What is car air filter?
Has your car mechanic ever recommended you change your air filter to increase your car’s fuel efficiency? Not sure how this is possible? We already talked about Pollen Filters in one of our posts and here is another one on air filters in your car. They perform a similar function, but are two different components of your car engine. The main purpose of the car’s air filter is to stop airborne contaminants like dust, leaves, and wayward pelicans other debris from getting sucked into the car’s engine causing damage. Car air filters are typically pleated paper filters that stop unwanted particles from entering the car’s engine. Pleated paper filters are a preferred choice because they are effective, inexpensive, and easy to service.
Why do you need to change your car air filter?
It is proven that a good quality car air filter can increase the efficiency of your vehicle. This is because when your car has an air filter in place, dirt and other particles will not enter the fuel system or the engine of the car. At the same time, car air filter also prevents the entry of unwanted particles into the air conditioning system of the car. It is true that car air filters are integral to the proper functioning of the car but they need to be changed at regular intervals to do the job properly. Here is a picture of old and new car air filter. Pretty gross. You can imagine how much damage all that gunk can do to your engine of you don’t have one of these beauties fitted.
Its good practice to change car air filters regularly, but how do you know when your car air filter needs to be replaced. There are some obvious signs to look for; like when you notice a reduction in your car’s fuel efficiency. A misfiring engine or an engine that does not start up easily may also mean you have a dirty filter. Also look out for these tell-tale signs; you hear unusual sounds from the engine, the “check engine light” comes on; the air filter looks dirty; the car has a reduced horsepower; or black smoky soot comes out from the car. If any of these things are happening to you, its time to call your mechanic. Please note that these indicators, may also be a sign of more serious problems in your car engine so be sure to get it checked out quickly. Better safe than sorry!
So how often should you change the air filter of your car?
Experts say every 10,000km – 15,000km or 12 to 18 months.
Other than increased fuel efficiency there are are benefits of having your car air filter changed. It reduces vehicle emissions and prolongs life of your vehicle engine. Doing this regularly will also mean it is inexpensive and quick fix, not changing the air filter as recommended can lead to bigger problems, and bigger bills at the mechanic. Prevention is always better than the cure.
Till next time. Drive safe.