How Often Should Your Air Filters Really Be Changed? The Answer May Surprise You

To keep your family and your engine breathing easy, frequent air filtration system maintenance is essential. A simple air filter replacement can keep your car running efficiently and your passengers healthy.

Cabin Air Filter

The cabin air filter isn’t standard on all vehicles, but it is becoming more common. The cabin filter is a valuable asset because it traps mold, pollen, bacteria, dust, exhaust gasses and other pollutants before they enter the ventilation system. Gradually, allergens and impurities do obstruct the filter.

When the cabin filter clogs, it could affect both your health and your ventilation system. With an old filter, debris and waste accumulate inside the AC system. The heater’s core and evaporator could potentially burn out from the additional stress, requiring expensive repairs.

To keep the cabin from filling with these particulates, inspect the air filter twice a year. If you regularly drive down dusty rural roads or through sites with heavy construction, simply request a filter check with every maintenance service.

If you notice a musty or dirty smell when the air conditioner or heater is running, the AC system isn’t operating effectively or your allergies are worse while driving, call to schedule an air filtration system inspection. When looking for an air filter replacement, calling the experts is imperative.

Not every vehicle contains a cabin air filter, so inexperienced auto repair shops could attribute these symptoms to a malfunctioning AC or cooling system. This would lead to needless repair costs.

If you notice symptoms of a clogged cabin air filter, or it’s been more than a year since your last air filter inspection, call the ASE-certified professionals at Christian Brothers Automotive Concord. We’ll let you know whether your car is equipped with a cabin air filter, and the truth about how often it needs to be changed.

Engine Air Intake Filter

Your car may not have a cabin air filter, but it certainly has an engine air intake filter. The engine air filter eliminates dirt particles, tree sap, insect bits and other airborne hazards flying at the car. If left unchecked, these pieces of debris can damage the engine cylinders, engine walls, pistons and piston rings.

The engine filter traps these contaminants before they enter the engine. In fuel-injected cars, the air intake filter protects the airflow sensor. Like the cabin air filter, the engine air intake filter eventually congests with the waste it’s collecting. The built up debris blocks airflow, affects the fuel-to-air ratio and puts additional strain on the engine.

An obstructed filter reduces fuel economy and steals power from the engine. If you observe hesitation while accelerating or a loss in engine power, your engine filter may be affected. Our ASE-certified technicians recommend a filter replacement every 10,000-30,000 miles.

However, if you regularly drive long distances, take short 5-10 mile trips, drive through rough or dirty conditions or use a sub-par filter, you may require more frequent filter replacements. You should also schedule a filter replacement if your filter is dirty, torn, water or oil soaked, or shows signs of extreme wear.

Your cabin air filter and engine air intake filter have a significant impact on your engine.

If it’s time to schedule an air filter change, call Christian Brothers Automotive in Concord, North Carolina. Replace your air filters and avoid expensive engine repairs!