Your Car’s Air Filters: Why They Need to Be Checked Regularly

your car's air filterOxygen is obviously essential for human life, but many people don’t consider the fact that it’s also essential to the life of your car. Fuel cannot burn without oxygen. Without air, no combustion can take place inside an internal combustion engine.

That’s why your car’s air filter is such an important, though often overlooked, part of your vehicle. It’s a part you should check regularly and occasionally replace.

What your car’s air filter does

A car’s engine air filter is designed to protect the engine and keep the combustion chambers clean. The filter captures any dust or debris that’s in the air, keeping such particles out of the engine. Without the filter, dust and debris would cause wear to the cylinders and pistons, hurting performance and eventually requiring costly repairs.

Though the engine air filter gets more press, there are actually two air filters in your car. The second one is the cabin air filter, which cleans the air passing through the heater or air conditioner. Besides protecting the inner workings of the climate control system, this filter also helps keep your lungs and the car’s interior clean.

Checking and replacing filters

So how often should you check or replace your car’s air filter? Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all rule. It really depends on your specific driving conditions: If the air you’re driving through is particularly dusty or polluted, you’ll need to check and replace the filters more often.

Your best bet is to simply check your car’s air filter any time you’re doing other regular maintenance under the hood, such as when you’re inspecting the belts and hoses. If the filter has become clogged (or partially clogged) with dirt, it could be limiting the supply of air, which can hurt both fuel efficiency and performance.

If you’re unsure whether your car’s air filter is dirty enough to require replacement, you can check with a reputable auto mechanic. If you have questions about replacing the car itself, of course, you can always contact the experts at

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