If you're not an experienced car mechanic, you may be intimidated by the thought of performing maintenance work on your vehicle. But don't worry, changing your car's engine air filter is a simple task that you can do yourself and save money in the process. It's easy, fast, and economical to replace an air filter, but it's important to make sure you get the right one for your car's make and model. To find out what type of air filter you need and where it is located in your car, consult your owner's manual.
You can also search online via Google or use a printed catalog to search for the make, model, and year of your car to determine the part number. The engine air filter is usually located in the engine compartment, but make sure not to confuse it with the cabin air filter which is also under the hood. The engine check light may come on if the engine fails to start or indicates a lean condition, which means that the mass air flow sensor is dirty or has failed completely. The air filter ensures that only clean air enters the engine, without dust or debris that could damage the sensors or the engine itself.
Replacing a clogged air filter can increase fuel efficiency and improve acceleration, depending on the make and model of your car. The cabin air filter is also important as it prevents allergens and harmful debris from spreading through the ventilation grilles and into the interior of the vehicle. When you slide out the old air filter, pay close attention to the direction in which the airflow arrow on its side faces. Both vehicle and cabin air filters should be changed regularly as part of routine vehicle maintenance.
As a general rule, most average drivers should be able to go a year or two before needing a new air filter. However, if you often drive in dirty or dusty conditions, check your air filter more often than recommended and change it as needed.The best way to know for sure how often to change your engine air filter is to consult the maintenance section of your owner's manual or search online for the manufacturer's recommended service interval. The filter prevents small particles from entering the engine and causing potentially costly damage. A dirty engine air filter will usually look dirty with dirt, dust, or stains visible within its folds.