However, while your household air conditioner has one air filter per unit, your car likely has two filters!
The cabin air filter protects the passengers while the engine air intake filter safeguards your engine.
To keep you and your engine breathing easy, regular air filtration system maintenance is crucial.
Simply replacing your two air filters can keep your car running efficiently and keep your passengers healthy.
1. Cabin Air Filter
The cabin air filter isn’t yet standard on all cars, but it is becoming more common. The cabin filter is a valuable asset because it traps pollen, mold spores, dust, bacteria, exhaust fumes and other impurities before they enter the ventilation system. Over time, the filter does clog with allergens and contaminants
When the cabin filter becomes congested, it could affect both your health and your AC system. A blocked filter traps debris and builds up with waste inside the ventilation system. The heater’s core and evaporator could potentially burn out from the additional strain, leading to expensive repairs.
To keep the cabin from filling with these pollutants, check the air filter twice a year. If you drive in a dusty area or frequently travel through construction sites, it’s a good idea to have the filter checked every time your car is brought in for maintenance service.
If you notice a musty or dirty smell when the air conditioner or heater is running, the AC system isn’t operating efficiently or you’re having breathing problems while driving, call to schedule an air filtration system inspection. When looking for an air filter replacement, it’s essential to call the experts.
Because not every vehicle is equipped with a cabin air filter, low-cost auto repair shops could attribute these symptoms to a malfunctioning AC or cooling system. This would lead to unnecessary costs and repairs.
If you notice signs 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 Monument. We’ll let you know whether your car has a cabin air filter, and the truth about how often it needs to be replaced.
2. Engine Air Intake Filter
While your car might not have a cabin air filter, it certainly has an engine air intake filter. The engine air filter sifts through dirt particles, tree sap, insect bits and other airborne debris hurling towards the car. If left unchecked, these bits of waste can damage the engine cylinders, engine walls, pistons and piston rings.
The engine filter is responsible for trapping these contaminants before they enter the engine. In fuel-injected cars, the air intake filter also keeps debris off the airflow sensor. Like the cabin air filter, the engine air intake filter clogs over time with the waste it’s collecting. The accumulated debris blocks airflow, affects the fuel-to-air ratio and puts additional stress on the engine.
A clogged filter will decrease gas mileage and suck power from the engine. If you notice hesitation while accelerating or a loss in engine power, your engine filter may be to blame. Our ASE-certified technicians suggest a filter replacement every 10,000-30,000 miles.
However, if you’re frequently driving long distances, taking short 5-10 miles trips, driving through rough or dirty conditions or using a sub-par filter, you may require more frequent filter replacements. You should also schedule a replacement if your filter is ever dirty, torn, water or oil soaked, or showing signs of excessive wear.
Your cabin air filter and engine air intake filter have a significant effect on the life of your engine.
If it’s time to schedule an air filter change, call Christian Brothers Automotive in Monument, Colorado. Replace your air filters and avoid expensive engine repairs!