the inside of the car will have a steady stream of clean air flowing.
The cabin air filter may not have an affect on the overall function of the car but with it keeping the dust, pollen, bacteria, exhaust gases, and other irritating particles from reaching into your car’s HVAC system, you will be protected. It makes sure that the air you are breathing inside the cabin is clean.
These two air filters are very important and so is replacing your car filter regularly. Your car air filters should be replaced regularly since over time, they will become dirty and clogged. When this happens, it can cause a number of problems. So how often should you change the air filter of your car? The car engine air filter is usually replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. It can vary depending on the type of car you have, the driving conditions, and your driving habits. You can consult your owner’s manual to know the exact interval.
As for the cabin air filter, it is usually replaced every 20,000 to 30,000 miles, depending on your car’s make and model, and your driving habits. To know the exact interval, you can check your owner’s manual. However, if you have allergies or are quite sensitive to pollen or other airborne particles, you may have to replace your cabin air filter more frequently.
Replacing your car air filter regularly is a must and if you ask for the exact replacement interval, the answer can vary. As mentioned earlier, you can get the exact information or details in your owner’s manual. But, if you live in a dusty, sandy, or smoggy area, you will most likely need to change your car air filters more often than the recommended interval set by your car manufacturer.
Replacing Your Car Air Filter: How Do I Change the Air Filter in my Car?
You now know why replacing your car air filter is important. You may ask, how do I change the air filter in my car. Since the engine air filter and the cabin air filter are two separate air filters, the procedures on replacing your car air filter will be a bit different for each of them.
ENGINE AIR FILTER
The procedures in replacing your car air filter are pretty simple and straightforward. You can easily do it at home. You just need to follow these simple steps.
- You need to purchase the right engine air filter. It is also important that you choose an engine air filter with a good quality. It should have the same size and the same quality of the filter originally installed in your car by its manufacturer. It is important since it has to have a high capacity to filter normal dirt accumulation. You need to purchase a filter that is able to provide a great balance between not restricting the airflow and capturing the contaminants.
- If you have already purchased a new engine air filter, then you can continue with the procedures in replacing your car air filter. To start, you need to park your car on a level surface. Make sure that the engine is turned off. If you have just driven your car, you need to wait for a bit and allow it to cool down.
- Next step is to open the hood of your car and look for the engine air filter housing. It is usually a black box made of plastic that is found on top of or to the side of your engine.
- Then, open the engine air filter housing and remove the old engine air filter carefully. To open the filter housing, you may need to use some tools to loosen and remove the screws or bolts. Some filter housings have some clamps or clips. You can just unclasp them to open it. Once you have opened the housing, you can then remove the old engine air filter. You need to take note of which side of the filter is facing downward since you will also install the new one that way.
- Once removed, inspect the rest of the engine air filter housing. If you notice that it is dirty, you can clean it by using a vacuum or a soft cloth. Clean and remove any accumulated dirt inside the filter housing.
- Inspect your old engine air filter to ensure that it really needs to be replaced. If you see a lot of dirt, then proceed replacing your car air filter. You just need to put the new engine air filter in the filter housing the same way the old one was placed, with the rubber rim facing up. You need to make sure that the new filter is seated properly.
- When the new air filter is securely placed, put the housing cover and its fasteners, screws, or clamps back. Make sure that the housing cover is placed properly without gaps to avoid air contamination.
CABIN AIR FILTER
Replacing your car air filter, the one that filters the air that enters the car’s cabin, is pretty easy too. You will have to follow these simple steps.
- You need to purchase a cabin air filter that is compatible with your car. You need to find out the specific cabin air filter part number intended for your car’s make and model. You can consult your owner’s manual for it or search it online.
- Find your car’s cabin air filter. It might be difficult to find where it is, but it is usually located underneath the dashboard or behind the glove box. To determine its exact location, check your owner’s manual.
- Once you find the cabin air filter compartment, you can open it up by pinching its cover. You can then slide it out but take note which direction the airflow arrow on the filter’s side is facing. This is important since you need to match it exactly when you install the new cabin air filter.
- If the rest of the cabin air compartment is dirty, you can clean it up with a vacuum or a dry, soft cloth and wipe the dirt accumulation out. You also need to inspect the conditions of the seals and gasket and replace them if needed.
- You can then install the new cabin filter. Install it slowly and make sure that the air filter matches the old one. Put it properly in place and ensure that it does not stick out. Look closely and make sure that its arrows are pointing in the same direction as the old air filter you removed.
- Put the panel back in place the same way you removed it. Place everything back in place and make sure nothing looks out of place or loose.
Replacing Your Car Air Filter: What Does Changing an Air Filter Do in a Car?
Replacing your car air filter regularly is something many car owners forget to do. It is one of the important maintenance procedures that needs to be performed on a regular basis. But what does changing an air filter do in a car? Replacing your car air filter has many benefits. Its benefits include:
- Longer engine life
Replacing your car air filter helps extend the life of your engine since it traps dirt, debris and other small particles which can cause damage to the engine’s internal components such as pistons and cylinders.
- Improved fuel economy
Replacing your car air filter regularly can help increase your car’s gas mileage as much as 15 percent on many vehicles. Plus, you will also be able to increase your car’s acceleration by six to eleven percent on modern fuel-injected cars. Even if your car does not show these exact numbers, you will be able to notice its improved performance and gas mileage thanks to the improved air flow to the engine because of a new and clean air filter.
- Lesser emissions
Fewer emissions is very beneficial to the environment and by replacing your car air filter, you will be able to enjoy this. When an old air filter is dirty and clogged, it limits the air flow to the engine and causes it to choke which has an impact on the car’s emission control system.
- Makes sure that you are breathing in clean and fresh air
Cabin air filters block smoke, pollution, smog, and exhaust emitted by other cars on the road while you are driving. Replacing your car air filter regularly helps make sure that you are breathing in clean air all the time.
Cabin air filters also block allergens and dust from reaching into your cabin. These allergens can trigger health issues. Replacing your car air filter regularly also prevents mold, bacteria, and pollen from building up in your car and in your HVAC system.
- More efficient car air conditioner
If you reside in a place where the temperature can go extremely hot, you need your car’s air conditioner to work properly and efficiently. Replacing your car air filter regularly can help you achieve this. Clogged filters may limit the air flow, making it hard for your car AC to push cool air through the filter. When this happens, you may notice your AC producing odd noises and it does not work as efficiently as usual.
Replacing your car air filter can be done easily. It does not require any special tools or skills. You just have to purchase a filter, remove the old one, and install the new filter. Although it is considered as the easiest and least expensive car maintenance, it has a significant impact on the overall performance of your car and on your driving experience.