changing air filter

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?

May 5, 2020 By sadra 0

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?

The engine air filter in your car keeps the dirt out of your engine while providing the air it needs to run. Keeping this filter clean gives you maximum performance and efficiency, while a filter blocked with excessive dirt and will attenuate acceleration and can even make fuel economy worse.

So, how often you need to replace this important part?

 Replacing air filter

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter of Your Car?

Car manufacturers have different recommendations on how often you should change the filter in your airbox, but there’s an agreement that a filter is good for about 30,000 miles in regular driving conditions. The number mentioned should become less if you are driving in particularly harsh conditions like in heavy traffic hot weather, or unpaved roads or if you do a lot of off-roading. Even then, the filter can go about 15,000 miles between replacements.

replacing air filter

Dirty Air filter

Some shops might try to coax you into getting a new air filter with every oil change, but that’s way more often than you really need. It might not seem like a big deal because air filters are usually pretty cheap and changing them isn’t a big job, but replying with a polite “no thanks” can help you avoid unnecessary expenses.

Can I Change the Air Filter Myself?

Certainly, this is one car maintenance job that is extremely easy for anyone to do in their own garage. Most engine air filters are easy to access under the hood. If you’re not sure where it is, ask the owner’s manual which should make it clear where it is and how to change it. If you’re having a trouble finding the information you need in the manual, a quick online search using your car’s year, make and model should do the trick. Checking the manual or getting help from the web will also tell you the part number for the filter to use in your engine.

Simply start by opening the air box, which can be done by removing a few screws with a screwdriver or sometimes with no tools at all. After the airbox is open, you’ll see there’s either a flat, rectangular filter or a round, cone-shaped filter. A flat filter can usually be removed by hand, and a cone-shaped filter will usually be secured with a hose clamp that can be loosened with a screwdriver. From there, simply replace the old one with the new one, close the airbox back up and you’re good for the next 30,000 or so miles.

If you’re not sure how long it’s been since you’ve gotten a new air filter, take the trouble of doing a quick visual check of the one you’re currently using. You don’t need to be a mechanic to be able to tell if a filter is in a bad shape. If it looks really dirty and worn out and you don’t know how many miles are on it, it would be better to be safe than sorry and just replace it, especially since it’s a low-cost item and replacing it early doesn’t hurt anything.

A video of replacing Air filter:

What About Reusable Air Filters?

Some high-performance aftermarket air filters from brands like K&N and Injen claim that once you purchased the item, you are done for good. You just need to clean it every now and then. These filters use more long lasting materials than regular disposable air filters to fulfill their claim of never needing replacement. They also declare that improving airflow results in improved engine performance without sacrificing proper air filtration.

If you use one of these reusable air filters in your car, make sure you’re cleaning it as often as the manufacturer of the filter recommended. Some of these aftermarket brands offer their own cleaning kit designed for their air filters, and it’s not a bad idea to keep that kit in your garage to make sure that you’re using chemicals that are safe to use on your filter.

It’s safe for most drivers to go around 30,000 miles between air filter replacements. If you’re driving in harsh conditions that throw a lot of dirt and at your car like in off-road driving, then you’ll want to adjust that number to about 15,000 miles. If you’re using a durable aftermarket filter, follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely on how to keep it clean and effective.