How do air filters impact engine performance?
If you’ve read our blog post on the signs of a bad air filter, you’ll know that air filters can impact how your engine runs. When your air filter is nearing the end of its life, you may notice a very strong fuel smell or an odd sound when you start your car or brake your car to stop.
Bad air filters can negatively impact fuel economy and even damage spark plugs or other internal components. This is because clogged up filters prevent clean air from reaching the engine which makes it harder for your engine to run.
Will my engine perform better if I clean or replace my air filter?
Not all engine issues are related to bad air filters, so it’s a good idea to assess whether or not you need to replace your air filter before jumping to any conclusions.
A good rule of thumb is to replace air filters every 12 months or 20,000 to 25,000 kilometres. In more polluted areas like cities, or in rural areas with a lot of dust, you might need to replace filters as often as every five to six months or around every 10,000 kilometres.
If you think your engine issues are related to bad air filters, the first step should be checking the filter itself. A clean filter in good working order should be a light white colour. If it’s dirty, it will be black or brown and may have noticeable debris, dust, or rust on it. If you’ve ticked any of those signs, your issue just might be related to the air filter.
How can a new air filter improve my engine's performance?
Once you replace your air filter, you might notice you’re experiencing better fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, and a reduction in engine noise and black smoke coming out of your exhaust pipe. In the long run, you’ll save heaps of money by keeping your car well maintained and prevent bigger issues from happening.
Some other bonuses of replacing your air filter include:
• Increased power when you press the gas pedal to accelerate.
• Clean internal components (i.e. preventing your spark plug, pistons, cylinders, or other parts that may become dirty or damaged if you neglect your filter).
Is it really worth it?
You might be wondering if it’s worth the hassle, time, and effort to go ahead with replacing your filter. The benefits surely outweigh the costs and you’ll save money by avoiding potential damage to your car in the future. Dealers charge anywhere between $20 to $70 to install air filters, but you can do it yourself for around $15 to $20. It’s pretty easy to replace your air filter even with no prior experience.
If you’re interested in buying an air filter online to save time and money, we’ve put together an article which outlines how to find reputable retailers for car parts online and how to avoid getting scammed when you buy parts.