- Business Advocacy
How is the air out there?
Is it time for a new air filter?
Hello Alhambra, I hope everyone is doing well and keeping safe out there. We all know the feeling these days when masked up and exerting ourselves, you just can’t get enough air. Our vehicles experience this too. An often overlooked maintenance item is the engine air filter.
Your engines air filter keeps dust, dirt and other particles out of your engine. I have found a few cases where the filter kept rodents out of engines too! When the air filter is due for replacement you may notice poor acceleration or over all engine performance. In some cases you may not, because the flow restriction slowly degrades performance over time. Fuel economy and tail pipe emissions are impacted as well. Some studies found that fuel economy was impacted by as much as 11 percent. In some cases the “check engine” light will illuminate. This of course means you will need to correct the problem before you will pass your next emissions inspection.
Manufacturer service intervals usually vary from 15,000 to 45,000 miles or 12 to 24 months. Your owners manual will tell you what is recommend for your vehicle. Driving conditions should be taken in to consideration as well. If you normally operate your vehicle in dusty conditions it may need replacement more frequently.
On most cars inspection of the air filter will require opening up the housing. Some vehicles are equipped with a filter condition indicator. When inspecting the filter be cautious of housing clips or fasteners that like to jump away and hide. There may be hoses or electrical sensors attached to your housing or connecting hoses, be careful around these as well. A new air filter will be bright white of off white. Your filter should be free of large debris and dirt build up. If it has turned gray or brown or no longer lets light pass though it I recommend you replace it.
If you purchased your car with an aftermarket serviceable filter or installed one make sure it is CARB approved and street legal. When servicing these filters time is important. After washing you want to allow the filter to air dry. Compressed air drying can ruin the element. When oiling you want to allow time for the oil to wick in to the filter material. Rushed over oiling can cause problems that defeat the purpose of spending on the performance filter to begin with.
If you rather, you can save yourself the hassle and simply check with your trusted service provider next time you visit.