Did you know your vehicle has an air filter too? In fact, most cars have two unique air filters! The cabin air filter safeguards your AC system and the passengers’ health while the engine air intake filter protects your engine against flying debris.
To properly maintain these two critical components, you must first understand their functions and differences.
Engine Air Intake Filter
Your engine air intake filter sits behind the front bumper, feeding the engine clean air. As air is sucked in past the filter, insect bits, tree sap, dirt particles and other debris are trapped. To ignite engine power, your fuel tank releases a certain amount of fuel, which mixes with this clean oxygen. The fuel-air mix is then sparked, creating power. As airborne waste is eliminated, the pollutants accumulate on the filter and eventually restrict airflow. A clogged air filter could decrease gas mileage and reduce the vehicle’s acceleration power.
However, it takes thousands of miles for a filter to fill up with this much dirt. The common auto shop recommendation is to change the filter every 6,000 miles. Some inexperienced mechanics even suggest a replacement with every oil change! The truth is, your filter should last 15,000-30,000 miles (or 1-2 years).
A few signs your car needs an engine air intake filter replacement:
- It’s been 10,000-30,000 miles since your last filter inspection
- You frequently drive down dusty rural roads or streets with heavy construction
- You’ve noticed a loss in engine power
- You experience hesitation during acceleration
If you don’t notice any symptoms of a compromised engine air filter, your filter might not need replacing.
Cabin Air Filter
While most amateur auto repair shops relentlessly pursue drivers for needless engine filter replacements, the cabin filter has the opposite problem. Cabin air filters are not yet standard on all cars, but are becoming more common in newer models. The cabin filter has the same particles hurling at it during the drive, and this filter is responsible for keeping these pieces of debris away from the AC system and out of the air you breathe.
The cabin filter is especially meant to protect the evaporator and the heater core. Unfortunately, these two elements are very expensive to replace because they’re hard to get to. If the cabin air filter becomes too clogged, the evaporator could burn out and the heater core could leak and corrode. Replacing either involves high labor costs and complete removal of the dash panel. A congested cabin filter has been the end of many otherwise perfectly good vehicles.
That’s the nice difference with Christian Brothers Automotive Woodmen & Powers. Our professional, ASE-certified technicians are sure to check for a cabin air filter on every vehicle serviced. Once we know your car has this component, it is always inspected. We’ll let you know when a replacement is necessary. Like the engine air intake filter, most manufacturers suggest a cabin air replacement every 15,000-30,000 miles.
At Christian Brothers Automotive, we treat guests like family.
As a member of our family, we refuse to sell unnecessary services or let you drive away with an improperly serviced vehicle. If we wouldn’t pay for a repair ourselves, we won’t recommend the service to our customers. Likewise, we’ll never neglect an essential piece of equipment because we’re too lazy to perform an inspection.
Like a home air conditioning filter, your cabin and engine air filters need to be regularly replaced for optimal performance. When your car is brought in for any service, we’ll tell you the truth about your air filtration system.
Don’t settle for less than the best. Call Christian Brothers Automotive Woodmen & Powers in Colorado Springs, Colorado today. We’ll schedule an air filter check so you can discover the nice difference!