To automotive technicians in training, preventative maintenance like changing your car’s air filter quickly become second nature. Plus, techs with firsthand experience working in a shop quickly learn that for vehicle owners reluctant to bring in their vehicles at regular intervals, the smallest maintenance items can become the biggest problems (see the dangers of forgetting to change your oil or rotate your tires!).
As it sits, quietly extracting dirt from the air that enters your car’s engine, changing your car’s air filter is one of these simple maintenance items. In the following post, we explored the effects of forgetting to change your air filter.
What performance gains might you be missing out on because of it? Keep reading to find out.
Engine Air Filter
Your car’s air filter is a key part of your engine’s respiratory system. Not to be confused with the car air intake that controls the volume of air that’s brought into the chamber, an engine air filter is responsible for cleaning the air as it enters into the engine compartment. Because this air will be mixed with fuel and ignited during combustion, ensuring that any harmful debris from the outside don’t make it through is key.
As you add more miles onto your vehicle, your engine’s air filter is destined to become clogged with debris. Filters get dirty at different times for different drivers, though a clean one lasts typically between 15,000 and 30,000 miles. Vehicle owners are encouraged to check their owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines.
What Happens When You Don’t Change Your Car’s Air Filter?
If you leave your engine air filter to clog up, it begins to act less like a filter and more like a blocked airway. Here’s what happens:
- Your engine must work harder to get enough clean air into the chamber to complete the combustion cycle. Attempting to pull air through the restricted filter can create a vacuum effect and it’s possible for particles to get sucked through the filter and in turn damage internal components.
- Because of the engine’s suffocating state, a dirty air filter can also cause it to consume more fuel than it would with a clean one, causing a reduction in overall fuel efficiency.
- If your filter is saturated with dirt, you may experience a lack of power under hard acceleration.
As you can see, continuing to put off changing your car’s air filter is certainly not recommended!
Interested in Learning More Routine Maintenance Tips Like These?
If you’re fascinated by a car’s inner workings and how to keep them performing their best, you might enjoy reading about how today’s automotive technicians handle scheduled vehicle service day in and day out.
In our free eBook about an automotive tech’s most practiced procedures, you’ll be introduced to six standard inspections, adjustments, and replacements that shop technicians are responsible for conducting with ease, accuracy, and efficiency. Download your copy today and keep being auto-inquisitive!
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