Here’s a possibly familiar scenario: You take your car into Beetlesmith’s Valley Auto Service for routine maintenance and are told that your air filter needs to be replaced. To save a few bucks, it may be tempting to opt not to replace it right away. But while many people shrug off or postpone replacing a dirty filter to save a few bucks, the reality is that a clean filter is vital to keeping you and your car running properly.

There are several air filters throughout your car. In this article we’ll focus on two in particular: the one for your cabin and the one for your engine. We’ll tell you their function and why timely replacement is critical for performance.

How Your Engine Works

Your engine is a powerhouse under your car’s hood. The process that occurs within is simple: Air is taken in through the intake valve where it is filtered, then deposited into the cylinder. When this air meets and the pressurized fuel from the fuel injectors meet, they combust, creating energy which is used throughout the car. How clean and thorough this combustion is effects many aspects of your cars performance such as emissions, fuel economy, and acceleration.

Why It Needs A Filter

The engine filter is responsible for filtering out dirt and debris that may otherwise find their way into the engine. Filters are typically accordion shaped. As air is filtered they become visibly dirty, making it easy to see when it’s time for a replacement. The air that comes through your engine air filter leads to cleaner combustion and overall better performance is many categories.

If pollutants are allowed to enter the combustion chamber they decrease how effectively fuel can be burned (combusted). This can lead to poor performance in the short term. In the long term consistent exposure to unfiltered air can lead to permanent engine problems, including complete engine failure.

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What About The Cabin Filter?

Similar to the engine air filter, the filter for your cabin helps to clean up the air that is taken in from your surroundings. Unlike your engine filter, a cabin filter’s primary function is protecting you from pollinates. Cabin air filters rid the air your breath of pollutants like pollen, dirty, and exhaust from other cars to make sure your lungs are protected on the road.

Like your engine air filter, the cabin filter is a piece of cloth that becomes visibly dirty as it traps more and more debris and pollutants that would otherwise enter your car.

How Long Can I Go Without Changing My Air Filter(s)?

According to Toyato, you should change your air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. The length of time depends on how far and frequently you drive. If air flow seems restricted through your air vents it may be a good idea to have your cabin air filter checked.

There are several other factors to consider when evaluating when to change your air filter besides just mileage. For example, living and commuting in an area with heavy air pollution may push up your service timeline. Additionally, certain makes and models have specific service timelines that can be found in the owners manual.

If you’re due for a new filter or are unsure if yours needs replacement come to Beetlesmith’s Valley Auto Service. We’ll check your air filters and replace them for you.

For more information on the engine services we offer at Beetlesmith’s Valley Auto Service visit our services page here.

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