There are several benefits to changing the air filter in your car and here I share what I believe the main benefits are.
Does changing air filter improve mileage?
Yes, it really does. Changing a dirty, clogged up air filter will help the engine run more efficiently, resulting in better fuel economy. Thereby saving you money on fuel. In the current economic climate improving your cars MPG has to be a good thing. A dirty air filter can restrict the air flow to the engine, which can cause it to work harder and use more fuel.
Increased horsepower: A clean air filter allows more air to reach the engine, which can increase horsepower and improve overall performance.
Enhanced acceleration: A dirty air filter can also cause a hesitation or lag when you try to accelerate, but a clean filter can improve acceleration.
Longer engine life: A dirty air filter can cause the engine to wear out more quickly, but a clean filter can help extend the life of the engine.
Improved air quality: A clean air filter helps to remove contaminants and particles from the air entering the engine, which can improve the overall air quality in the car.
Reduced Emissions: It is kinder to the environment and helps to keep harmful greenhouse gases lower.
When should I replace my car air filter?
The frequency at which you should replace your car’s air filter depends on a few factors, including the type of air filter you have, the type of driving you do, and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Here are some general guidelines:
Paper air filters: These are the most common type of air filter and should be replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles or every year, whichever comes first.
Cotton gauze air filters: These are typically found in performance vehicles and can be washed and reused. They should be cleaned every 25,000 miles or so and replaced every 50,000 miles or every two years, whichever comes first.
Synthetic air filters: These are made of a synthetic material that can be washed and reused. They should be cleaned every 12,000 to 15,000 miles and replaced every 30,000 to 50,000 miles or every two years, whichever comes first.
It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific vehicle, as they may vary from these general guidelines. If you drive in a particularly dusty or dirty environment, you may need to change the air filter more frequently. You can also check the air filter visually every time you change the oil to see if it needs to be replaced. If it looks excessively dirty or clogged, it’s probably time to change it.
How to tell if car air filter needs replacing
This isn’t always easy, but if you regularly check the mile per gallon (mpg) you get from you vehicle, then if you start to notice a the figures are going down when you are doing similar driving to normal then the oil filter could be a factor.
You should definitely check out the post “How to keep a car for a long time“.
Fouled Spark Plugs
If the petrol in the piston chamber fails to burn fully because not enough air is flowing through the filter, then it will blow out clouds of black smoke. When you check the spark plugs you will easily detect the soot marks.
Weird engine sounds
If you have asthma or know someone who has then the coughing and wheezing sounds they make will be familiar to you if your air filter really needs changing. The car will not not run right at all.
The best ca mechanic I ever met didn’t need to plug a diagnostic laptop, he’d just get you to drive him around the block in the car while he was sitting on the back seat. He could tell what was wrong with it just by listening to the engine noise.
If engine light comes on
If the filter is really clogged up you’ll get an engine warning light but too be honest if you check the filter at least once a year you should stop the problem before it gets that bad. The warning lights generally only come on when the situation is dire.
The amount of horsepower reduction that occurs as a result of a blocked air filter will depend on the specific engine and the degree of blockage. In general, the more restricted the air flow, the greater the reduction in horsepower will be.
Smell of petrol when you start the car
The blocked filter will prevent the fuel inside the piston from burning off correctly. This will mean you can smell the petrol more than you normally would.
Misfires and Backfires
The non-combustion issues can cause the engine to badly misfire.
Does changing the car air filter make a difference?
Yes, for sure it does. If you are encountering any of the things mentioned above, then when you change the filter you should be able to tell the difference.
My old Jaguar x-type runs well even though I really do abuse it. Read my review here.
In summary, changing the air filter in your car can help improve fuel efficiency, increase horsepower, enhance acceleration, extend the life of the engine, and improve air quality. It’s important to change the air filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations or as needed to ensure that these benefits are realized.