As the name implies, an Engine Air Filter, filters air going into an engine, catching dust particles, sand, dirt, and other debris that could damage engine parts. Air filters are mounted in a fresh-air intake typically found at the front of an engine.
Air that’s pulled into the car gets mixed with fuel in the combustion chambers, so it needs to be clean; if dirt or other debris gets inside the engine and into the engine oil, it could damage cylinder walls, piston rings, and other parts. Once those parts are damaged, in most cases the only solution would be to have the engine overhauled, which will cost thousands.
Filters come in different sizes and shapes specific to certain vehicles, so one size doesn’t fit all. They can be made of pleated paper, cotton, or synthetic materials. Most are rectangular, but some are cylindrical or round, and they’re generally built into a plastic or rubber frame. When it’s time for a new one, both the filter and frame get replaced as a unit.
Reasons to change your Engine Air Filter on time:
Some possible telltale signs to your Engine Air Filter needs to be replaced:
On average air filters should be replaced at every 30,000km to 40,000km intervals. However, every vehicle is unique; checking your owner’s manual will give you the specific mileage for your vehicle. You can also consult your local mechanic for a recommendation based on your driving habits. It is suggested that your filter should be changed more frequently if you do most of your driving in dusty or dirty environments. That obviously includes frequent driving on unpaved roads or in rural areas, but it can also apply to large urban areas, where there’s heavy traffic, a lot of diesel trucks, and industrial pollution.
A good rule of thumb is to inspect the air filter (or have a mechanic do it for you) at least once a year. If the filter is covered with dirt or full of insects, leaves, or other debris, it’s time for a new one. If there’s only a little dirt on the surface or only in one area, it’s probably good to go longer. Try brushing off the surface dirt and turning the filter 180 degrees to expose the clean area to the main air flow. Get to know more about other filters in your car by clicking here.