An often overlooked, but an extremely important component in keeping your engine running smoothly and efficiently is your air filter.
Here, we see a lot of need for air filter cleaning, or replacement. It can be hard to adhere to a specific time or mileage figure when a cleaning or change needs to occur, because the life of the filter depends on how much dirt and grime it ingests. We have seen filters that last 20,000 or even 30,000 miles on a vehicle that’s driven mostly on expressways but those same filters may last only a month or two in a rural setting where the vehicle is driven frequently on gravel roads. Changing your air filter annually, or every 15,000 miles for preventative maintenance may be a good recommendation for the city driver, but not its country cousin.
Regardless of the mileage or time, a filter should be replaced before it reaches the point where it creates a significant restriction to airflow. Interestingly, a slightly dirty filter actually cleans more efficiently than a brand new filter. That’s because the debris trapped by the filter element helps screen out smaller particles that try to get through. Eventually every filter reaches the point where it causes enough of a pressure drop to restrict airflow. Fuel economy, performance and emissions begin to deteriorate and get progressively worse until the dirty filter is replaced.
If you think that your car could be performing better, or you don’t seem to be getting the gas mileage you believe you should, it might be time to change your air filter. Call Freeman Grapevine if you have any questions or need any assistance.