Mechanics often try to upsell unsuspecting customers by pressuring them into changing their air filters for an extra fee. Air filters don’t need to be changed as frequently as your car’s oil does, so changing them can be an unnecessary service. A clean air filter helps your car reach higher gas mileage, improved acceleration and altogether keeps your engine healthy.
A dirty air filter can lead to problems such as spark plug failure and engine overheating. For this reason, you should not automatically refuse an air filter change, but rather try to be mindful of mileage since the last filter change.
Car manufacturers recommend air filters be changed at varying mileages, so your car’s manual likely has this information. Normally, air filters should be changed every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. Sometimes, an air filter may appear clean but should be changed adhering to recommended mileage. If you often drive on a dusty road, you may need to change the filter more frequently.
Most of the time, you’ll able to tell if your air filter needs to be changed by simply looking at it. If it is covered in debris and you can’t remember the last time you’ve gotten them changed, it’s probably time.
Keep in mind that there are other filters in your car, namely the cabin air filter and the fuel filter. The cabin air filter keeps allergens, dust and pollutants from entering your car through air conditioning and heating vents. The fuel filter keeps debris from clogging fuel lines that can result in unstable performance and reduced fuel efficiency. These filters should be changed according to your car’s manual.
These air filters can be replaced in no time at your local mechanic. The filters are not costly, and can potentially save you from breakdowns and reduced fuel economy down the road. Keeping up with air filter maintenance is one simple way to increase the lifespan of your vehicle.