How To Maintain Your Air Filters So Your Car Drives Efficiently

At this point in the series, you should fully understand the differences between the cabin air filter and the engine air intake filter.

In week 1, we explained the cabin filter’s responsibility in protecting the AC system and making the air inside the car breathable. We also discussed the engine filter’s position and how it works to keep debris and shrapnel out of the engine. Click here to read week 1.

In week 2, we provided distinct reasons these two air filters are absolutely essential to the life and health of your vehicle. Without the cabin air filter, your ventilation system could burn out and without the engine air filter, the engine could corrode and lose acceleration power. Click here to read week 2.

Last week, we provided specific signs it was time to replace the cabin air filter and the engine air intake filter. You learned when the air vents release musty odors, the filter is likely to blame. You also now know the engine filter should only need replacing every 10,000-30,000 miles. Click here to read week 3.

Today, we’ll explain the benefits of regular air filter replacement.

Traditional wisdom falls in line with the idea that the filters should be changed every 3,000 miles. Fortunately, modern air filters are built to perform better and last longer. Your air filters can realistically last 1-2 years under the right driving conditions. However, they still need periodic replacement.

According to Rich White, executive director for the Car Care Council. “Checking the cabin air filter is a simple preventive maintenance step that goes a long way toward protecting passengers, as well as the vehicle’s HVAC system.”

The reason is, when the cabin air filter clogs up, it can also stop the heater and air conditioner. If your car is taken to an auto repair shop who checks the AC system or cooling system without first checking the cabin air filter, you could end up paying for unnecessary repairs.

The important thing to remember with any air filter maintenance is to always replace a soiled air filter. Don’t just clean the filter and re-install.

While a dirty cabin air filter can damage the AC system, a dirty engine air filter can cause engine performance problems. In fact, replacing a clogged filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%. Considering your car’s engine can use more than 10,000 gallons of air for every gallon of fuel burned, clean airflow is crucial to proper engine performance.

The bottom line: With your permission, we recommend a visual inspection every 3,000-6,000 miles to ensure both the cabin air filter and engine air intake filters are clean and in working condition. A visual inspection is free, and it never hurts to look. We can personally guarantee our professional staff will never suggest a replacement unless it is absolutely necessary.

Over the past 4 weeks, Christian Brothers Automotive has provided the necessary resources for proper air filter service.

If it’s time for air filtration maintenance, call your local Christian Brothers Automotive auto repair shop to schedule an inspection. With our friendly technicians, you’re always in good hands.