As a general rule, most drivers should be able to go a year or two before needing to replace their engine air filter. However, the exact replacement frequency varies by manufacturer and driving conditions. Some manufacturers recommend changing the filter every 15,000 miles, while others suggest every two years or 30,000 miles. The recommended interval for your vehicle will be detailed in the maintenance program section of your owner's manual.
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Allow your local Jiffy Lube equipment to provide routine preventive maintenance to help keep your car, SUV, minivan or truck running as designed. This way, a small problem can be corrected before it becomes a costly repair. It's important to understand why engine air filters are so important. Engines rely on clean, good airflow to produce power and rapid acceleration, so restricting the amount of air will definitely affect performance. A clogged filter can cause slow acceleration and can cause the engine warning light to come on.
The air introduced into the car mixes with the fuel in the combustion chambers, so it must be clean; if dirt or other debris gets into the engine and engine oil, it could damage the cylinder walls, piston rings and other parts. Now that you know how often to change the car's air filter, what about the cabin filter? Here's an article that tells you what you do and how to maintain it. In addition to blog posts, Tips in a Jiffy has videos with car care tips. Technicians love this kind of thing and will be happy to help you first decide how often to change the car's air filter and then replace it with a new filter, based on the manufacturer's recommendations. If you've recently noticed that you have to refill your gas tank more often than usual, it's probably time to check your air filter. The Department of Energy (DOE) tested three vehicles - a Buick Lucerne, a Dodge Charger and a Toyota Camry - and compared their fuel economy and acceleration with a new, clean engine filter with the same attributes with a clogged filter. The DOE concluded that the reduction in flow “did not have a significant effect on fuel economy” using federal fuel economy test procedures. If you drive with a lot of traffic on a regular basis, the air filter won't last as long.
Air cleaners usually live in a rectangular housing at the front of the engine that will be easy to find and reach. Try brushing dirt off the surface and rotating the filter 180 degrees to expose the cleaned area to the main airflow. Replacing your engine air filter is an often overlooked maintenance item, but a dirty air filter can have a negative effect on your car's performance. Other signs that the air filter is affecting the performance of your car are sudden movements when accelerating or not responding as well as it should. Some people suggest changing your engine air filter every 10-15 thousand miles or so. Others say it's a bit excessive and that you should simply use your judgment to visually check the air filter and change it when it looks dirty. One of the most common problems you'll encounter when you need to change your engine's air filter is a decrease in fuel consumption.
Repair shops, on the other hand, will increase the cost of a filter and will likely charge you for installation.