You know your house’s air conditioning system has an air filter, but did you know your car’s AC system does, too? In fact, your car has two separate air filters – the cabin air filter and the engine air intake filter.
To keep your car operating efficiently, frequent air filtration system maintenance is crucial. By replacing these two air filters, your ventilation system and fuel system will receive pure oxygen and your car will run clean.
Cabin Air Filter
While not all vehicles are equipped with a cabin air filter, they’re becoming more popular. Your cabin air filter eliminates pollen, mold spores, dust, bacteria, exhaust fumes and other impurities before they enter the ventilation system. As the element keeping the air you breathe safe and healthy, the cabin air filter should be inspected twice a year.
However, your driving habits have a lot to do with the air filter’s lifespan. If you regularly drive down dusty rural roads or near in a city with a lot of construction, you may require more frequent filter replacements. If your cabin air filter becomes too congested, your health will suffer.
In fact, the cabin filter can become so clogged with contaminants, you’re breathing in more pollutants riding in the car than if you were walking down the street.
When you discover heating or cooling inefficiency, a filthy or musty smell from the air vents, or you experience sinus headaches and breathing trouble while driving, your cabin air filter could be to blame. Because not every vehicle has this filter, low-cost auto repair shops and inexperienced mechanics may not check your air filter as often as required.
If it’s been more than a year since your last air filtration system check, or you notice any signs of a dirty cabin air filter, call Christian Brothers Automotive Schertz to schedule an appointment. Our ASE-certified technicians will let you know whether your car contains this component and how often it needs to be replaced.
Engine Air Intake Filter
Not all cars have a cabin air filter, but you definitely have an engine air intake filter. The engine filter sifts through dirt particles, which can damage the engine cylinders, engine walls, pistons and piston rings. In fuel-injected cars, the air intake filter also protects the airflow sensor from contaminants. While driving, the car is sucking in outside air.
This filter protects the engine from waste and airborne shrapnel. However, the engine filter accumulates dirt, dust and bugs over time, and these contaminants block airflow. When airflow is reduced, the fuel-to-air ratio is compromised and unnecessary strain is put on the vehicle. This can lead to a loss in engine power.
Like the cabin filter, driving habits affect the engine air intake filter’s lifespan. Specific considerations include the mileage, time spent driving, road conditions and type of filter used. An obstructed filter decreases gas mileage and “driveability.” If the car hesitates while accelerating or you notice a loss in engine power, your engine filter is likely compromised.
Our professionals agree with most manufacturers, who suggest an air filter replacement every 10,000-30,000 miles. However, you should change the filter any time it is torn, water or oil soaked, dirty or showing other signs of wear.
While your car’s air filters are seldom discussed, they have a huge impact on your engine’s life.
Call Christian Brothers Automotive in Schertz, Texas to schedule an air filter inspection. Don’t let a dirty air filter shorten the life of your car.