Your air filter is an essential component of your vehicle's performance. It helps your car go further with a tank of gas than it would with a dirty filter. The air filter is responsible for protecting your engine from insects, leaves, debris, water, salt, mud and other elements. Replacing a clogged air filter can increase fuel efficiency and improve acceleration, depending on the make and model of your car.
It is recommended that you replace your air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles (19,000 to 24,000 km) to maintain optimal performance. This interval should be reduced if you often drive in dusty conditions. If your car doesn't get enough air, it will consume more fuel than it would otherwise. Clean filters won't allow as much air resistance as a dirty filter.
Without this resistance, air can flow more clearly into the engine and give it more power. A clean air filter can increase power by up to 11%. If you let the air filter get too dirty, engine performance will decrease and the engine may even stop working completely. Aftermarket air filters can lead to increases in engine performance and a certain increase in gasoline mileage rating.
However, these may be more noticeable on older cars than on newer models. It's important to consult with an automotive professional about air filter options. If you often drive on dirt roads, make a lot of stops and starts or live in a dry and dusty climate, you may need to change your air filter more often. An air cleaner is one of the most economical maintenance components to replace and can be done by doing it yourself.
Make sure the replacement air filter is designed for the exact make and model of your car. Clogged air filters can reduce airflow to the engine, literally drowning it out and affecting the car's emission control systems, causing incorrect air-fuel mixing and spark plug ignition problems which can lead to serious driving problems. The truth is that changing your air filter regularly can greatly improve the efficiency of both your home and vehicle filters. When buying a vehicle, refer to the owner's manual to be prepared to keep the air filter clean for the life of the vehicle.
The best way to make sure your air filter is fresh is to schedule regular and thorough car checks at regular intervals. Driving in dusty or rural locations can also cause air filter performance to decline more rapidly, so keep this in mind when choosing where you drive. Other signs that the air filter is affecting the performance of your car are sudden movements when accelerating or not responding as well as it should.