There are many reasons why you should replace your dirty car air filter. Many people make this a part of their regular vehicle maintenance. But, there are others that tend to ignore it until it ends up creating extreme issues for your car and engine. Staying on top of something so minor can significantly improve the longevity of your vehicle.
A Dirty Air Filter & Its Effects on Your Vehicle
How does a dirty air filter affect your car? It can significantly affect the engine and other parts of your vehicle. The responsibility of your air filter is to prevent debris from reaching your engine. Failing to replace a dirty car filter will result in the following:
- Engine failure if debris gets into the combustion chamber
- Your engine can face significant wear and tear
Without a clean air filter, the air that makes it through the engine begins to circulate within. This can make your engine fuel richer, which can result in terrible fuel economy for your car. Eventually, your vehicle will break down.
What can happen when your car’s engine air filter is dirty? Well, first, you will probably notice some signs that your air filter is dirty, such as:
- Your vehicle will not be able to perform like it used to. Your vehicle may not accelerate as fast.
- You may also notice a significant impact on your fuel economy.
Frequency of Changing Your Air Filter
You should change or replace a dirty car air filter between 15,000 and 30,000 miles. Obviously, this is a pretty big difference. This is why it depends on many factors; hence, you should look at your car’s manual to see the exact recommendations. But, if you drive in dirty or dusty areas frequently, you should have your air filter changed more than is recommended.
You can also ask your mechanic how often you should change your air filter. You can also ask other valuable questions that may pertain to your air filter.
Changing or cleaning your own air filter is possible instead of having a mechanic do it. There are a couple of different things you can try. You can either use a vacuum to clean your filter, but it may not do too good of a job.
You can also apply a cleaning solution to clean the air filter. However, this is often not recommended because, while it is efficient, putting a wet air filter back into your car can damage the engine. If you try this method, make sure that your air filter is completely dry before re-inserting it.