When Should You Change Your Car's Air Filter?

It's important to keep track of how long your car's air filter has been in place. The recommended average length of service is 10,000 to 15,000 miles, or approximately once a year. However, this is just a general guideline and doesn't take into account your individual driving situation. You can easily remove the cover and check the filter for signs that it needs to be changed.

Be sure to monitor your air filter and replace it when you start to notice signs that it is clogged. Doing so will help keep your car in perfect condition for as long as possible and can even improve its mileage and performance. If you see dust on the filter, it means that it is so clogged that particles are crossing the filter barrier and reaching you directly as you drive. If the filter is gray or full of particles, it's definitely time to replace it.

It's not just about bad odors; if not replaced in time, a faulty filter can damage your car. A good indication that the air filter needs to be replaced is black smoke coming from the exhaust pipes when you start the engine. Some luxury brands require that you only buy cabin air filters from their brand, while others suggest that you can buy a generic cabin air filter at your local automotive store. If you drive regularly on dirt roads, sand, or in areas of high pollution, change filters more often.

Your car also has cabin air filters that keep the air fresh for you. Without this part, the cabin of your car would be filled with every harmful smell and smoke you encounter on your trip. If you have changed an air filter in other devices such as an air conditioning unit or vacuum cleaner, you can probably change the air filter in your car's cabin too. YouTube can be helpful for specific vehicle models, and your manual will indicate where to find the filter behind your car's dashboard.

Blocked or clogged cabin air filters don't allow air to pass easily, which can cause a strange high-pitched groan behind the dashboard or make the air conditioning system sound louder. Some mechanics recommend changing the cabin air filter during routine garage visits for regular maintenance. If you can remove the air filter to check that it is in good condition, you can replace it with a new one.