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When should your car’s air filter be changed?

Keep your car running at top performance with clean air filters.

The air filter in your car is a key component of the supply system of your car. As the vehicle’s lungs, it prevents impurities from entering the engine and provides a steady flow of clean air. But when should you change the air filter? And why?

Why do you have to replace the air filter in your car?

When the air filter in your car gets clogged or worn out, this affects the quality and quantity of the air going into your engine. The dirty air obstructs the combustion chambers and prevents proper fuel combustion. The engine has to work harder, which leads to a decrease in gas mileage and engine performance. Just as your lungs can get clogged up from pollutants in the air, your car’s engine suffers when the air it “breathes” isn’t clean. That’s why changing the air filter is so important.

An air filter in poor condition causes the internal ducts of the engine to deteriorate, which affects how fast your car can go, in addition to making your exhaust smoke blacker and thicker. This could result in you having a series of problems on your hands: excessive fuel consumption, harmful emissions, even engine failure.

Your car has two air filters: one for the engine and another for the cabin. It’s important to change both of them regularly—both for engine performance and your own health. You don’t want your engine (or your body) absorbing air that’s full of dust and debris.

Have you ever wondered what you’re inhaling when you drive? If, like most people, you spend several hours behind the wheel every day, the air quality inside your car isn’t something to be taken lightly. Without a clean and functional cabin air filter, you could be breathing in all kinds of unwelcome particles: dust, pollen, mould spores, bacteria and even volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Why not spare yourself all of that?

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How often should you change the air filter in your car?

You should change your air filter every 20,000 km or once a year. But if you’re driving mostly on city streets or dusty roads, it’s a good idea to change the air filter in your car more often, or to at least inspect it regularly. A quick cleaning to clear out the built-up particles is part of the recommended maintenance of your car: simply blow them out with an air compressor or a give the filter a quick vacuuming, and you’re good to go.

Neglecting to change your air filter could cause serious damage to your engine, so you’re better off replacing it frequently. In fact, you should follow the maintenance schedule for your vehicle to the letter. This way, you can rest—and drive—a little easier.

Tips for knowing when to change your car’s air filter

Do you sense a lack of power and consistency when you accelerate? Is the smoke that comes out of your tailpipe dense and black? Does your engine skip and slow down unevenly? Does your car’s fuel level seem to drop right before your eyes? These are all signs that it’s time to change your car’s air filter.

Just like changing your oil, changing your air filter is one of the car maintenance tasks that you can easily do yourself. Check your owner’s manual and be sure to use an original brand filter. And make sure you don’t throw out your old filter! Your mechanic can recycle it. Running short on time and don’t want to do the auto air filter replacement yourself? Your dealer will happily do it for you.

Whether it’s to change your car’s air filter or tend to any other car maintenance task, you can always count on your Ok Tire.

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