What to Know About Your Car’s Air Filters

Committing to changing the air filters on your vehicle on a regular basis can prolong engine life, maximize engine power, help the planet, and improve your health.

 

There are two types of air filters in every car. One filter cleans the air that enters the engine, and another filters the air you breathe inside the vehicle. Both filters are made of paper, cotton, or foam and trap dust, pollen, mold, and debris, preventing it from getting in the engine or in the air you breathe. The experts at Milex Complete Auto Care recommend changing the air filters on your car to keep it performing at the top of its game. Learning how to check your air filters and understanding why keeping them clean is important are key to your health and the well-being of your vehicle.

 

How to Tell if Your Engine Air Filter Needs Changing

 

Your car’s engine requires sufficient airflow to run properly. A clogged air filter can create build up on your spark plugs, which can cause the car or idle roughly. Small particles from the air can cause damage to various parts of your engine. Having a clean air filter can prevent costly repairs to your engine.

 

Mechanics used to recommend changing air filters frequently to maintain fuel economy. A study from the U.S. Department of Energy revealed a car’s air filter does not improve fuel efficiency on new, fuel-injected engines, according to the American Automobile Association. While older carburetor cars needed fresh air filters, present guidance recommends changing the air filter only if airflow is badly restricted, or as directed by the automaker.

 

Most automakers recommend changing the filter every 30,000 miles. Checking the condition of your air filter is an easy task.

  1. Open your car’s hood and find the plastic box with a large hose sticking out of the side on top or the side of your engine.
  2. You may need a screwdriver, but the engine air filter housing will likely be closed with clamps. Pop open the box and remove the filter and see if it is full of debris. If you tap the filter and dirt falls out, it’s time to replace it.

 

Signs Your Cabin Air Filter Needs Replacing

 

The cabin air filter is responsible for keeping the air in your car fresh and clean. The World Health Organization estimates that around 7 million people die from exposure to polluted air every year, and nine out of 10 people breathe polluted air. One of the leading causes of air pollution is truck and car emissions on the roadway. While the United States has taken great strides to reduce air pollution with regulations and emissions testing, making sure your cabin air filter is in proper working order can help protect your health on the road. Pollutants are often higher inside your vehicle, especially if you are idling in traffic. In fact, the air inside your car can be up to 15 times more polluted than the air outside, reveals IQAir, an air-quality resource. If you live in a smoggy city, or a desert climate, you may need to change your air filter more frequently, Car and Driver reports. In addition to keeping out pollutants, the cabin air filter helps keep out dust, dirt, pollen, bugs, and leaves. Pollen is especially problematic for people who are prone to allergies. No one wants their eyes to water, or have a sneezing fit, while they’re concentrating on the road.

 

Milex Complete Auto Care recommends changing your cabin air filter every 30,000 miles, or when you notice a sign it may be dirty. Here are the top signs your cabin air filter needs replacing.

  • Your car smells musty or unpleasant.
  • Weak airflow from your heat or air conditioning unit or it is louder than normal.
  • A whistling sound coming from vents or you see debris.
  • Your allergies are acting up.
  • Your windshield takes a long time to defog.

 

If you are driving in a big city with a lot of trucks emitting harmful emissions, you can minimize the impact and keep out pollutants by driving with your windows closed and using the recirculation setting on your car’s ventilation system, according to Occupational Health & Safety magazine. You can spot-check your cabin air filter easily. Cabin air filters are typically located under the dash or behind the glove box. A quick look at your owner’s manual will tell you where to find your filter. If it looks filthy, it’s time to get a new one.

 

Keep your engine and your lungs healthy by visiting an expert at Milex Complete Auto Care to make sure your car’s air filters are in top form.

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