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Signs It’s Time to Replace the Engine Air Filter in Your Vehicle

The Air Filter In Your Vehicle is Very Important

Your vehicle has many small parts that you may not even think about, including the engine air filter. Last month we discussed cabin air filters and how important they are for air quality. This month we’re going to go into engine air filters and what exactly they do for your vehicle.

Like any air filter, it’s important to change them every so often to keep things clean. Air filters trap dirt, grime, and bacteria from entering the vehicle. Once the filter becomes dirty, it cannot keep the engine running at its peak. Make sure to add engine air filters on your vehicle maintenance checklist this year.


What Exactly Does the Engine Air Filter Do?

We know that cabin air filters keep the air safe inside the vehicle. The engine air filter does the same for, as the name suggests, the engine. Allstate explains that the keeps dirt and debris from getting into the engine. Clogged and dirty filters may cause the engine to run better and will help the engine to last even longer.

Checking over the engine air filter is easy, and it’s something you could do at home. Allstate mentions that holding the air filter up to the light is a quick way to know if it’s still okay to use. If light shines through the filter, it can stay. You can find air filters at the auto parts store – but be sure to first check your owner’s manual. Using the wrong filter can let dirt slip through, but we’ll get more into that later.


How to Tell When It’s Time for Engine Air Filter Replacement

You may look at your engine air filter and think, “how can I really know if it needs replacing?” There are a few easy signs that will indicate you may need a new one. AAA goes into detail about how to tell if your air filter needs replacing, including the following signs:

  • Light doesn’t shine through the filter
  • Visibly caked with dirt
  • Driving in dusty conditions
  • Engine is losing power
  • Driving for over 20,000 miles


Most vehicle manuals will indicate the mileage that your air filter can withstand. Depending on the driving conditions in your area, you may need to change the filter more or less frequently. If you live in a very dusty or dirty area, you may need to replace your air filter more often. Keep in mind that most air filters will last over a year. Talk to your technician at Bass Transmissions or local auto shop. They can check over your filter and provide expert advice on when to change it.

Keep in mind that just because the outside of the filter has some dirt or dust on it, it doesn’t mean that it needs replacing. The filter’s job is to trap dirt, dust, and other debris. It may not be exactly clean once you pull it out. That does not always indicate that it’s time for air filter replacement.


Does a Dirty Engine Air Filter Affect Fuel Economy?

Vehicle owners may believe that a dirty engine air filter will affect their fuel economy or gas mileage. However, this isn’t always true. Cars.com mentions a 2009 study from the U.S. Department of Energy. They found that a dirty or clogged air filter didn’t have a great effect on fuel. However, that clogged filter can cause the engine to lose power. The air filter may even decrease acceleration from six to 11 percent! If your vehicle takes longer to accelerate, or it struggles to run at all, check the filter. It may be just needing a quick air filter replacement and will be good to go.

Keep in mind that lack of power or poor fuel economy could be a sign of worse problems. Always trust a professional to inspect your vehicle and find the problem. Bass Transmissions in Roanoke, VA, offers auto repairs and transmission repairs for our customers.


Importance of Proper Air Filter Replacement

Once it’s time for air filter replacement, be sure to install it correctly. If the filter has any gaps or doesn’t properly fit, dirt and debris can get through. The Allstate article mentioned above recommends running your finger around the edges of the filter to make sure there are no gaps.

If you’re not sure about installing the air filter yourself, that’s okay. While having routine maintenance done on your vehicle, ask the technician if they replace engine air filters. This way you know that the filter is correctly installed and in working order.


Choose Bass Transmissions for Air Filter Replacement in Roanoke

When it comes to engine air filters and other auto maintenance, call on Bass Transmissions in Roanoke, VA. Serving the Roanoke Valley with experienced repair since the early 1990s, including transmissions, brakes, and much more. Trust our qualified mechanics to properly replace engine air filters and other parts. We keep an open, honest relationship with our customers.


Are you looking for a new, experienced mechanic? Call Bass Transmissions & Automotive Repair in Roanoke, VA, at (540) 345-8871 or follow us on Facebook for updates. Ask us about replacing engine air filters.