Changing Your Car's Air Filter - Beck's Auto Center | Lafayette, Indiana

The Importance of Changing Your Car’s Air Filter

A clean engine runs more efficiently than a dirty engine and your car’s air filter is the engine’s first line of defense. A new air filter allows your vehicle’s engine to get clean air, a key component in the combustion process. The air filter prevents airborne contaminants such as dirt, dust and leaves from getting pulled into your vehicle’s engine and potentially damaging it.

How often should I replace my air filter?

Vehicle manufacturers recommend changing a vehicle’s air filter every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual for the specific mileage for your vehicle. You can also consult your local mechanic for a recommendation based on your driving habits. 

Driving conditions and climate will also affect the lifespan of an air filter. If you often drive on dirt roads, do a lot of stop and start driving, or live in a dusty and dry climate, you will need to change your air filter more often.  Doing a periodic visual inspection will help determine when to replace it.

How do I perform a visual inspection of my air filter?

An auto mechanic wearing protective work gloves holds a dirty, clogged air filter over a car engine during general auto maintenance.

Even individuals with little mechanical experience can visually inspect an air filter. Refer to your owner’s manual for the location of the air filter. It is typically housed under a cover that is easily opened by removing the snaps or clips. Once you have the cover off, pull the air filter out and hold it up to the light.

If the air filter appears clean and white or just slightly dirty, then it doesn’t need to be changed. If you observe a thin layer of dirt, you can clean the filter by tapping it to remove loose dirt. If your engine air filter is caked with dirt, it is time for a replacement.

The impact of a dirty air filter.

Not changing your vehicle’s air filter regularly can lead to problems with your engine. You might notice a decrease in gas mileage resulting in more trips to the gas station. As a result, if When your engine doesn’t get the required amount of clean air, it won’t perform properly. A clogged air filter will lead to reduced gas mileage and fouled spark plugs which can create engine misses, rough idling and starting problems. See our video to learn more.

Have questions?

Give Beck’s Auto Center a call at (765) 447-9459 if you have any questions on routine auto maintenance.  We’ll happy to answer your questions. If you would like to make an appointment you can visit our website at Book An Appointment.

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