How Often Should You Replace Your Engine Air Filter?

As a general rule, most average drivers should be able to go a year or two before needing to replace their engine air filter. The frequency with which the air filter will need to be changed varies depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Maintenance schedules for different vehicle brands differ in how often the air filter needs to be changed. On most Chevrolet engines, for example, the recommended change interval is every 45,000 miles, but Ford says it should be done every 30,000 miles on many of its engines.

Hyundai also says every 30,000 miles, but shortens it to 15,000 for “severe” driving conditions, including heavy traffic in hot climates and frequent driving on unpaved roads or dusty conditions. These rules will apply to other brands as well. If you drive in such conditions, it may be necessary to replace the air filter before the recommended average length of service of 10,000 to 15,000 miles. A good rule of thumb is to keep track of how long the air filter has been in place.

In addition to checking your engine air filter once a year, you should also check your cabin air filter periodically. The cabin air filter is often placed behind the glove compartment or under the dashboard and should be changed at a different time than the engine air cleaner. If you are coughing and sputtering, or if you vibrate excessively when you turn the engine, you are most likely ordering a new air filter. When you take your car to the mechanic, they will be able to do a quick scan to see what is causing the problem and they will tell you if it's an air filter problem.

Worn or dirty air filters will cause your engine to malfunction; among the things you'll notice is that you'll have less power and weaker acceleration. Driving in dusty or rural locations can also cause air filter performance to decline more rapidly, so keep in mind that where you drive will affect its lifespan. Other signs that the air filter is affecting the performance of your car are sudden movements when accelerating or not responding as well as it should. Replacing your engine air filter is an often overlooked maintenance item, but a dirty air filter can have a negative effect on your car's performance.

The purpose of the engine air filter is to prevent dust, dirt and other environmental contaminants from entering the engine. The good news is that most engines are easy to access and you can check the location in your owner's manual if you need help. Whether you're doing it professionally or on your own, it's usually a good idea to check all your filters simultaneously. If the vehicle doesn't have enough air, the fuel will create a dark residue, causing the exhaust to emit thick black smoke.

Now you know how often to change your car's air filter and cabin filter - but don't forget about other maintenance tips! Jiffy Lube has videos with car care tips that can help keep your life running smoothly when it comes to getting from point A to points B, C, D and E.

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