How Often to Change an Engine Air Filter

Do you know how often to change the engine air filter in your car? With so much focus on oil changes, it’s easy enough for Cary car owners to disregard the maintenance of their engine air filter. Depending on the make, model, and year of your vehicle, the answer for how often you should change the engine air filter may vary, but most manufacturers list every 30,000 to 45,000 miles as their guideline.

With that said, you should still check your owner’s manual for a figure that pertains directly to your vehicle. Learn more about how your engine air filter functions in the guide below! If you need a replacement, schedule service at Hendrick Buick GMC Cary.

How Does the Engine Air Filter Function?

The engine air filter prevents harmful contaminants like dust and dirt from entering your engine when you’re driving through Raleigh. This being its primary function, the engine air filter will inevitably become dirty itself and possibly even clogged when enough time has passed. With a less effective air filter, your engine’s performance and efficiency can be compromised.

Familiarize yourself with these common warning signs that the engine air filter is nearing the need for replacement:

  • Slow or rough acceleration, reduced horsepower
  • The Check Engine light pops up on the dash
  • Misfiring spark plugs (this would produce a sudden popping noise)
  • A visual inspection of the air filter proves that it is very dirty (when brand-new, an air filter is white or off-white in color)
  • Sooty smoke leaving the exhaust

If you’re driving an older vehicle, you may see an obvious reduction in your fuel economy when the engine air filter is dirty. But thanks to advancements in newer cars, like fuel-injected engines, the reduction would be so slight that few Charlotte drivers would even notice.

How Often Should You Change the Engine Air Filter?

As we noted above, the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual will tell you when the manufacturer recommends an engine air filter replacement. It’s important to note, however, that certain factors might require you to change the filter even more frequently than is recommended.

If your home is off a gravel road that you drive on every day, your air filter might get dirty or clogged faster than others’. Or, if you take your vehicle off-road or on dusty job sites around Cary, you might also need to change the filter more often.

Where is the Engine Air Filter Located?

The engine air filter is pretty easy to locate on modern vehicles. Most often, it’s found under the hood within a rectangular cold air collector box, which is situated near the front of the engine compartment. If you have the right tools and can take the top off the box, you’ll be able to visually inspect your engine air filter. If it’s dirty, you can simply pop the old filter out and place the new one in securely. Replace the lid of the cold air collector box, and you’re all set!

If the engine air filter still appears pretty clean, the issues you’re experiencing with your vehicle could be caused by something else. You should have it inspected as soon as possible to determine and address the problem.

Schedule Engine Air Filter Service at Hendrick Buick GMC Cary

Prefer to have your engine air filter replaced by a professional? Visit the service center at Hendrick Buick GMC Cary, where our factory-trained technicians will take care of your vehicle in an expeditious manner. We regularly offer service and parts specials to help you save, so be sure to check out what’s available before your appointment! If you have additional questions regarding how often you should change your engine air filter, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Service CenterSchedule Service