How Often Should I Change My Car’s Air Filter?

Any type of air filter requires regular replacement, as these barriers between freshness and filth are especially vulnerable. When it comes to your vehicle, it has a big job and if neglected can have a number of negative effects on your car’s health and performance.

The Air Filter’s Job

To keep the air in and around your car clean, there are two types of air filter–one for the engine and another for the cabin. Although both require frequent changing, a different schedule applies to each. The purpose of the engine’s filter is to prevent debris and environmental muck from contaminating the engine. As such, it gets clogged with time and use, making your vehicle’s engine an even harsher environment.

A Replacement Schedule

Understanding when to replace the engine air filter requires various sources of information. First, the owner’s manual will break down the ideal mileage points for maintenance. In most cases, carmakers recommend changing this vital component about every 30,000 to 45,000 miles (Hyundai shortens the distance to every 15,000 miles to account for severe driving conditions).

The other aspect you should consider when looking at the air filter is in what state the vehicle usually operates. For example, hot climates and those who drive in dusty regions (or on unpaved roads) should change the air filter more frequently than those who live in a mild climate with well-paved streets.

Signs of Wear and Tear

If you know where to look (the owner’s manual can lead the way), you can remove the engine’s air filter and check it for obvious signs it’s time to move on. In most cases, black areas on the surface mean buildup is already taking over. If you don’t want to mess with looking under the hood, however, you can always change the filter based on mileage only (better to be too frequent than otherwise).

In good news, changing an air filter is a simple task that most technicians can do in less than 5 minutes. Also, legitimate shops will check the it during routine maintenance tasks, like oil changes, so you don’t have to worry about missing a mileage point.

Although the air filter has a significant task, most stay in good shape for at least a year or two. This means it’s not an expense you will incur often. For any questions regarding the air filter, you can always ask a trusted mechanic.

For all your car’s repair and maintenance needs, call the experts at Autobahn Automotive in Sea Girt, NJ, today!