Every internal combustion engine requires air in order to work. Without it, fuel does not burn and provide the force needed to deliver power to the engine. This air has to be clean, otherwise dust and debris will foul up the engine. These unwanted elements reduce engine performance, wear down metal components and reduce the lifespan of your car. This is why your car needs an air filter. From the time you start your car till the time you turn it off, your air filter is always working. It delivers the correct amount of air to your engine and traps dirt, which can harm your engine. However, even the best air filters can only work for so long.
So, how do you know when it is time to change your air filter? It depends a great deal n you driving conditions. For example, if you do a lot of stop-and-go city driving, or if you drive on dirt roads often, you will have to replace the filter more frequently. In fact, you need to change your air filter more frequently than someone who drives infrequently, or drives on paved roads.
Furthermore, your air filter should be changed about every 6,000 to 10,000 miles, no matter your driving conditions. Ideally, this should also be the same time you change your oil. At the very least, you should have it inspected. You could save yourself some really expensive repairs in the long run by simply taking a close look at your filter.
Now, given that air filters wear out at different rates, you should know the symptoms that indicate that the air filter is nearing the end of its usefulness. Here are some signs that you need to change your filter:
- A significant decrease in gas mileage
- Engine misfiring
- Engine idles rough
- Service engine light is on
If you experience any of these symptoms, you might want to check out your air filter and hav it replaced if possible.