How often Should You Change Your Car Air Filter


How often should you change your car air filter? Most people associate their car’s air filter with the air that comes blowing from the vent when the heat or air conditioning is turned on.

There is a filter for this but it is called a cabin air filter because it filters the air entering the car before it blows from the vents. The engine air filter is what is commonly included with a tune-up at a local auto repair shop.

While the cabin filter is still important, a bad engine air filter can cause mechanical problems, even failure of your engine if it is not replaced on a regular maintenance schedule.

The car air filter is just as important as the gas and the oil that you put into the engine. In fact, air, gas and oil are all needed simultaneously to make combustion engines work.

All three mix together within a chamber beneath each of your sparkplugs. Your sparkplugs send an electrical spark to the mixture. This causes the mixture to ignite; similar to a small explosion. This creates combustion–energy–that allows your car to move when you depress the gas pedal.

A dirty car air filter can cause numerous problems but the first thing you will notice is a decrease in gas mileage. You may start to notice that the engine has problems starting. The engine may run extremely hot, especially in the summer months.

So how often should you change your car air filter? The most popular car manufacturers–Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda and Toyota– state in their service manuals that the car air filter should be changed every 24,000 to 30,000 miles that the car is driven.

This does not mean that you have to wait if you start to notice any of the symptoms that I talked about.

If you live, work or travel down dirt roads, you should check your car’s air filter every 3,000 miles. Air filters come in a range of sizes. With that said, it is critical that you replace the old car air filter with the exact same model.

You can find car air filters at your local auto parts store. Sometimes they have your filter in stock; yet other times popular cars or cars that just came out may require them to order you a new car air filter.

Nearly all auto parts stores have website that enable you to check their stock. Doing this can save you a lot of time. Below is a short video that shows you the basics on how to change the car air filter once you purchase a new one.



As you have seen in the video, changing the air filter is not that difficult, even if you have no experience with auto repair. Although car manufacturers have guidelines for how often you should change your air filter, your driving patterns make the final determination.

Since you drive your car everyday, you are your first line of defense. Paying attention to the sounds your vehicle makes as well as how it drives will provide early warnings of potential issues before they become a real problem.