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How often should I change my car's air filter?

Jan. 08, 2022

The engine air filter is probably one of the most important pieces of safety equipment on your car. The air filter is designed to keep all the air your engine breathes clean, so if we use gas mileage, for every gallon of gasoline your car burns, it also needs fifteen gallons of air to pass through the air screen.


The purpose of the engine air filter is to keep airborne contaminants, dirt, dust and all substances from getting inside the engine where they can turn into grit and damage the inside of the engine.

Therefore, a dirty air filter is not safe for your engine. Over time, engine air filters can become dirty and clogged and need to be replaced. The frequency with which engine air filters need to be replaced varies. Check out this article below to learn how often we should change our engine air filters...

How often should I change my car's air filter?cid=96

Normal use of the vehicle

The best option for how often to change your air filter is to consult your owner's manual. It will describe the correct timing and mileage, specifically for your vehicle model and type. The time and mileage interval for replacing the engine air filter varies by brand.


For example, the recommended replacement interval for most Ford engines is every 30,000 miles, but Chevrolet says it should be changed every 45,000 miles on many of its engines. Mitsubishi also says to replace the engine air filter every 45,000 miles.


However, in general, engine air filters need to be replaced every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or about 1,5 - 2 years, with one cleaning interval for normal driving use. This generally means that your vehicle is used for normal use, such as normal city driving in a good environment, mobility from home to office, weekday travel, or just for going to the shopping market.


Heavy use of the vehicle

While normal driving use requires 12,000 - 15,000 miles to change the engine air filter, there are several conditions that require early replacement of the air filter. Vehicles marked as "severe use" are only for use under severe operating conditions, such as

✴ Driving in dusty areas or in areas where the vehicle may be exposed to salty air or salt water.

✴ Driving on rough roads, flooded roads, or hilly areas.

✴ Driving in cold areas.

✴ Engine idles for long periods of time or short distances in cold weather.

✴ Frequent, sudden braking.

✴ Trailer towing.

✴ Used as a cab or rental car.

✴ At 86 °F or higher, in heavy city traffic, for more than 50% of the operating time.

✴ More than 50% of the time at speeds of 120 km/h or higher at 86 °F or higher.

✴ Overload operation.

Under "heavy use" conditions, it may take 6,000 - 7,500 miles to change the air filter once or twice between cleanings.


Signs it's time to change the engine air filter

If you don't have any clues in your vehicle's service history about when to change the air filter, there are several signs you can use to change the engine air filter. The following are signs that the engine air filter needs to be replaced

✴ Poor acceleration; poor acceleration may be a sign to replace the engine air filter. When accelerating, the engine needs a large supply of air quickly to equalize the amount of fuel injected. If the engine air filter is clogged, it can affect engine performance, mainly during acceleration.

✴ Increased fuel consumption; when your fuel consumption increases without much change in your vehicle's activity, this may also be a sign that you are checking and replacing your engine air filter.

✴ The air filter visually looks dirty and bad; if the filter looks dark, dirty and dusty, and it appears as if the air filter has not been touched in a long time. This may indicate that the air filter needs to be replaced.


Replacing the engine air filter is not usually an expensive repair. It's basic maintenance that you need to perform regularly to keep your car running well. Simply replacing it when you start to notice signs that it is clogged will keep your car in good condition for as long as possible.


Shindary Automotive Parts Co., Ltd.

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  • Tel.: +86 23 6305 1623
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